When it comes to pitching in baseball, there is a wide variety of styles that a pitcher can choose from when throwing the ball. The most famous throw, the fastball, is widely known as a staple due to its speed and variations of the way it can be thrown. One of the ways that a fastball can be thrown is the four-seam style.
The four seam fastball is one of the hardest and fastest throws that can be utilized by a pitcher. The four seam gets its name from the view of the ball when it is thrown. When thrown, four seams are visible with each rotation. Today, we are going to show you how to master the four seam fastball to make you a better pitcher.
1. Grip The Ball In Your Pitching Hand
The way that you grip the baseball is going to be the basis for how your pitch will be thrown. To grip a baseball for the four-seam fastball, you will want to position your index and middle finger perpendicular across one of the U-shaped seams of the ball. Each finger should touch the corresponding seams on the inside and on the top.
2. Hold The Bottom Of The Ball With Your Thumb
When throwing a four seam pitch, your thumb will act as more of an anchor for stability as most of the pitch comes from the wrist when fully extended. To achieve this, simply place your thumb on the bottom of the ball near the inside to keep the ball nice and tight in your hand.
3. Allow Your Ring Finger To Rest On The Side Of The Ball
Now with your ring finger, you can allow the ball to fully rest in your hand by bringing this finger up into your hand to cradle the baseball. You will want to ensure that you are not putting too much pressure on this finger as this could seriously throw off the pitch.
4. Allow The Ball To Settle Deep Inside Your Hand
To ensure that you have the best power and control of your pitch, you are going to want to make sure that the ball is settled deeply into your palm. This allows you to keep a tight grip which is essential in throwing a fast four seam fastball.
5. Grip The Ball Tightly
As you prepare to start making your pitch, now is the time to start gripping the ball more tightly. Apply pressure with both your index and middle fingers as well as your thumb, distributing pressure evenly across the ball. You can use a grip-strengthening workout tool to help you build strength for this.
6. Wind Up Your Pitch
The wind up for a four seam fastball is much like any other pitch that you would normally throw. The most important thing to do here is to be sure to hide the grip on the ball with your glove when winding up. This will ensure that you are not tipping off the batter and giving away your fastball pitch.
7. Position Your Arm In An Outward Angle When Pitching
To put the correct spin on the ball, you are going to want to make sure that your arm is in the correct position through the throw of the ball. To do this, you will want your arm angles slightly outward. To practice this throw, you can imagine that there is a clock that is facing the batter. You will want to have your arm come through the 10:00-11:00 o'clock position.
8. Place More Pressure WIth Your Index Finger
As you start to bring your wrist forward to throw, put more pressure on the index finger to ensure that the spin gets the speed that it needs. By applying pressure on this finger, you can achieve the classic four seam fastball as the ball spends in the opposite direction.
9. Rotate Your Wrist Outward & Down
Once your arm becomes level with your face, release the ball and allow it to leave easily. Ensure that your fingers are out of the way, minus your pointer finger which you will use to spin the ball. To make the ball curve, allow your pointer finger to drag alongside the ball quickly. When done correctly, this will give the ball enough curve to break in the opposite direction as a screwball should.
10. Release The Ball Once Your Arm Has Fully Extended
As your arm starts to reach full extension, release the ball. When doing so, snap the wrist down towards the ground and away from your body to allow the ball to curve toward the plate.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Now that we have looked at every step needed to throw a perfect four seam fastball, it’s time for you to get out there and practice this throw. Practice makes a good pitcher great and getting some time under your belt with each pitch is only going to make you better. If you feel that you are not getting the speed or curve that you want, make adjustments to the way that you hold the ball or twist your wrist. Not all pitcher’s hands are the same so it is imperative to get comfortable with your throw before trying it out in a game.