Never Throw a Fastball?

There was a great post from Amanda Scarborough on social media that other day that raised a very important point about pitching and more importantly the thinking of some people who are coaching softball. Her point was a very powerful one that I wanted to share.

Too many pitchers are led to believe that as they improve and move up the ranks that the fastball becomes useless. That the fastball “isn’t even a pitch” or some other bill of goods that young pitchers get sold. Amanda’s discussion pretty much drives home the point that the fastball is too often underrated and undervalued.

Some of her key points:

  1. A very high percentage of college pitchers still throw a fastball. A fastball with movement is still a very effective pitch and can be used against even the best hitters.
  2. The fastball is a great tool for checking your mechanics. When your mechanics are good you can locate your fastball consistently. When you can locate your fastball you know you are doing a lot of things right.
  3. All of the spin pitches work off of the fastball mechanics. When your fastball is good it allows you to add all the spin pitches and have a solid fundamental base to work from.
  4. The importance of good fastball mechanics will be with every pitcher for as long as they pitch. Don’t be mislead into thinking they are not.
  5. Fastball does not equal meatball! Many pitchers throw a fastball with a great deal of movement which is very effective.

Once upon a time a pitching coach who I really respected told me that the fastball wasn’t a pitch and being young and dumb I agreed for a while. Well, I’m not young anymore!

Thanks Amanda for sharing this important message!