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The Drop Ball for the Younger Pitcher

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The Drop Ball Part 2 - The Snapover Drop

by Gerald Warner
Softball Pitching Instructor
PitchSoftball.com

As mentioned in The Drop Ball - Part I, we recommend that every serious softball pitcher develop an effective drop ball. Whether it is the "peel/lift-up"-style or the "snapover/ rollover" that is discussed here, a good drop ball adds a lot to a pitcher's effectiveness.

TO THROW A DROP BALL, THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO GIVE IT MAXIMUM SPIN

There are two basic ways to throw a drop…the "peel" method (discussed in "The Drop Ball - Part I") and the "rollover" or "snapover" (sometimes also called "Over-the-Top") which is discussed here.

The "Rollover" (or "Snapover") Drop Ball

The "rollover" drop is usually reserved for those pitchers who have physically developed sufficiently so that their wrist movement can accomplish the rapid snap "over the top" of the ball at the precise instant it is being released. Therefore, as a general rule, for younger pitchers (pre-teenagers), we teach the "peel" method of throwing a drop ball. For those whose coordination and athleticism warrant it, we move to the rollover (or "snapover") release.

To Throw a GOOD Snapover Drop:

  1. Grip the ball on the "narrows"…where the two seams are closest together. A two-finger grip is best…it lets you have one finger on each seam...you get a better grip with the fingers on the stitches of the ball.

    Take a shorter stride…6 inches to 15 inches shorter than with your full speed fastball.
  2. Keep your arm speed slightly slower so you can concentrate on doing the snapover of the ball precisely at the release. Later, as you perfect the snapover timing at the release point, you can make the decision if you want to increase the speed of this pitch.
  3. Land with weight on your stride leg with the leg as straight as possible.
  4. Approaching the release point, keep your wrist bent with the hand back, and pointing away from your body…and relax your shoulders
  5. Stay tall at the release of the ball…keep your weight forward on the stride leg; do NOT bend at the waist. It should feel that you are "on top of the ball." Keep the elbow close to the body.
  6. Precisely at the release of the ball quickly "snap" your wrist over the top of the ball to create a fast forward spin
  7. A good snapover creates a low follow-through of your arm (perhaps lower than the release point). Finish off the pitch with your little finger (pinky) pointing up, and thumb pointing down.

Gerald Warner is a long time pitching instructor in Denver, Colorado and the father of former College Pitcher, Sara Warner.

 


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