Maybe you've noticed a trend in high school softball pitching—most pitchers don't throw fastballs in games. It's possible for a pitcher to succeed by forgoing the fastball in favor of movement pitches. But more often than not, pitchers who throw mostly breaking pitches lose form mid-season, and what may have worked early no longer works.
Why are so many pitchers abandoning fastballs? The normal warm-up routine includes Snaps—pitching motions that involve the arm stretching down and being held stationary except for the wrist. Snaps are used to strengthen the wrist and forearm so the pitcher can gain velocity. But because the drill teaches pitchers to release the ball with their fingers directly behind it, it also produces a flat fastball, which is easy to hit. It's not effective, so coaches and catchers leave it out of game situations.
If you're trying to get stronger, lift weights. Use the drill below to add more spin, speed, and downward motion to your fastball.
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