There's only one word to describe Jennie Finch: legendary. The two-time U.S. Olympic medalist and three-time All-American at the University of Arizona is one of the most recognizable faces in softball history, once winning 60 consecutive starts for the Wildcats and bringing home gold at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
After retiring from an illustrious domestic and international career in the sport, she became one of the game's most passionate promoters, teaming up with various partners to take softball to new heights. Last year, she was named MLB's youth softball ambassador, a role that allows her to connect with the game's next crop of superstars and share her tips on being a softball ace.
Snap, Crackle, Pop
Throwing a ball is not natural, I don't care if it's underhand or overhand. If you have unsafe mechanics, then there's just as much stress on an underhand pitcher as there is by throwing overhand. I'm a big advocate of having the right mechanics before you start pushing your body to the max.
So much of it is getting everything behind your pitch, just like loading in hitting; making sure you have everything behind it, and then you transfer everything forward. The big key is the resistance off the front side. I always say, "Stick it and spin it." Stick [your stride foot] and transfer it to the ball.
Pick your Poison
My dad never wanted me to have a go-to pitch because if I did, everyone would know what was coming in that go-to situation. He was such an advocate of, "You have to throw any of your pitches in any count and any situation." Depending on the time in my career, the umpire's zone, even the hitter, I couldn't pick out one pitch. It depended more on the situation.
All or Nothing
I'm a huge advocate of "If you're out there trying to get better, give it everything you have." Make sure that your game speed is close to your practice speed. That's the challenge; when nobody is in the stands, nobody is on the bases, and it's just you and a bullpen catcher or your dad, that's when the biggest difference is made.