The reason no one uses is because it is starting to become a lost art because there are not many out there who teach can teach the sling slot mechanics.. Some of the better pitchers in both men's and women's game from the very begining of fast ptich until maybe late 70's used the slingslot. I teach it to my younger pitchers as an additional pitch to use. Believe me when hitters, coaches, parents and blues see it for the 1st time they come unglued. The offsetting of the hitters timing with this pitch is very profound and the coaches go crazy because they never seen it and do not know how to teach their batters to hit it. I have had numerous pitchers at the allstar level in ASA win Districts, State and B Western Nationals using the sling shot. They stopped using it when the baseball guys started taking over the softball league and only used a fb and cu.
I don't think that there are any cons to it. I am one of those women that is still around from the 60s and 70s.
If you want to compare it to the windmill, put a radar gun on your DD with her doing the windmill and then compare it to her speed doing her power Ks. I have found that the speed can be greater from the power K, which is essentially the slingshot.
The saying that softball pitching is a more natural motion came from using the sling shot motion, not the windmill. The windmill is not a natural motion, at all.
I can teach it. The grips are the same. But, the pitcher bends forward more and sort of "pops up" on release of the ball.
I'm interested to hear what the slingshot is and if it might be mixed in with windmilling by the same pitcher successfully.
From the sound of it, it is basically a slow-pitch softball type delivery, or one you might see very young girls not trained in the windmill doing routinely to pitch underhand.
As I read here, I'm getting visions of a more advanced windmiller working this in...morphing it into a pull back to around 2 o'clock with the ball, stepping early either during pull back or at 2 o'clock and launching the ball on the initial downswing thereby 'quick-pitching' the batter or at least severely screwing with her timing. This would effectively be a changeup, not in terms of velocity but in terms of the pitching motion and what point the ball gets thrown. In baseball this is called 'a different look.' It has never occurred to me until perusing this fairly new-to-me site that this might be a possibility. It sounds like a great second or third strike pitch if thrown fairly close to FB speed.
1. Can most girls with above average talent learn to successfully mix this delivery into a steady diet of windmill pitches or is it best to stick with one delivery style?
2. Hal S., is this one of the things you promote/teach in your book as a way to limit the number of well hit balls by keeping batters guessing and off balance. Where can I get that book again...
3. What to do with the glove hand when slingshotting. The only real options seem to be to either lead the ball with the glove and raise it above the ball at or just before release(glove goes to 4:00 ball side on back swing and up to around 12 o'clock follow thru).
Glove stays close to chest as hands seperate. Then as ball reaches 2 o'clock and begins down-forward swing, the glove makes a motion similar to what it does in windmilling but more of an arching jab from the chest. You end up throwing almost like a 'K' drill.
A similar pitch would be to modify this to make it legal by taking out the circle follow thru. (Link and then click on 'ephus pitch' ):
Good softball games are decided by 1 or 2 runs. A single mistake by a pitcher can lead to losing the game. If a team gets down by 2 runs against a good team, the game is over. The pitcher has to be great starting with the very first batter.
Therefore, the pitcher has to consistently get the hitters out. To get the good hitters out three times during a game, a pitcher has to change speeds, have a great breaking pitch, a good fastball and great control. Nothing else works. The hitters are too good.
Every minute that you spend teaching your DD how to pitch both windmill and slingshot is one less minute you have to focus on changing speeds, breaking pitches and velocity.
Look at pro baseball--there are different ways to deliver a pitch, yet the pitchers use a single style throughout the game. If there was some magical advantage to changing styles, you would see the pros do it all the time.
Constantly throwing the windmill style in a game then all of sudden throw a sling shot or a change up sling shot will definitely change the rythm of the pitchers pitch and will off set the batter timing. I have seen it in the men's, women's and jo level. I was not good at using the sling shot so I never used it but the men who did were something special to watch. I have actually seen kids swing in the middle of a sling shot even before she released the ball. I seen it work in fastpitch and many professional baseball pitchers will alter their delivery from time to time to get a very good batter out. Watch this summer and listen to the commentator and you will hear him say he dropped his shoulder a little to change the projection of his release to offset the hitter timing on that pitch is one of numerous changes a pitcher will use in their delivery.