softball pitching instructor,fastpitch,pitch softball,softball pitcher,softball pitching coach,power line, line of force, arm whip, wrist snap, peel drop, rollover drop, stride, Gerald Warner, pitching lessons, softball pitching instructor, rise ball, curve ball, screw ball, crow hop, leap, drag, pitching coach, circle change, flip change, Colorado, Highlands Ranch

The Power Line = Speed & Control

PitchSoftball HomeMore for 1st-2nd YearBeginning PitchersAdvanced PitchersCoaches & ParentsE-Mail Us

by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching Instructor
pitch softball logo 2.png


power line.jpg

The "Power Line" (sometimes called the "line of force")  is an imaginary line from the center of the pitching rubber to the rear point of home plate.   As the name implies, a pitcher who steps straight ahead with her stride leg can get maximum POWER…if the stride foot touches against the power line when landing.

Experience has shown that a majority of female softball pitchers will be better balanced, AND will also have a faster pitching speed…with better accuracy


SIDE-STEPPERS - Many pitchers have been taught to intentionally "side-step"… meaning that for right handed throwers, the stride foot comes down to the left of this center line (or for stepping left handers, the foot lands several inches right of the power line).  For some girls, side-stepping will work…particularly very young or just-starting pitchers who have a problem "closing" (rotating the body at the end of the pitch).  The same is true for some stepping-style (shorter step…no leap) pitchers… those who might be taller or weightier than some of their counterparts.  Larger pitchers often rely on upper body and arm strength, not fully utilizing their hip or full body to throw a fastball, and consequently feel they have better balance and can get a minor push-to-the-side advantage by side-stepping.

Side-stepping is fine for some, but most others improve their speed and accuracy by focusing all of their energy (used in the push-off, arm circle, rotation of the body, the release, & follow-through) right down the power line toward home plate, stepping straight ahead, and landing with the stride foot on (or at least touching against) the power line.  Whether using the on-the-power-line stride, or the side-step stride, the key consideration for every pitcher is doing what helps her maintain balance.


Do you occasionally throw pitches either inside or outside, and can't seem to correct the problem?  One of the little-known potential solutions is to change where or how your stride foot is landing:

(1) Land your foot at a slight angle…toes angling right for a right-handed pitcher (left for a left-hander) at an angle of 30 to 45 degrees (the 1:00 or 1:30 position).
      If it lands pointed straight toward the plate, a right-handed pitcher will likely throw to the left (outside to a right-handed batter).  A left-handed pitcher will likely throw to the right.
      If the foot lands at too sharp of an angle (up to 90 degrees…the 3:00 position), it not only restricts the closing rotation, but also can create short-term or permanent knee problems.

pitching - power line.jpg

 (2) Land with the toe of your stride foot on the power line.
      Here is a secret:  Many pitchers who have a problem with too many inside pitches (right-handed pitcher who throws inside on a right-handed batter, or vice-versa for left-handed pitchers) can regain accuracy by stepping on or against the power line. 
      Using a right-handed pitcher as the example, if you step too far to the left, you will often throw inside to a right-handed batter (it sounds like it should just be the reverse of that, doesn't it?).  The reason is that when you side-step to the left, your right hip gets in the way of your pitching arm as it comes around, and (subconsciously) you push your arm further to the right to avoid brushing your hip, consequently throwing the ball inside (to the right).
      If you are a left-handed pitcher, when you step too far to the right, you generally will throw the ball to the left side of the plate.
Whether righty or lefty, step on (or at least against) the power line to gain inside/outside control.

Use a string or chalk line 35 to 40 feet long…nail one end in the ground at a point 3½ or 4 feet in front of the pitching rubber, in a line going to the center of home plate from the middle of the rubber (don't start the string at the pitching rubber…the drag foot will catch on it).  Stretch the line toward home plate and nail the other end at the (rear) point of the plate.


The article above can be downloaded and printed from Microsoft Word

Do you want to reprint this article or use it on your website or in your newsletter?   
As long as it is not for profit, our only requirement is that you first notify us, then include the following sentence:
Article by Gerald Warner of
and include a reference to this website: 

If you have questions or need more information
E-mail us,
  or call Pitching Instructor Gerald Warner in Colorado at (720) 200-4575




Home Page |  | About Us | E-Mail Us
 More 1st-2nd Year PitchersBeginning Pitchers
 Advanced Pitchers | Coaches & Parents



 | Drop Ball I - The Peel Method | The Best Change-Up | How to Correct High Pitches