Proper grip is very crucial when holding a softball bat as well as the softball. The way you hold the ball will determine the accuracy and speed you can apply to it. Every softball player should understand how to grip the ball and practice the techniques.
The most usual type of grip is called the four-seam grip. It is when the ball rotates in one full rotation or from top to bottom, making the four seam visible and will travel parallel to the ground. This will allow you to throw the ball to a better path and gives it a good spin to add more velocity.
However, some softball coaches have made variations as how to properly grip a softball. Others believe that the four-seam grip tends to slow down the ball a bit thus, they opt to use the two-seams grip.
However for beginners, mastering the four seams grip is a good start. Below are some tips and instructions on how to grip your fast ball properly using the horseshoe or two-seams grip and the C-grip also known as the four-seams grip to get as much speed as possible.
Two-Types of Grip
The two-types are the two-seam and the four-seam grip, which is apparently named based on the number of seams visible when the ball is spinning in the air. The four-seam grip is considered the fastest and most consistent type which is good for beginners. The two-seams grip is not a usual go-to pitch, unlike the four-seam grip but, it can be good for a strikeout pitch.
- Grip the ball out of your palm. To find the proper seams, look at the ball and hold it up. You can find four “C”s, two backward and two forward. Grab across the “C-shape” with three to four of your fingers while your thumb is resting underneath. This may vary according to the size of ball.
- Make sure that your fingers are placed on the top part and the opening of the C is facing the other side. Your thumb should be placed in line with your middle finger so that your little finger can be tucked on the side and not actually gripping it.
- Curl the fingers slightly with the pad on the seam. The “curl” position will give the ball a major spin.
- Use your index, ring and middle finger then, place your fingertips across the ball’s seams. The C-shape could be opened to the right or left.
- Think of the seams as mini-brakes that will cause stopping once when the ball is thrown in the air. Hold the ball a bit looser and grip it slightly and avoid getting it deep in your palm.
- Instead of the usual four-seams grip, the horseshoe or two-seams grip will only have two-seams to spin in the air as it hurls to the home plate.
- Your thumb will support the ball and hold it. Place your fingers across the seam as if you are holding an egg. Make sure your fingers are placed in the “horseshoe”. You will feel the most pressure on your middle finger to make the ball spin on the right path.
- Upon releasing the ball, it should roll-off and snap with a backspin. Having a better grip over the ball will give you more control and higher velocity which is the whole point of a fast ball pitch.
Be Consistent with Your Grip
Keep in mind that your grip will have a significant impact on other particulars such as ball movement and wrist snap. Likewise, it will affect the feel of the softball in your hand and the basic comfort.
Moreover, a good grip should have that consistent feel, has established a firm, yet slightly loose, enough to prevent it from slipping out of your hand. It will also better if you anticipate natural movements of the ball itself.
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Both the two-seams and four-seams grip can be accomplished by having the thumb and fingers on the seams but, you will experience two different reactions from the softball itself when released.
With the two-seams grip, the ball is spinning downward and its long seams will move through the air, causing the swerving effect. The good thing about it is that it adds natural movement to the ball, making a valuable addition to rather, just a straight pitch. But, if you aim for a precise target, use the four-seams grip.
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