Fastball Not Working?

  • Updated on Dec. 17, 2016

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ATTENTION PITCHERS: One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

Jacob DeGrom pitching gif
Jacob DeGrom

In this article, you'll learn what to do when your fastball isn't working and how to get your control back.

The most important assets a pitcher can possess is good control, which means having command of his various pitches.

Yet, we all know most pitchers experience a loss of command on certain pitches within a game, or even within an inning.

Successful and more experienced pitchers know how to make proper and quick game adjustments with their arm action, grip, finger pressure or release point. They know themselves, understand their usual problem, and know what to adjust to work best for them on a particular pitch.

In the chart below, I am listing some common problems that many pitchers experience with the fastball, some techniques which often cause the problem, and various adjustments which may be effective for a pitcher.

Game adjustments with the fastball

Problem Caused By Adjustment
Wild high Rushing, over striding, low cocked position Keep weight back, shorten stride, flex more at waist
Wild inside Stride too closed, lack of trunk rotation, low cocked position, improper grip, early pronation of hand Stride straight to plate, forward and inward drive of the back knee, get hand up during backswing, balance ball with grip, keep fingers behind ball
Wild low Stride too short, upper body dives in, arm circle too small Push off rubber earlier, lead with front hip, not front shoulder; use a down, back and up arm path
Wild outside Body tilts too much to side, fingers on the side of the ball, lands on a stiff front leg Lead with front hip and shoulder towards plate, keep fingers directly behind the ball, land flexed, then brace up leg
Lack of movement Thumb on side of ball, wrist and forearm muscles too tense Keep thumb under fingers, use a grim grip, but loose wrist and forearm; flex ring finger, use only to stabilize ball, 2 seam grip for movement
Lack of normal velocity Ball gripped too tight or too deep, rushing, lack of hip rotation, aiming the ball Firm grip, loose wrist, space between thumb and first finger, close up, keep weight back, relax and throw the ball

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Youth pitching program
One of the big misconceptions in baseball is that playing the game keeps you in shape to pitch. I wish that was true. It's not. To get to the next level, preparation matters. Big league pitchers spend far more time preparing to pitch than actually pitching.

If you believe adding velocity could be critical to your success, check out my proven programs for pitchers of all ages.

What do you think?

Now it's time to hear from you:

What do you do when your fastball isn't working? Are there any additional tips for throwing a fastball that I missed?

Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.

Either way, leave a comment and let me know.




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