Suzy grew up in Waterloo, Iowa where she was the first female to play in the boys baseball program. She was a 4 sport athlete in high school and was an all-state player in volleyball, basketball and softball. She played softball at the University of Iowa, where she also earned a B.S. in Physical Education. Suzy is currently the head coach of 18u Glory Gold, an ASA junior olympic gold team. She has been the head varsity coach at Episcopal and Chantilly High School and an assistant varsity softball coach at West Springfield High School. She has over 38 years of experience either as a player, coach or teaching professional. In addition to her private lessons, she has run or been an instructor for numerous youth, high school and college softball camps and clinics. Suzy gives instruction on all facets of the sport and is known for her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the game.
Softball Throwing Mechanics - Grips and Releases
Softball coach Suzy Willemssen demonstrates grips and releases for pitching.
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Hi, my name is Susie Willimson and I'm a Travel Ball in high school softball coach. I have Christie here with me and we are going to go over some basics softball skills. This one particular would be throwing and I will be going to be discussing now the proper grip when throwing a softball. With the softball, preferably you want to have what's called the C grip or you can have a backward C, and you want to take your three fingers, you can use two, but most hands aren't large enough so, you have a three finger grip. You want to make sure your finger tips at the first knuckle are across the same and you want to have your thumb underneath your index finger, what this is going to ensure that you'll have a more powerful and a more active throw. Like I said before, larger hands can use a two-finger grip and with that you would have it such that your thumb would be splitting the two fingers. So, that's how you want to grip the softball and preferably three finger grips also you just have your little pinky, little finger is just pretty much along for the ride. So, after we have our grip, we want to have a couple of things we want to make sure we are doing, and now will be going to be talking about our arm circle. Also you do notice with Christie's grip that we have the ball more in the finger tips, we don't have it jammed in her palm. So, again we want some space inhere as well. Now, we want to talk about the arm circle, which is very important. With the arm circle -- Christie, I'm just going to have you turn this way a little bit, there is a couple of things that you can keep in mind as far as like a little deduce. If you are going to be throwing from the outfield, you want thumb to thigh and when you are bringing your arm circle, go ahead Christie, you want it to be nice, loose circle and you want to make sure that you have your palm facing away. So, for an outfield throw again you are coming -- it's going to be thumb to thigh, palm away and then when she starts to throw she is going to be coming around, elbow leading, ball is snap down and through, we say wave, good day.
Now, for an infield throw, it's going to be more chest to thigh, a smaller circle again, the palm will be facing away, again coming through, leading with the elbow, snap down, coming off our index finger. Catchers, it would be thumb to ear, coming back for a quicker throw, again elbows leading, nice and easy arms back come snap down and through. So, those are some basic things to think about regarding grip and the arm circle, when we are doing our throwing mechanics.