Windmill Pitching Mechanics

Basic fundamentals for the Right handed pitcher

Coach Al Rutcofsky

Get a grip

Hold the ball in your fingers, using a three finger grip across the seams (Look at the seams on a softball. Look where they form the letter C. Put the 'pads' of the finger tips across the top of the C seam). Try to hold the thumb on the seam on the other side of the ball if you can reach it. There should be some space between the palm and the ball.

Stance

Watch your feet.

The pitching rubber measures 24 inches long and 6 inches wide. Two feet must be in contact with the pitching rubber at the start of the motion. The heel of the right foot should be over the front of the rubber. The toe of the left foot should be against the back of the rubber. At this point, the pitcher is balanced with her shoulders squared towards home plate.  The pitcher has a grip on the ball. She is holding the ball in her glove in front of her, about belt high.

Start the motion

The pitcher shifts her weight back, onto her left foot. She then leans forward, bending slightly at the knees, transfering her weight onto her right foot. At the same time tucking the ball and glove down to her right hip, (or swing right hand down and back).  In this part of the windup the pitcher is building momentum for the stride.

The Stride

Throw your hands out. The pitcher aggresively moves (throws) her hands out and up towards home plate, starting the windmill circle.  The ball hand separates from the glove in a palm down position.  At the same time the pitcher strides forward with her left foot, rotating her body to the point where she is almost squared to 3rd base. Looking at her from 3rd base her body would resemble the letter K.

Power K position

The pitcher is now in full stride. Her stride foot is at approximately a 45 degree angle, in reference to home plate. She is balanced with her head over her center of gravity in a strong athletic position.  Her glove is pointing in the direction of home plate.  At this point, pitcher's palm and the ball should be facing towards 3rd base.

Delivery

From the power position: the pitching hand comes down with force until it reaches the power leg, (right leg), finishing the circle.  Her palm is now on top of the ball. The glove hand also comes down to the stride leg.  The pitcher's body starts to rotate back, in the direction of home plate.

Wrist Snap

Finally, the release. The wrist snap is the last step in the power chain.  Her pitching arm has reached the bottom of the circle.  Her hand is facing palm down on top of the ball. The pitcher's wrist is cocked back towards 2nd base. The power she has built up in her motion transfers through the ball, as her wrist snaps forward on the release.

Follow Through

Her hand continues in its path and the arm flexes upward. Pitcher's eyes are still on the target as she gets to a balanced athletic position. Glove is up, ready to field.