Types Of Softball Pitching Styles [Easy Step-By-Step Guide]

Softball is a popular sport that has been enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels for decades. One of the key elements of this game is pitching, which involves throwing the ball in a specific manner to outmaneuver the opposing team.

As collegiate softball has evolved over the years, so have the techniques and styles of pitching. From underhand motion to overhand, windmill to slingshot, there are various styles of pitching that players can choose from. Each pitching style has its unique characteristics, advantages, and challenges.

Here, we will explore the softball pitching styles players commonly use today. Whether you are looking to learn to improve your skills, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable insights into the various techniques used in softball pitching.

Types Of Softball Pitching Styles

8 Types Of Softball Pitching Styles – Follow the Steps Below

8 Types Of Softball Pitching Styles – Follow the Steps Below

Pitching in softball is an essential part of the game. There are many different pitching styles that you can use to get batters out, and it’s important to master at least one of them. The fastball is the most commonly used pitching style, usually a strikeout pitch.

It would help if you used your curveball to get hitters out when they’re not expecting it and mix in your changeup occasionally. A slider can be an effective tool for getting batters swinging at strikes, while a slow curve can help keep them off balance. Practice your pitches frequently to execute them quickly and easily on game day. Here are some types.

The Windup

The Windup

Pitching styles can be intimidating for beginners, but don’t worry – there’s a perfect one for you. The windup is the most common pitching style and is easy to learn. To start, get into a comfortable position – standing or sitting – with your back leg pushed off the ground.

Then, start throwing the ball placement with as much velocity as possible before it reaches the batter. Most windup pitchers maintain a certain rhythm while they wind up, which helps them achieve maximum velocity on their pitches. So, if you’re ready to take your softball game to the next level, start learning the windup.

The Sidearm

Softball pitchers have many different pitching styles, but a sidearm is a great option because it allows the pitcher to keep their arm loose. This gives the ball coaches more velocity, which makes it easier to control and hit. When throwing from behind the plate, use your shorter arm to ensure you are in position for a catch. Practice with this pitching style to perfect it for your game.

The Four-Seam Fastball

Different softball pitching styles exist; the four-seam fastball is among the most popular. It’s a sinking pitch that travels in on the shoulder of the batter. When thrown correctly, it will curve away from the hitter and be difficult to hit. Different variations of this pitch – like a two-seamer or slider – can also throw batters off balance. So, whatever pitch style you prefer, use it to your advantage and throw it accurately. With softball, every pitch counts, so make sure to put your best stride foot forward.

The Changeup

The Changeup

The changeup is a softball pitching style that gets hitters off balance. It’s a quick, consistent degree through release of the ball from your hand and is often used to get high-ground balls. When throwing the changeup, it’s important to keep your arm tight so the ball doesn’t fly out of your hand too easily. To perfect this pitching style, practice it on batting practice by using different speeds and angles. Don’t forget to use it in games, too.

The Curveball

Pitching softball is an important skill, and it can be tricky to perfect your curveball. That’s where a good coach comes in. A good coach will help you learn the different pitching styles and how to rotate your arm to throw the spinning ball.

As with anything else, practice makes perfect. So, get in plenty of pitching sessions with your coach to hone your skills. And don’t forget to keep your unique pitching style hidden until the game is underway – you don’t want to give the other team an easy time.

The Drop Ball

Softball pitching is an important skill that every player should be able to use effectively. There are various pitching styles, and the Drop ball is one of the most popular. This throw uses more downward motion movement than other styles, making it easier to control the ball.

Use your delivery speed and power to make this pitch an effective weapon against batters. Be sure to practice regularly to perfect the Drop ball.

The Rise Ball

The Rise Ball

The rise ball is one of the most popular and successful pitching drag styles. It uses a higher arm action and is often used to strike out batters. This style can be difficult for beginners, but it’s essential to becoming a better pitcher. Make sure to practice this style regularly if you want to be successful. And remember – a rise ball is always a good option for generating Balls in the Air (BIA).

The Submarine

Softball fans everywhere know the submarine pitching style – it’s one of the most effective pitching contact styles. For those unfamiliar, the submarine pitching style is a slow pitch that starts with the pitcher on their backside. Their arm and hand are bent, so the ball moves underneath them, allowing for more control over the ball.

Always keep your body upright when throwing this pitch – no diving or sliding! This pitching style can be effective when combined with other pitches, like sliders or curveballs. Try the submarine style if you want to add a new dimension to your pitching arsenal. You might be surprised at how well it performs.

Choosing The Right Pitching Style For You

Choosing The Right Pitching Style For You

Softball pitching styles vary widely across players and teams, reflecting the diversity and uniqueness of the sport. Understanding the different pitching styles is crucial for players and coaches to develop effective strategies and make informed game decisions. Here are Choosing the right pitching style for you:

  • Consider your pitching goals and objectives
  • Assess your physical capabilities and strengths
  • Evaluate different closed-style pitching and techniques
  • Seek guidance from pitching coaches or experts
  • Practice and refine your chosen pitching Closed pitching style
  • Adapt and adjust as needed based on feedback and performance

Training And Conditioning For Pitchers

Training and conditioning for pitchers involves specific exercises and drills to improve their pitching skills and overall performance. This type of training aims to enhance arm strength, flexibility, speed, and endurance while preventing injuries commonly associated with pitching. Some common training methods for pitchers include:

  1. Long Toss: This exercise gradually increases the throwing distance to build arm strength and improve accuracy.
  2. Plyometric Exercises: These explosive movements, such as medicine ball throws or box jumps, help develop power in the legs and core, essential for generating pitching velocity.
  3. Resistance Training: Weightlifting exercises targeting the upper body, such as shoulder presses and bicep curls, can improve muscular strength and stability.
  4. Flexibility And Mobility Exercises: Stretching routines and exercises focused on shoulder and hip mobility can help prevent injuries and improve pitching mechanics.
  5. Cardiovascular Conditioning: Pitchers need good cardiovascular fitness to maintain performance throughout a game or season. Regular cardiovascular workouts, such as jogging or cycling, can help improve endurance.

Common Pitching Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Common Pitching Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Another commonly used style is the rise ball pitch, which involves throwing the ball with a backspin to create an upward movement. This pitch is particularly effective in deceiving batters and inducing pop-ups or strikeouts. On the other hand, the drop ball pitch relies on a downward spin to cause the curve ball to drop suddenly as it approaches the plate. Here is some information on common pitching mistakes and how to correct them:

1. Lack Of Proper Warm-Up

Many pitchers make the mistake of not warming up adequately before stepping on the mound. This can lead to poor performance and an increased risk of injury. To correct this, incorporate a thorough warm-up routine that includes stretching, light throwing, and gradually increasing the intensity.

2. Inconsistent Mechanics

This can result in loss of control, decreased velocity, and increased stress on the arm. To correct this, work with a pitching coach or study video footage of your mechanics to identify any flaws or inconsistencies.

3. Poor Pitch Selection

Choosing the wrong pitch in certain situations is a mistake that many pitchers make. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each pitch in your repertoire and use them strategically. To correct this, study opposing hitters’ tendencies, work on your pitch sequencing, and develop a better understanding of when to throw certain pitches.

4. Lack Of Mental Focus

Pitching requires much mental focus and concentration. Many pitchers make the mistake of losing focus or getting distracted during a game. This can lead to mistakes and poor performance. To correct this, develop mental routines and strategies to stay focused throughout the game.

Tips For Pitching In Game Situations

Tips For Pitching In Game Situations

One popular pitching style in softball is the windmill pitch, characterized by a circular motion of the arm that generates power and speed. This style requires a strong, flexible shoulder and wrist and proper body mechanics to maximize velocity and control. Here are Tips for pitching in game situations:

  • Be confident and assertive in your delivery
  • Communicate your pitch strategy to your teammates
  • Pay attention to the batter’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Mix up your pitches to keep the batter off-balance
  • Focus on hitting your spots and throwing a strike


Mastering a softball pitching style requires dedication and practice, but it is well worth the effort. Whether you perfect the accuracy and finesse of a changeup or the power and speed of a baseball, each pitch has its own set of challenges and rewards.

As a pitcher, it is important to find the style that works best for you and to continue to hone your skills to be successful on the field. By understanding the various softball pitching styles, you can enhance your game and become a valuable asset to your team. So keep practicing, stay focused, and never stop striving to improve your pitching abilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Different Types Of Pitches In Softball?

Yes, there are different types of pitches in softball. Some commonly used pitches are the fastball, changeup, curveball, riseball, dropball, and screwball.

What Is Cincher-Style Pitching?

Tincher Classic style pitching is a technique renowned softball coach Ernie Tincher developed. It focuses on utilizing the body’s natural movements and mechanics to generate power and speed in the pitch.

What Is Whip Pitching Softball?

Whip pitching in softball refers to a specific pitching style of fast pitch where the pitcher uses a quick, whip-like arm motion to generate speed and movement on the ball underhand.

How Do You Identify A Softball Pitch?

A softball pitch can be identified by observing the position of the pitcher’s hand and arm and the trajectory and speed of the ball in excess.

How Many Pitches Are In Softball?

In softball, there are typically seven different types of pitches: fastball, changeup, riseball, dropball, curveball, screwball, and knuckleball. However, each pitcher may have their variations and additional pitches they utilize, so the total number of pitches can vary.

Leave a Comment