Some pitchers use a nasty expression or a loud mouth to intimidate the competition. They are the hurlers who usually get whiplash when they get pounded like it’s batting practice. This season, when you’re on the mound, let your game do the talking with rise ball advice from USA Softball star Monica Abbott.
According to Abbott, legendary University of Tennessee pitcher, a sick rise ball can silence opponents’ sticks. “The more you can make their eyes move in, move out, up, and move down, the better chance you’re going to have…striking them out or getting them to hit a weak fly ball or weak ground ball,” she says. “It’s not an easy pitch to learn, but it’s definitely a very effective pitch once you master it.”
Check out the following tips from Abbott on how to hurl a rise ball. Soon you’ll be dominating opposing batters without saying a word.
1. Use a split-fingered grip on the ball. Place your middle and ring fingers on the seams.
2. Apply pressure on the seams. The more you can push down on the seams with your middle and ring fingers, the more spin you’ll have.
3. During the first half of your pitching circle, as you move your arm up, rotate your wrist outward. Bring your arm straight up by your ear to get in good position for the second half of your pitching circle.
4. Keep your arm as straight as possible throughout the pitching circle. Lock your elbow and keep your arm as tight to your body as possible.
5. As your hand reaches your hip, snap your wrist up to throw the ball to the plate. Make sure to stay under the ball by keeping your arm long and letting your wrist and snap take care of the spin. Snap your wrist like you are opening a doorknob on your follow through.