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Softball Pitching Fundamentals: Posture

When trying to improve your pitch it is common to think that your pitching arm or stride leg may be the problem and too much focus is shifted there. However, one of the most important parts of the body to focus on is your overall posture. In this article we will be talking about the importance of staying stacked, tall, and how to fix common problems. We will also be looking at some of the underlying causes behind these mistakes and how exactly they hurt your pitching.

Bending Over

Has a coach ever shouted at you, “Your butt is sticking out” or “You are bending over again”? This is something that is told to pitchers a lot but there is hardly any feedback as to why you are doing that and how to fix it besides, “Just stop doing that.” When pitching it is very important that pitchers stay tall which means keeps their shoulders over their hips. When a pitcher bends at the hips during a pitch this makes it hard for them to have a straight arm circle and it throws of their aim, efficiency, and may cause injury.

The Causes:

One of the causes is that the pitcher is trying to aim the ball or is bowling, which means the pitcher has a release point in front of the hips instead of next to them. Another cause can be weak core, back, and/or hip strength. If the player had a previous injury in one of those areas that may have also caused them to start bending over.

How to Fix it:

A drill that we suggest is the pitcher stands with the pitcher shoulder next to a wall and how through their pitching motion. We suggest that they go slow at first and that the wall be preferably padded to prevent injury. Also, this “K” Drill by Amanda Scarborough that forces pitchers to stay tall and balanced. We also love these workouts by Dan Blewett that stress core, upper body, and lower body workouts specifically for softball players.

Leaning Back

Leaning back a little is okay, but there is too much and this the same with leaning forward (not the same a bending over). As stated, before it is important for pitchers to tall and stacked. It also important to note that the pitcher’s destination is in front of them. Therefore, leaning back is a problem. When a pitcher pushes off the mound, they are trying to take a long stride. If the pitcher starts to lean back, then this causes the pitchers front foot to go up more then forward which with shorten their stride and give them less velocity and strength behind the ball. This will also cause pitchers to release the ball prematurely and make them less accurate.

The Causes:

There are a few different reasons as to why a pitcher may do this. One is leaning back can be caused by the pitcher trying to stride further ironically. It can also be a problem with how the pitcher is pushing off the mound. Also, if the pitcher has a problem with leaping or crow hopping this may be them trying to compensate for the back foot coming off the ground. A very common one is also the pitcher’s head, if the chin and/or eyes are up there is a good chance that could be causing the pitchers body to go up instead of forward.

How to fix it:

A drill that we suggest that forces pitchers to push off forward instead of up is starting in a track position on the mound and then go into their pitch. A good exercise to also help train pitchers’ bodies to jump forward is broad jump exercises.

I hope these explanations, drills, and exercises were able to help with your pitching. For even more help and custom feedback, check out our app SportsTrace.

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