Softball Pitching Drills
Once your pitchers start to get the mechanics down, it is good to have a set of softball pitching drills to help reinforce control.
Control, regardless of how hard your pitchers throw or how many pitches your pitcher can throw, will be the key to her success. The ability to hit a spot with a pitch in key sections of the game will determine whether you will win or lose that game in most instances. So, regardless of how experiences your pitchers may be, using the basic drills is important to setting your pitcher up to succeed.
Name of Drill: Four Corners
Explanation: This drill is performed by throwing the fastball. The object of this drill is for your pitchers to hit the four corners and throw one down the middle on command. Assume a right handed batter for this drill. Locate the catcher's mitt for a high and outside strike (Box A). After the pitcher has done that, locate it for a low and outside strike (Box B), and so on for Box C, Box D and finally Box E, a pitch down the middle. Note that the pitcher does not move on to the next box until she has successful thrown a strike in that box.
This drill is teaching control to your pitcher. Make sure the mechanics are being performed correctly with each pitch and that she is not aiming. Most important is to make sure she is maintaining her snap on each pitch. For added realism, have a coach (with a batting helmet) stand in as a batter.
Set up your pitchers in two lines. If you have more than two pitchers, set up teams. Set a time limit of 5 minutes. Have each pitcher throw to the four corners, again moving on only when they hit the proper spot. If you have pitcher teams, the pitchers rotate with each pitch. At the end of the five minutes, whichever team has successfully made it around the rotation (A to E) the most wins.
Name of Drill:
This softball pitching drill is performed by throwing the fastball. Place a basketball on top of a batting tee on top of home plate. The object of this drill is for your pitchers to knock the basketball off the tee by hitting it with a pitch (fastball) while throwing off the mound.
This drill is teaching control to your pitcher. Make sure the mechanics are being performed correctly with each pitch and that she is not aiming. Most important is to make sure she is maintaining her snap on each pitch. This drill emphasizes accuracy and velocity.
Set up your pitchers in a line. Set a time limit of 5 minutes. Have each pitcher take turns trying to knock the basketball off of the tee. At the end of five minutes, the pitcher who has knocked the basketball off the most wins. You can also set up two lines, set up teams and make it a team competition.
Name of Drill:
This drill is performed by throwing the fastball. Have the pitcher throw a strike using her regular motion. Take a piece of tape and mark where her drive foot (right foot for right-handed pitcher and left foot for left-handed pitcher) lands. Have her pitch again, but this time when she drives, she must land beyond the tape mark. Keep doing this until she reaches the edge of the circle. Note that she must be throwing a strike when generating this extra drive (and speed).
This drill is teaching the pitcher to generate more speed and power by utilizing her body instead of just using her arms. In addition to driving with the body more, she will actually be closer to the batter when she ultimately releases the ball, providing a shorter time for the batter to determine if it is a ball or strike.
If you have a few softball pitching drills to share, please do so here. For a few more pitching drills, please check out the Fastpitch Softball Pitching Drills
page. These drills are slightly more advanced.
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