The riseball’s a killer pitch, so here’s an innovative way to keep it lower, longer.
Use this easy drill to make those riseball’s more effective.
Riseballs are a great pitch, unless your pitcher throws ’em too high and nobody swings. That’s pretty common when pitchers try lifting the pitch, or throwing it up right away instead of throwing it forward and twisting it up.
We found a simple solution to helping pitchers throw better riseballs. To make a riseball believable, the hitter needs to see it as a strike when they start their swing. This means it needs to start flatter and only move up as it gets closer to the hitter.
What most pitchers do is throw the riseball up as soon as they release it, giving the hitter too much of a clue, too soon. So, to help your pitchers throw their riseballs forward more, and to make the “up” part happen closer to the hitter try using a simple track and field hurdle.
Keep in mind, if you don’t have a hurdle handle (cuz who really does), you can make something that resembles a hurdle.
Start by placing the hurdle about 5 feet from the pitcher, and have her gently throw her riseball to her catcher – focusing on throwing the ball through the hurdle. If she’s used to lifting her riseball then she’ll find this difficult and either hit the hurdle bar or throw it over the hurdle. The key is to have your pitcher focus on her finger pressure at release and throw the ball forward more and twist it up later so the ball goes under the hurdle before rising up.
The pitcher stands on the pitching rubber and the hurdle is about 15 feet in front of her. She started with it about 5 feet in front of her and she’s gradually worked her way back to throwing full speed at full distance.
The key is for the pitcher to focus on throwing her riseball forward more than up. While this sounds illogical, it’s the spin, or violent torque as we call it, that makes the ball go up, and not the pulling up of the pitch itself. This pulling up is what makes the pitch climb too soon and become easily predictable, and thus hittable, to the hitter.
By using a hurdle, or our Breaking Pitch Practice Kit, your pitcher’s riseballs will stay lower longer and start being more deadly.
For more help with your riseballs, and ALL of your advanced pitching issues, I recommend our ultimate pitching package – the Pitching Summit Vault!