The Step Drag
The most common pitching delivery is the step drag style. Let’s take a moment to go through what happens in order to pitch this style.
Here are some definitions that will be good to know as we get deeper into the subject of pitching.
The power line is an imaginary line that runs from the toe of your pivot foot to the middle (for now) of home plate.
The pivot foot for a right handed thrower is the fight foot, the left foot for a left handed thrower.
The pitching plate is the rectangular rubber starting point for the pitcher.
The pitching circle is the 8 foot radius circle around the pitching plate.
Here is a quick overview of the step-drag style of pitching.
The pitcher assumes her starting position with the heel of her pivot foot and the toe of the other foot on the pitching plate. The ball is in her pitching hand and her arms are at her side. She leans in slightly and takes the signal (or appears to take a signal) from the catcher. (ASA rule) When she has received the signal from the catcher, she brings the ball and glove together in front of her and pauses for a second, but not more than 10 seconds. (ASA rules) She then starts her hands in motion in, what I refer to as, her own personal style.
Her own personal style could be a circular motion in front of her, an upward extension of both hands followed with both hands coming down with the glove slapping against her thigh and her pitching hand reaching back toward 2nd base.
Her hand starts forward past her hip and at the same time the hand passes her hip to the point that it is strait over head, she will pivot on the pivot foot and step with the other foot to a point where her toe is on the power line about 3 feet in front of her pivot foot. Her toes, hips and shoulders should all be lined up with the pivot line and her body should be facing3rd base for a right hander and 1st base for a left hander. The arm continues in a full circle from above her head down to pointing at 2nd base, continuing down toward the ground. As the hand comes to her hip, she will then rotate the shoulders and hips toward home plate as her toe on the pivot foot pushes of the pitching plate and drags to the heel of her other foot.
(ASA rule the toe of the pivot foot is supposed to stay in contact with the ground, most umpires do not call it illegal if the toe comes off the ground as long as it is not replanted somewhere in front of the pitching plate and re used as a new push off point (aka crow-hop).
As her hand passes the hip, she will start to release the thumb from the ball and allow it to roll off her finger tips while pushing the ball with a powerful wrist snap and allowing the elbow to bend until she follows through with her fingers pointing at her shoulder and her elbow somewhere in line with the power line. She will then bring her glove up in front of her and flex her knees in an athletic position prepared to field (or protect herself) anything that may be hit back at her. She will do this with relaxed muscles all the way through the pitching motion. Relaxed muscles are quicker than tight muscles.
There you have it, a quick overview of the easy step drag style of pitching. We will break this down into more teachable/learnable components in several other pages from the main pitching mechanics page.
From The Step Drag Return to Pitching Mechanics
From Step Drag Return to Coaching-Fastpitch Home Page