What You Need to Know About Your Hand to Pitch Your Best Game by Monica Abbott and Dr.Thomas Dugan
Sweat Glands We each have 1000’s of sweat glands and numerous sebaceous glands (oil secreting glands) on our fingers. The combination of these 2 secretions make our fingers and hands quite slippery. One of the things that we know from forensic science is that these secretions are always present on our fingertips. We leave these…
We each have 1000’s of sweat glands and numerous sebaceous glands (oil secreting glands) on our fingers. The combination of these 2 secretions make our fingers and hands quite slippery. One of the things that we know from forensic science is that these secretions are always present on our fingertips. We leave these secretions behind on almost every object that we touch as a fingerprint.
There are some conditions that make this slippery problem worse.
- If you’re playing in the rain or even in a slight mist
- If you’re the least bit nervous, or excited, the stress activates the sweat glands, to produce more of this slippery solution.
- If you have a tendency to perspire.
- If you’re playing in a state like Florida where the humidity is high.
- What this means, of course, is that whether you’re pitching or batting, it is almost impossible to have your best grip.
Touching Your Forehead
Our foreheads are loaded with sebaceous glands, those same glands we talked about in the beginning of this article. Whenever you touch your forehead, you transfer this oily substance to your hands and then having an optimal grip becomes even more of a challenge.
Your Brain and Nervous System
All of us have about 3000 sensory nerve receptors on each fingertip that send an incredible amount of information to our brain. Many of these nerves act like miniature motion detectors. If they detect even the slightest movement of an object you are holding they will instantly alert your brain.
Our brain, in turn, deciphers this information and tells our muscles how hard to grip the ball. Since this all happens at the subconscious level, we are not the least bit aware that this is happening.
How Does Your Grip Affect the Speed and Control of Your Pitches?
As we all know, grip pressure is critical in pitching a ball. If the grip is even a little bit too strong, the muscles in your wrist, forearm, and upper arm tense up. Among other things, this tension limits:
- wrist snap – It’s difficult to have proper wrist snap when your wrist isn’t completely loose.
- speed – There’s an old saying in sports that “tight muscles are slow muscles” and that is especially true for pitching.
- spin and movement – Again, your arm needs to be loose on the downswing to be able to create good spin and movement
You may be saying at this point, “So what? This doesn’t apply to me. I already use the right grip pressure. End of story”. And you would be right as long as you just stayed in your stance. The problem occurs during your delivery. If there is even the slightest of movement, during the somewhat violent delivery of the ball, your overly helpful brain will step up to the plate and tell your muscles to tighten your grip. This tightening, of course, only gets worse if there’s humidity, a light rain, or you are perspiring.
According to Mo Skelton ( physical therapist and founder of F.A.S.T. sports performance ) in his 5/13/14 article for yahoo sports – “when we grip harder to maintain control of the ball, it actually increases tension in the muscles of the arm and shoulder up to the rotator cuff putting players at greater risk of injury”.
The 2 Most Important Ways to Solve This Problem
- Remove the sweat and oils from your fingertips
- Apply an approved grip enhancer to your fingertips. (A good grip enhancer will remove the moisture and oils and also help limit the formation of additional moisture or oil. It will also improve your grip allowing you to maintain a constant grip through your entire delivery.)
Why Many of the Top Fastpitch Pitchers in the World Use Gorilla Gold
- absorbs sweat and oil from the fingertips – Gorilla Gold is delivered on a cotton cloth that is impregnated with a specially formulated waxy compound. The cloth is fabricated to absorb sweat and oil before leaving behind a light tacky feel.
- waterproofs any surface you apply it to – A light coating of our Gorilla Gold formula is left behind on any surface you apply it to; hands, grips or gloves. This coating inhibits the formation of new sweat or oil on your hands and waterproofs any surface it is applied to. This is especially important if the humidity is high, if it’s raining or if it’s hot and you are perspiring
- especially effective in wet, humid, or cold conditions
- allows you to lighten up on your grip while enhancing your control
- Approved for pitchers by the ASA, NCAA, NFHS, ISC, and ISF. In many softball organizations, GORILLA GOLD is the only substance other that a rosin bag that can be used by pitchers on the mound
ASA RULE ON FOREIGN SUBSTANCE
FAST PITCH FOREIGN SUBSTANCE It has been brought to our attention that some umpires may not be allowing an approved drying agent by the pitcher in Junior Olympic Fast Pitch. Our rule for all Fast Pitch reads: Rule 6A Section 6A: A defensive player shall not, at any time during the game, be allowed to…
FAST PITCH FOREIGN SUBSTANCE
It has been brought to our attention that some umpires may not be allowing an approved drying agent by the pitcher in Junior Olympic Fast Pitch. Our rule for all Fast Pitch reads:
Rule 6A Section 6A: A defensive player shall not, at any time during the game, be allowed to use any foreign substance upon the ball, pitching hand or fingers. Under the supervision and control of the umpire, powder resin and/or an approved drying agent that is included on the list published by the ASA may be used by the pitcher. The resin must be left on the ground and the approved drying agent in the pitcher’s pocket. A pitcher who licks their fingers must wipe the fingers off before bringing them in contact with the ball.
Effect: Illegal pitch. After the first offense, if any defensive player continues to place a foreign substance on the ball, that player shall be ejected from the game. If any other substance is found in the pitcher’s pocket, the pitcher shall be ejected.
1 If the batter hits the ball and reaches first base safely, and if all other runners have advanced at least one base on the batted ball, the illegal pitch is nullified. All action as a result of the batted ball stands. No option is given. When a runner passes a base, the runner is considered to have touched that base. 2 Otherwise, the manager has the option to take the result of the play, or the illegal pitch is enforced by awarding a ball to the batter and advancing all runners one base. 3 If an illegal pitch hits the batter out of the strike
The only approved drying agent we have is listed on the Certified Equipment page on the ASA/USA website. Click on Foreign Substance and Protective Wraps and you will see the only approved drying agent is Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer. Pitchers are allowed to have the Gorilla Gold drying agent in their back pocket and used during the game to help keep their hands dry. The cloth can be hanging out of their pocket as long as it is in a position to stay in the pocket.
The ASA Approves Gorilla Gold
Lewiston, ID (March 15, 2009) –The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) 2009 Rule Book has included Gorilla Gold, the world’s leading producer and marketer of resin-tackified grip towels, as the only approved drying agent allowed in a pitcher’s pocket. The new ruling aligns the ASA with NCAA Softball, which has allowed pitchers to use Gorilla Gold…
Lewiston, ID (March 15, 2009) –The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) 2009 Rule Book has included Gorilla Gold, the world’s leading producer and marketer of resin-tackified grip towels, as the only approved drying agent allowed in a pitcher’s pocket.
The new ruling aligns the ASA with NCAA Softball, which has allowed pitchers to use Gorilla Gold for the past four years.
The new ASA ruling states: “Rule 6 Section 6 A Fast Pitch: an Approved manufactured drying agent that is included on the list published by the ASA, may be used by the pitcher. The Resin must be left on the ground and the approved drying agent in the pitcher’s pocket. Effect: If any other substance is found in the pitcher’s pocket the pitcher shall be ejected.”
“Some drying agents are resin and need to submitted to ASA for approval before they can be used by the pitcher. Currently only Gorilla Gold is approved.”
June 2009 Plays and Clarifications
National Championship Umpire
Rule 6 Fast Pitch: There have been a few questions in regards to the new rule in Fast Pitch regarding the use of the Gorilla Gold product recently approved by the ASA Council. The question is, “Can the Gorilla Gold product be left on the ground if the pitcher does not have a pocket to put it in?” The new rule is clear according to Rule 6 (Fast Pitch) Section 6 ….an approved drying agent may be used by the pitcher that is included in the list published by the ASA. The resin must be left on the ground and the approved drying agent in the pitcher pocket.” If there is no pocket the drying agent cannot be left on the ground and must be left in the dugout.
“This is by far the best grip aide I have used.”
- Competitive Athlete from Orange, CA
“I will buy this product over and over.”
- Keith A. Pittmanon
“Easy to use. No Mess. Absolutely no cons.”
- Shake N’ Blake, Competitive Athlete from Minneapolis
Gorilla Gold Softball / Baseball
$21.00 – $81.00
Whether you want to improve your grip in wet conditions or give your old grips a new grip feel, the Gorilla Gold Golf Grip Enhancer has become the most recommended name in golf and in every sport where grips play an important role. Gorilla Grip tacks up grips or hands for better control, repels moisture with a waxy coating, and dry-cleans grips by removing oil and dirt.
- Made in USA
- All natural / odorless
- USGA-approved under the Rules of Golf
- R&A-approved for use under Rule 14-3
- Gorilla Grip is safe for your hands, gloves, and grips
- No lingering sticky feel on your grips
- The tackiness gives your clubs a new grip feel every time you play
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