Keeping the screwball on line

One of the most common problems with the screwball (once it begins to move) is that it starts too far inside and the breaks off the plate. This is usually caused by an arm circle that stays outside of the throwing hand hip instead of getting across the body more.

Still, you can talk about it all you want, but it’s often difficult for the pitcher to understand exactly what this means. Here’s a way to help make the point.

Have the pitcher stand over the plate, with her pivot foot aligned with the center of the plate and the stride foot slightly offset as Meaghan is showing here. Then have her hang her arm straight down, outside of her hip. From here she can see why the ball is starting so far inside.

<IMG style="WIDTH: 308px; HEIGHT: 208px" height=1394 src="/images/55650-48775/Screwball_edge.jpg” width=1675>

The ball is starting on the inside of the plate,
and has nowhere to go but further inside.

Now look at the second picture. Meaghan has her elbow inside of her hip, and the ball is over the center of the plate. This position will allow her to start the ball down the middle, where it can break over the inside corner.

<IMG style="WIDTH: 307px; HEIGHT: 208px" height=1199 src="/images/55650-48775/Screwball_Center.jpg” width=1447>

The ball is now over the center (more or less).

One last point. In order to get it to this position, it helps to offset the arm circle so it moves from pitching hand side toward the glove side, much as you would do for an outside fastball. If you align the circle straight down center it is difficult to reach this position, and thus difficult to throw this pitch for a strike.


About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on January 6, 2007, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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