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Teaching to spin

Aug 21, 2008
1,210
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As a quick note: There is no peel drop. There is no roll over drop. The mechanics are the same. The difference between a fastball and a drop is the speed of the IR of the forearm. The faster the IR, the more 12-6 spin you get.

There are two parts to increasing spin on a drop ball:
a) Increase speed of forearm rotation.
b) Finger snap at release

FOREARM ROTATION

The palm goes from:

(1) Palm up at 9
(2) Palm facing 3B
(3) Palm facing home at release. (This is mandatory, of course.)
(4) Palm facing 1B.
(5) Palm down.

For a normal fastball, the IR rotation is slow. For a drop ball, the IR rotation is faster. The rotation is compressed.

I've attached a picture of Sarah Pauling. The picture on the left is her throwing a fastball. The picture on the right is her throwing a drop. The palm rotates to facing 1B sooner on the drop than for a fastball. This means that the IR is faster, which results in greater spin on the ball than the normal fastball. Attached is Folkard throwing a drop ball. Notice that the palm is facing 3B and the hand is below his belt.

The next picture shows the positions of my DD's hand and Sarah's hand after release of a drop ball. In both pictures, you see how quickly the hand has gone from facing 3B to facing 1B.

THE CLAW

The final picture shows Sarah Pauly's hand and my DD's hand immediately after release. Notice the weird position of the fingers and thumb. My DD says that the thumb and fingers "snap" at release. A good drop occurs whenever she heard an audible snap of the fingers and thumb at release.

THE DRILL

This is the drill my DD came up within college to work on her drop ball release. If she was having trouble with her drop, she would do this drill.

The first pitch is so-so. The next two pitches are *BAD*. The ball has a tremendous amount of top spin on the ball. However, the release is too late, causing the ball to jump forward. The fourth and fifth release are good. When the ball goes back up, the pitch is good. When the ball jumps forward due to the top spin, the pitch is bad.


Gonna have to disagree with Sluggers on part of his reply. I don't think there's a difference in speed of any kind between a "fastball" and a drop. My thoughts on having a "fastball" to begin with are well known, about how silly that pitch is to have.

The difference between a "fastball" and a dropball is simple release point. That's it. Don't over complicate it. ASSUMING she has good rotation on the ball, if her "fastball" has a drop to it, then she's already throwing a drop. The difference between that dropball and a "fastball" is where she releases the ball. The later of a release, the more of an upward trajectory the ball has out of hand and stays flat. The earlier release (combined with straight spin) means the ball doesn't have to fight that upward angle and the spin will take over make it drop.

As I've said before, the hardest part of the dropball is the simplicity of it. It's not pulling up on the ball to "peel" it hard. That simply doesn't make sense to refute the whip generated in the pitch by telling someone to pull up on the ball at release. That contradicts everything else trying to be done in throwing a ball hard. And the turn-over drop? Well, I still think 99% who throw this pitch actually roll the ball off the fingers (like a natural peel drop) then they do all those crazy motions of turning the hand over or having some big exaggerated move with the shoulder..... but the ball is already gone!!!!!!!!1 All those goofy motions you're doing are pointless because the ball has already been released naturally, so someone please explain all those exaggerated movements!! But the worst part of the turn over drop, the way the majority teach it includes a drastically shortened stride (which also usually means they didn't push off the rubber for power either), then a release and follow through that look 100% different from any other pitch. How does this even make sense to people? If I was a baseball coach, and I said "we're gonna throw our fastball like this.... but then when you throw something with movement, you're going to step wildly to the side (or stride differently somehow) and you're going to alter your release so it completely defies how you try to throw something as fast as possible" NOBODY would listen to anything else I had to say. You'd think "This guy is nucking futs!" But somehow in softball, this is almost considered NORMAL! People buy into this. Because a HUGE portion of the dads out there didn't play fastpitch softball so they simply don't know any better. I don't exactly blame them, without first hand knowledge their going to listen to someone who knows, or claims to know about pitching. And along comes Joe Blow who's degree in pitching comes because his daughter was good. Or even better, your DD's idol is a former US Olympic pitcher who is a great role model, has her own sporting goods line, etc. so you take your kid to her "pitching camp" only to find out she actually pitches 1000000% differently than she teaches.

Everyone, I'm begging you. Please don't start buying into this crap about 9 different pitches. I know some of you are thinking "How did he go from talking about the drop to someone having 9 pitches?" Because this is how it starts. A conversation about the drop, straight rotation that 99.9999999% pitching coaches in the world will agree is correct. But this conversation will take turns such as: well if she does this or that, the ball will ALSO screw or curve.... Then we'll have a CROP pitch. Trust me people, the CROP is a load of CRAP.

A lot of people make pitching infinitely harder than it needs to be.

Bill
 
Gonna have to disagree with Sluggers on part of his reply. I don't think there's a difference in speed of any kind between a "fastball" and a drop. My thoughts on having a "fastball" to begin with are well known, about how silly that pitch is to have.

The difference between a "fastball" and a dropball is simple release point. That's it. Don't over complicate it. ASSUMING she has good rotation on the ball, if her "fastball" has a drop to it, then she's already throwing a drop. The difference between that dropball and a "fastball" is where she releases the ball. The later of a release, the more of an upward trajectory the ball has out of hand and stays flat. The earlier release (combined with straight spin) means the ball doesn't have to fight that upward angle and the spin will take over make it drop.

As I've said before, the hardest part of the dropball is the simplicity of it. It's not pulling up on the ball to "peel" it hard. That simply doesn't make sense to refute the whip generated in the pitch by telling someone to pull up on the ball at release. That contradicts everything else trying to be done in throwing a ball hard. And the turn-over drop? Well, I still think 99% who throw this pitch actually roll the ball off the fingers (like a natural peel drop) then they do all those crazy motions of turning the hand over or having some big exaggerated move with the shoulder..... but the ball is already gone!!!!!!!!1 All those goofy motions you're doing are pointless because the ball has already been released naturally, so someone please explain all those exaggerated movements!! But the worst part of the turn over drop, the way the majority teach it includes a drastically shortened stride (which also usually means they didn't push off the rubber for power either), then a release and follow through that look 100% different from any other pitch. How does this even make sense to people? If I was a baseball coach, and I said "we're gonna throw our fastball like this.... but then when you throw something with movement, you're going to step wildly to the side (or stride differently somehow) and you're going to alter your release so it completely defies how you try to throw something as fast as possible" NOBODY would listen to anything else I had to say. You'd think "This guy is nucking futs!" But somehow in softball, this is almost considered NORMAL! People buy into this. Because a HUGE portion of the dads out there didn't play fastpitch softball so they simply don't know any better. I don't exactly blame them, without first hand knowledge their going to listen to someone who knows, or claims to know about pitching. And along comes Joe Blow who's degree in pitching comes because his daughter was good. Or even better, your DD's idol is a former US Olympic pitcher who is a great role model, has her own sporting goods line, etc. so you take your kid to her "pitching camp" only to find out she actually pitches 1000000% differently than she teaches.

Everyone, I'm begging you. Please don't start buying into this crap about 9 different pitches. I know some of you are thinking "How did he go from talking about the drop to someone having 9 pitches?" Because this is how it starts. A conversation about the drop, straight rotation that 99.9999999% pitching coaches in the world will agree is correct. But this conversation will take turns such as: well if she does this or that, the ball will ALSO screw or curve.... Then we'll have a CROP pitch. Trust me people, the CROP is a load of CRAP.

A lot of people make pitching infinitely harder than it needs to be.

Bill
remember Im just trying to learn that’s why I’m asking questions but what I got from you is learn the fastball then release the fastball early it will be a drop then don’t throw the fastball anymore. Simplicity
 
Aug 21, 2008
1,210
113
Yes, simplicity. If she gets straight rotation on her "fastball' then you'll notice it dropping when she throws it, then there you have it. No crazy drills. No changing the motion. No altering the delivery. Nothing. Again, assuming you have 6/12 spin on the pitch, you'll notice them drop during her pitching sessions. Going back to throwing it straight would be counter productive.

Bill
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,226
113
Dallas, Texas
The difference between a "fastball" and a dropball is simple release point. That's it.

Bill
You are describing a low fastball. If there is no more spin on the ball than a fastball, then the ball is not going to move relative to the fastball.

We've been through this before, but my DD did not have a curve, rise, or even a changeup. The only pitches she had were a fastball and a drop. She had tremendous control with her fastball and drop, and she changed speeds with her pitches.

Nevertheless, she got her college paid for, won a closet full of awards, played twice in the D1 Juco national championship, and was all-conference in a mid-major D1 conference. The best compliment she got was from an Ohio State player she ran into after she graduated...the OSU player said,, "I like you now. But, we hated you when we played you."

This is a video from a couple of years ago of my DD throwing a drop. The ball goes from waist high to six inches from the ground.


This is the side view of her release. You can see the finger snap more clearly.

 
Jan 28, 2017
929
43
You are describing a low fastball. If there is no more spin on the ball than a fastball, then the ball is not going to move relative to the fastball.

We've been through this before, but my DD did not have a curve, rise, or even a changeup. The only pitches she had were a fastball and a drop. She had tremendous control with her fastball and drop, and she changed speeds with her pitches.

Nevertheless, she got her college paid for, won a closet full of awards, played twice in the D1 Juco national championship, and was all-conference in a mid-major D1 conference. The best compliment she got was from an Ohio State player she ran into after she graduated...the OSU player said,, "I like you now. But, we hated you when we played you."

This is a video from a couple of years ago of my DD throwing a drop. The ball goes from waist high to six inches from the ground.


This is the side view of her release. You can see the finger snap more clearly.

Love to see her FB also
 
Aug 21, 2008
1,210
113
You are describing a low fastball. If there is no more spin on the ball than a fastball, then the ball is not going to move relative to the fastball.

We've been through this before, but my DD did not have a curve, rise, or even a changeup. The only pitches she had were a fastball and a drop. She had tremendous control with her fastball and drop, and she changed speeds with her pitches.

Nevertheless, she got her college paid for, won a closet full of awards, played twice in the D1 Juco national championship, and was all-conference in a mid-major D1 conference. The best compliment she got was from an Ohio State player she ran into after she graduated...the OSU player said,, "I like you now. But, we hated you when we played you."

This is a video from a couple of years ago of my DD throwing a drop. The ball goes from waist high to six inches from the ground.


This is the side view of her release. You can see the finger snap more clearly.

With all due respect to your daughter Sluggers, I am not talking about a "low fastball'. I don't even know what that is, aside from the obvious meaning. You mean someone would want a "high fastball" that again doesn't move? And I thought riseball was a dangerous pitch!

I'm glad your DD got her education paid for and had a good career at her college. Truly. And there is no question that simply keeping the ball down and changing speeds will win a good percentage of games. Just ask Mike White, that was his bread and butter (down and change). And he's on the Mt Rushmore of all time great pitchers (both genders). Riseballs win you games, dropballs win you championships.

And I still maintain that hitting has come A LONG way in the last 20 years. Hitters are better than ever at seeing differences in motions to know what pitch is coming.

I still maintain Sluggers, your DD threw a peel drop. Especially based on the side view video you posted. The ball clearly rolls off her finger times (same way it does on my own fingers) when thrown. All that action she does afterwards is quite pointless. She's throwing a peel drop not a rollover.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,226
113
Dallas, Texas
For a rollover her wrist should be bent back (extension) as she comes over the ball and it looks pretty flat to me.
There is no rollover drop. It is impossible to have the hand go over the ball.

The term "peel drop" is misleading. That implies that there is another ways to throw a drop. There isn't. The hand has to behind the ball at release.

Why are some drop balls good and why do some suck? Some don't have enough spin on the ball to make it move relative to the pitcher's fastball. (If the two pitches have the same spin, there is no difference in the movement.)

The amount of spin on the ball depends upon how quickly the arm IRs at release. Faster IR --> Greater spin.

As the arm IRs, the ball is released. The arm doesn't stop IRing just because the ball is released. The faster the arm is IRing, the longer it takes for the IR to stop. This rapid IRing creates the weird arm positions after release. The pictures are of Finch and Osterman.
 

Attachments

May 15, 2008
713
43
Cape Cod Mass.
The only pitches she had were a fastball and a drop.
In those two photos the finishes are the same as they would be if the fingers went over the top of the ball. The finish for both types of drops are similar. I'm not saying those two pitchers are throwing a rollover drop, I'm sure they aren't. I have seen rollover drops, the action is not difficult to detect. I think they are a waste of time. A lot times there is a little curveball spin which can make the pitch effect.

OK, this is also the time to bring up a question that I have had in the back of my mind for a long time but never asked. What kind of spin does her fastball have? I see fastball mentioned in thread after thread but the spin that this pitch has, or should have, is never brought up or specified.
 
Sep 19, 2018
241
43
OK, this is also the time to bring up a question that I have had in the back of my mind for a long time but never asked. What kind of spin does her fastball have? I see fastball mentioned in thread after thread but the spin that this pitch has, or should have, is never brought up or specified.
I BELIEVE I have this correct from one of boardmembers old threads, but as a catcher we want to see 11 to 5 rotation. Or is it 12 to 6 with just a tiny bit of yaw? Isn't that a confident and definitive answer!!!
 
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