Developing Riseballs

fastpitch learn to pitch paisleys pitching pitch pitchers pitching drills pitching lessons riseball softball softball pitcher Jan 15, 2024

This past week I was reminded by two of my College Students...

That there's a lot of secrets you might not know yet about riseballs. As I was working with one of my students I saw the light bulbs continue to turn on as we progressed through each drill, each movement. 

At last, there it was! A late breaking and filthy jumping rise balls onto the hands of our fake batter. The real test of course will be during her games this Spring but wow what a sight to see in practice.

So, what did we do? Alongside discussing that breaking pitches need two simple things; an efficient spin with added "force" in the same direction as said efficient spin. Here we are talking about riseballs, so over 60% backspin with some force added under the ball to help it go up. You will not get this pitch to jump without both, I am sure of this. What you can get with one is some movement that may or may not fool the batter, but that's okay when growing up as a pitcher. 

After discussing this and throwing some, we moved into two different tools. Footballs and weighted softballs of course! From a Whip position, spin a football to your catcher or partner is an incredible way to develop the feeling of staying under the ball and spinning it at the same time. The second trick is a 9oz softball from a further distance whip position. Focusing on proper spin but making the pitcher get it to travel more is a lovely little trick we use often. 

After pairing these two drills and holding an isometric flexed wrist position the magic unfolded before us. These surely aren't the only drills and tricks we use; but they are really really awesome and at the top of the list! 

Riseballs take time and understanding. On top of that, they take a willingness to feel uncomfortable and allow yourself to grow as an athlete. They truly are a special pitch, and they aren't built for everyone; but if you're developing one right now I know this will help you. 

With Love, 



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