Softball expects you to be great at a few things; one of them is throwing a drop ball. It is the basic and the most important skill to learn as a Softball player. It involves pitching directly towards a pitcher until the ball changes course downwards, quickly, facing the ground. A good drop ball gives the Pitcher total control over his game.
As the ball is directed towards diving into dirt, it becomes difficult to hit with a batter’s bat; hence, you could get as many ground ball-outs as possible. With the ball-outs, you get a chance at the runners on different bases – second and third, mostly. However, before you start, you should ensure that the bases are properly loaded.
Depending on personal preference, you should know a bit about fastball before dropball. A fastball gives you an edge to increase speed and combine a higher spin and velocity so that when throwing a drop ball, you have more time to reach other bases. If you know either, you are one step to becoming a better Softball player.
What Are The Ways to Throw A Drop Ball?
Throwing a drop ball seems easy, and there’s so much honesty in that. Generally, there are two ways to throw efficiently – Peel Drop Ball and Turn Over Drop Ball. You can choose from either after considering the 4 independent components involved – Spin, Release, Posture, and Follow Through. Check below for their descriptions.
Peel Drop Ball
Spin: Pitching a peel drop ball isn’t so difficult; it is beginner-friendly, as the spinning suggests. This pitch allows you to spin forward so that the ball breaks downwards. In the process of spinning, the ball moves against air at a much higher velocity.
An efficient way of spinning is spreading the fingers evenly on the softball’s seams and taking the pitch. The fingers take a different positioning for most professionals –the index and middle fingers forming a V-shape with the ring finger while touching the seams.
Release: At the point where you take the pitch, you release a specific way, so you don’t snap your fingers; if you do, it may affect the spin. Therefore, what you do is let the peel off your fingers by releasing your thumb first and finally the middle finger. If you do that, there is a good chance that you will achieve a forward spin.
Posture: The way you stand or position yourself also has a part to play in the quality of your spin. Your stance and body weight are indeed contributing factors. It would be best if you let your entire body lean forward, forming an angle with the ground towards the direction you are aiming. Now, you should be careful with the way your head moves; its direction is responsible for where other body parts follow.
Follow Through: Just at the point where you release the softball with your posture playing a role in the spin, you need to make sure your arm is at a 100-degree angle. In the follow-through, you should also ensure your fingers are directly pointed at a catcher’s glove so that it changes direction almost immediately, leaving such a person confused.
Turn Over Drop Ball
Spin: In a turnover drop ball pitch, the aim remains the same – to spin a softball forward. That means you still keep your fingertips at the 4 seams of the ball for a good spin. You could also try the other middle and index finger with the ring finger method forming a V shape to make this spinning pitch.
Release: Where the differences start between a Peel and a Turn Over Drop Ball is the Release. There is a specific way the wrist has to be positioned to ensure it is done correctly. The wrist should snap around quickly such that your hand changes course from under to over the ball. In summary, the insides of your hand should be facing right up when releasing.
Posture: The next thing you should consider is your posture so that the ball follows the direction you want it to. Keep your entire weight on a stride foot and lean forward with the body forming an angle with the ground. In the same vein, keep your head in the right direction because the body follows in that direction.
Follow Through: As you are about to release the ball, keep the whole body angled forward towards a catcher’s glove so that it spins right off before getting to the catcher.
Achieving the perfect drop ball may not be possible on your first trial, even though it is quite easy, irrespective of the methods. Also, if you have been trying for a while to throw the ideal drop ball, you may have been doing it all wrong – it could be the spin, release, or posture. With this comprehensive guide on how to throw a drop ball in Softball, you should have nothing to worry about anymore.