Baseball, also known as America’s Past Time, has a rich and storied history. Baseball serves as a great form of exercise for both children and adults. To excel in the sport, athletes must develop an incredible skill-set including speed, strength, hitting, and pitching.
Regarding pitching, the fastball is the basis of all great pitchers. The fastball is the fundamental pitch on which all other pitches are based. It operates not only on speed but also on accuracy. If you want to become a great pitcher, you need to develop a high fastball.
Great Fastballs Equal Great Pitchers
The best pitchers of all time built their career around the fastball; everybody from “The Big Unit” Randy Johnson to Nolan Ryan and even to future Hall of Famers like Justin Verlander.
Six-foot-ten Randy Johnson is one of the most popular players known for his fastball. He holds the record of 303 won games with 4,875 strikeouts and is a Cy Young Award winner.
Nolan Ryan is easily one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball (MLB) history. He is the all-time leader in strikeouts, with a record of 5,714 strikeouts. He is also an 11-time league leader in strikeouts and went 6 seasons with 300 strikeouts.
Justin Verlander is third in American League (AL) strikeouts with 219. He was also the Rookie of the Year for 2006, and in 2011, won both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
If these accomplishments are what you are after, then it’s best to get working on that fastball.
Fastball Tips from a Professional
The secret to a great fastball is not only the speed, but also the aim. Identifying your strike zone will help with this. According to professional pitching coach Steven Ellis, identifying your strike zone will allow you to control your strike zone and thus your pitch.
This will allow the pitcher to aim in such a way that the fastball creeps just outside a hitter’s range and into a strike.
Confidence is also important when throwing a fastball. Committing to a pitch, Ellis says, can help with fastball’s speed, aim and power. Committing to a pitch will allow the pitcher to throw with proper form and follow through. Make sure you throw with proper posture and while staying within your midline.
The midline is the imaginary line drawn from the middle of the back foot towards target. When pitchers move their body out of alignment of the midline, it requires them to add extra movements which disrupt velocity, timing, and control.
Ellis also advises to never be afraid of challenging hitters. Pitching with hesitation prevents the pitcher from controlling the ball appropriately.
Practice Makes Perfect
But the best secret to developing the perfect fastball is through practice. Pitchers who constantly practice their fastballs develop focus, conditioning and muscle memory. Practicing at your fastball cages can help your speed pitch game and bring you one step closer to your World Series dreams.
For more information on fastball cages, radar guns, and other sporting equipment, please visit Radar Sports.