Teaching how to properly hold a softball...

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May 13, 2023
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Can most certainly throw with backspin without using 4 seams and as I said before catchers have to spit it out so fast that they don't have time to find seams. I just think the ball tracks better using four seams. Does it add carry? IDK. It just looks better too. Oh, and you can most certainly grip the ball correctly (seams or no seams) and impart poor knuckle curve spin by having poor throwing mechanics which is a much bigger problem than seams or no seams. If you take a softball and wrap a piece of electrical tape around the equator of the ball (I would use four seams) players should be able to throw the ball and keep the equator stay in tact. It wont be 6 to 12 spin but more 10:30 to 4:30. Smaller hands will have a hard time getting thumb on the tape but still should be able to maintain the equator. Its not that every throw a softball player makes will have perfect spin but this is a starting point. In my estimation, less than half of TB softball players grip or throw correctly.
Appreciate you responding and detail👍
 
May 13, 2023
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Now I'm curious, for all of you who throw with a specific grip where in the throwing process do you find that grip?

I give pitching lessons to an 11 yr old. When we warm up overhand she takes the ball out of her glove, holds it against her side while she finds the four seam grip, then takes her arm back and throws. I don't like it but that's what her travel coach wants. To me she's getting addicted to a certain feel and when she doesn't have time to find that grip it could lead to a bad throw.
Guessing you have her hold the ball a certain way for her pitching. Where does she grip the ball when she's doing that?
in her glove? Or on her side?


Holy mackerel...🤪
Coach telling to sort the seams on the side of her body ...what the heck... completely not part of any fielding throwing mechanics = Yucky
 
Last edited:
May 15, 2008
1,927
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Cape Cod Mass.
Holy mackerel...🤪
Coach telling to sort the seams on the side of her body ...what the heck... completely not part of any fielding throwing mechanics = Yucky
I don't think the coach gave specific direction on taking the grip, just that she had to have the 4 seam grip when throwing. He probably doesn't even notice what she's doing. With her small hands she can't reorient the seams without bracing the ball in some form.

When pitching she takes the grip in the glove.
 
May 13, 2023
1,538
113
I don't think the coach gave specific direction on taking the grip, just that she had to have the 4 seam grip when throwing. He probably doesn't even notice what she's doing.
🙄
With her small hands she can't reorient the seams without bracing the ball in some form.
When pitching she takes the grip in the glove.
Wonder why then she would use her side instead of her glove? Hmmm 🤔
 
Jan 22, 2011
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Austin Wasserman says 4 seams grip isn't necessary for softball infield throws, except maybe longer shortstop throws deep in the hole. For the distance most softball throws 4 seam grip doesn't matter. Good to try to find seams, but 4 seam grip not needed.

As someone mentioned, the important thing is to get the thumb under the ball, since with the size of ball a lot of players don't do that.
 
May 15, 2008
1,927
113
Cape Cod Mass.
I found a fascinating study on seam orientation in regards to lift and drag, if you can deal with the format it shows that things are different from what the common wisdom holds. The difference in lift between 2 and 4 seam orientation using pure machine generated backspin is minimal, .017 and .018. If you factor in a random grip, which would be the average of the two numbers, and the fact that most overhand throws have tilted backspin then there is essentially no difference between a 4 seam grip and a random grip. What's also interesting is that the drag number for 4 seams is higher than for 2 seams, meaning that a 4 seam throw with backspin will lose more velocity than one with 2 seams, however the effect seems minimal. The study is done with baseballs. It's a downloaded PDF and I can't link to it but here is the title.

Investigation of the Aerodynamic Drag of Baseballs
with Gyro Spin
 
Apr 20, 2018
4,605
113
SoCal
Why do MLB pitchers throw their 4 seam FB faster than their 2 seam? I think with the 2 seam FB they grip the ever so slightly off center and call it a cutter.
 

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