Unique Fastball Pitching Grips w/Movement


#1

I was wondering if anyone has any success with alternatve pitching grips for their fastball. While I was the pitching coach this summer for my son’s LL team I experienced some strange movements on balls thrown from these 9 and 10 yr olds. They would come in straight and all of a sudden take almost a 90 degree turn then back again like it was making an “S”. Of course they could not repeat it, it was by pure accident. But still amazing.

So my son, he was one of the pitchers on the team, and I fooled around with some grips. I had him use the two seams that are parrallel after the horshoes to place his index and middle fingers over. Visualize spliting the left and right horshoes in the middle. This gave the ball some more down ward movement. And if I had him spread his fingers wider it had a cutter effect. Of course this was in fact it probably due to the size of a 9yr olds hands.

This is just probably an optical illusion but did you ever notice, looking from either first or third base side, that sometimes pitches look like they are going in and about 3/4’s the way to the plate go back towards the pitcher about a foot and then towards the plate again. Sort of like a whip or yoyo. Could this be the elusive “POP” on the fastball :?:.

Just wondered if anyone else has any interesting experiences with grips and movements :?:


#2

Yes, I have noted the “S” movement! Not as pronounced as you describe, but I have witnessed it. I’m glad I’m not going crazy (well, maybe I am but at least I’m not alone!). Anyway, my 10 yr old when he throws a 2 seam fastball and gets a good wrist snap (nice tight rotation) it does move in an “S” fashion. Not a big “S” but a little “s”- maybe 2"-3" swing outside and back inside just before it pops in the mitt. He can not duplicate this on his own and it doesn’t move enough to be seen from 1st or 3rd. I’ve only noticed when in back of pitcher or catcher.
It is only with a 2 seam FB, with good velocity, and good rotation. I guess that is what it is suppose to do, but for a 10 year old? I plan on getting tape of my pitchers within the next few weeks, so maybe I can pinpoint something.


#3

Are you guys pitching during a hurricane? I know Bandit is in the right neighborhood. But he’s going crazy anyway!


#4

:lol:

Seriously! We had about six pitchers that I would have bullpen workouts during practice and every once and a while you would get a ball that had unbelievable movement. They are all by pure circumstance as 9-10 yr olds don’t have enough experience for finger pressure and grips. Most of them even after showing them time after time how to hold the ball they would just grab it any old way and throw it. There was this time during the All-Stars that another coach was throwing batting practice and I was catching and he went to throw the ball once just warming up and the ball went crazy it darted left then right then left it was really scary. I asked him, “Hey, what did you throw”, he said, “It just slipped out of my hand”.

Believe it OR Not :wink:


#5

I knew I was going to here from Jon’s Dad! You know, it may be because of the wind or maybe the lopsided baseball (you know a 10:U travel team tries to keep the cost down) 8)


#6

I use a lot of FB across the parallel seams like that described at the beginning of this thread, but when I do it the FB tends to slow up at the end a lot more.
Also, when going normal sidearm I throw about 30 or 40% of my FB ON one seam of the horseshoe, so if you’re looking at the horseshoe, lay 1st and 2nd fingers on either side of one side of the horseshoe:
11111
1 - 1 - 1st and 2nd fingers border one side of horseshoe only
1 - 1-
1 - 1-
1 - 1-
and I taught this sort of grip to a group of 11-13 yr old pitchers who went on that year to win state championship. Not to say that this FB put them over the top! :lol:
It did, however, create a fair amount of moving, sailing and tailing on their FBs, and I showed them how to throw a “slider” like FB, which I guess was basically a cutter, so they wouldn’t be twisting their arms all up.
Anyway, I have had some luck with this grip, as it seems to sink and tail for me. Just a tiny flick upward off the tip of the two fingers and I get a fair tailing on it.


#7

I never mastered the change, I could not get the arm speed equal to my FB. But, I could throw the no seam FB as described in this thread and it reacted in the same manner as a change just not as slow as the change, even when I choked up on the ball.


#8

i have the same thing with my fastball i dont no what i do but ever time i pitch to the catcher he keeps telling me that my curveball is breaking good that day and when i tell him that its a fastball he thinks im lien


#9

My theory on the “pop” or exploding fastball is that the forward momentum of the baseball overcomes the spin until about 2/3 of the way to the plate, at which time the air friction slows the forward momentum enough for the spin to “catch up”. This creates an optical illusion to the hitter that the ball is actually speeding up, because the rotation appears to get quicker (it doesn’t really, of course)The harder the pitcher throws, the nearer to the plate the ball gets before “exploding”.

Make sense?


#10

“i have the same thing with my fastball i dont no what i do but ever time i pitch to the catcher he keeps telling me that my curveball is breaking good that day and when i tell him that its a fastball he thinks im lien”

This suggests that you’re actually throwing a slider rather than a fastball (because you are twisting your wrist slightly as you release the ball).

One of my guys did the same thing; accidentally threw a slider.

Watch out for pain on the inside of your elbow.


#11

“My theory on the ‘pop’ or exploding fastball is that the forward momentum of the baseball overcomes the spin until about 2/3 of the way to the plate, at which time the air friction slows the forward momentum enough for the spin to ‘catch up’.”

I think you’re on to something, but your explanation may be wrong.

Aerodynamics are definitely speed dependent. You have to throw a ball at in a very specific speed range for it to knuckle. I learned this when my son played volleyball. A lot of guys actually had to slow down their serves to get them to really knuckle.

It could be that something happens to the baseball as it slows down as it approaches the plate. What may happen is that you release it at just the right speed (I don’t know what that is) such that at 2/3 of the way to the plate it crosses an aerodynamic threshold and something weird happens.