Video:How to Throw a Four-Seam Fastballwith Tom Rohlffs
Throwing a four-seam fastball means that you're throwing the fastest of the pitches in baseball. Watch this how-to video from About.com to see tips for doing it correctly.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Throw a Four-Seam Fastball
Hi my name is Tom Rohlffs, pitching instructor for About.com, I'm going to show you today the proper way to throw a 4-seam fastball.
About the Four-Seam Fastball
The 4-seam fastball is the fastest pitch you will throw. All young players should be taught this pitch first. It's the easiest on the elbow, it's the easiest on the muscle of the forearms.
Instructions for Throwing a Four-Seam Fastball
In throwing a 4-seam fastball you have a ball that has many different shapes on here. You have what we call a horsehoe shape. By placing the fingers on the right hand you want to have your fingers over the two seams here. Notice that I have a space between my hand. If I'm shooting a basketball there is a space in the palm here.
The ball is on my fingertips. If someone came over and tried to knock this ball away they would. It's a loose grip on the ball. You want the seams to rotate as many times as possible as it breaks the air going to the plate and the catchers glove this way the pitch will go with a lot more velocity a lot quicker. So have it lose in your fingers, have your thumb under the ball, fingers on top and a space in here. And when you do all of your motion it looks something like this.
Tips for Throwing a Four-Seam Fastball Correctly
First of all many pitchers try to make their windup too complicated. You have to keep it simple. So I teach players to have both heels on the rubber if they are right handed and they have their ball in their glove. I want the ball in the glove so the 3rd base coach cant see what pitch I'm throwing and relay it to the batter. I have the ball in the glove and heels on the rubber. I simply rock back with my left foot back. I rotate this foot on the rubber so I'm pitching against the rubber.
More Tips for Throwing a Four-Seam Fastball Correctly
Now one drill you can do for your players is that every pitch you throw whether it be in the stretch or windup every player will be in this position here. We call it the stork. And this is what you want to do. You can put some coins on your knee to see if they can keep this position. Every pitch always ends up right here. When you throw the pitch the top of the hand is up. When you push off the rubber here you extend out in a straight line and the ball is up above your shoulder and your glove is pointed at your target which is the catchers glove. As you push off the rubber here you should almost have your knee to the ground. Rotate back out in a receiving position so you are ready to catch a line drive.
This is why the 4-seam fastball is an important pitch, it is the most accurate and every pitcher should learn this first. Thanks for watching if you'd like to learn more please visit us on the web at About.com