Open/Close Menu The go to place for athlete centered coaches and their athletes.
Softball Throwing Drills

ballglove

I have compiled a number of softball throwing drills from various sources for you to implement right away into our practices.

Softball Throwing Drills

AROUND THE HORN AND BACK

Line all of the girls up at 3B except for the first baseman who is at 1B. Space 3 balls evenly between 3B and home. When the coach blows the whistle, the player at the front of the line sprints to the first ball and fires it to 1B, followed by the second and then the third ball. (The 1B player will need a bucket to drop the balls into s she receives them) As soon as the player fires the third ball, she sprints to 2B and sets to receive a throw from 1B. She immediately turns and fires it to a coach or parent at home plate. Do this in three rotations.

Demonstrate this drill one time through as fast as you can to instill the importance of speed to make this drill effective.

FIELDING/TAG DRILL
This drill helps improve fielding, throwing and base running. It also helps the fielder become aware of base runners and base runners aware of what to do when heading to a base where the ball is being thrown. Please remember to have the base runners ALWAYS wear their helmets when running the bases.

Note: We play this drill between second and third, but you could play this between two bases anywhere on the field. Also, with younger players, we start this drill on grass so they get comfortable with sliding.

  • Divide the team into two groups (this could also be done with a smaller number of players as another group is working with a coach on a different skill) and form two parallel lines to the right of second base toward right field, one for fielders and one for base runners.

  • Select two fielders, one to play at SS and one to play at 3B, and position them appropriately.

  • Place a runner at 2B (wearing a helmet) and have the coach hitting or throwing the ball stand between home and the pitching rubber. Depending upon the league you play in, start the runner on the base or with a lead off.

  • Either on the coaches command or when the ball is hit, the runner takes off toward 3B and the ball is hit on the ground to the fielder at SS.

  • The SS fields the ball and throws to 3B. The fielder at 3B catches the ball and applies a tag as the runner comes in.

The object for the runner is to get safely to the bag (either by sliding or stopping on the bag – not over running it), and the object for the fielder is to get the runner out.

The coach should time the hitting or throwing of the ball so that the play at third is close. After the runner gets to third and the ball is thrown, the runner resets back to second and the drill goes again.

Each runner and fielder gets two chances, then the fielders and runners rotate: SS to 3B, 3B to the back of the runner line, the runner to back of the fielding line. The first in line of the fielders moves to SS and the first in line of the runners puts on a helmet and moves to 2B. Depending on time, we would run the players two or three times through this drill. As they got better, we added a wrinkle or two by either hitting the ball to the fielder at 3B and have them throw to the SS covering 2B making the runner go back to 2B, or occasionally hitting the ball in the air to either the SS or 3B, sending the runner back to 2B. If the ball gets past the fielder, then the runner advances so the girls get used to advancing on a mis-played ball. The wrinkle helped both the runner and the fielder become more aware of where the ball was and what to do in a given situation.

This was one of our best drills and the players really started to improve when they figured out what they were doing. This was also a good “spirit” drill as we had the girls cheer on either the fielder or the runner, depending upon the line they were in.

Good luck and have fun!

RUN DOWN DRILL
TO COMPLETE THIS DRILL YOU MUST HAVE AT LEAST 8 PLAYERS AND PREFERRABLY 10 OR MORE. I WILL SET IT UP FOR 10 AND EXPLAIN IT.

FIRST, PUT 2 PLAYERS AT EACH BASE (INCLUDING HOME).

PLACE 1 RUNNER ( WITH GLOVE ON TOO) BETWEEN HOME AND 3RD AND 1 BETWEEN 1ST AND 2ND.

GIVE THE 1ST IN LINE AT 1ST BASE THE BALL AND HAVE HER RUN AT THE RUNNER BETWEEN 3RD AND HOME TAKING AN ANGLE TO CUT THE RUNNER OFF FROM HOME, THE DRILL IS NOW IN PLAY.

THE PLAYER WITH THE BALL TRIES TO PREVENT THE RUNNER FROM SCORING AT ALL COST AND THROWS THE BALL TO HOME IF NECESSARY, IF SHE SUCCESSFULLY TURNS RUNNER TOWARD 3RD THEN SHE GETS RUNNER TO FULL SPEED AND THROWS THE BALL TO THIRD. TRY TO COMPLETE THE OUT WITH AS FEW THROWS AS POSSIBLE. WHEN THEY GET REAL GOOD, IT WILL BE 1 THROW.

WHEN AN OUT IS MADE OR A RUNNER REACHES A BASE THE PERSON WITH THE BALL IN HAND SPRINTS TOWARD THE RUNNER BETWEEN 1ST AND 2ND CUTTING HER OFF FROM 2ND AND CONTINUING AS THE FIRST RUN DOWN WAS RUN IN AS FEW THROWS AS POSSIBLE.

THE DRILL NOW REPEATS BACK TOWARD HOME. ALWAYS TAKE GOOD ANGLES TO CUT RUNNER OFF FROM ADVANCING A BASE. COMPLETE IN AS FEW THROWS AS POSSIBLE.

THE PERSON AT HOME AND 3RD STATIONS THAT WOULD HAVE RECEIVED THE BALL NEXT IS THE RUNNER NOW BETWEEN 3RD AND HOME. THE LAST RUNNER IS NOW ON EITHER 3RD OR AT HOME FOR THE RETURNING RUNDOWN IN A FEW SECONDS. THE SAME IS TRUE AT 2ND AND 1ST ROTATION.

THE DRILL CAN BE RUN FOR TIME, SAY 5 MINUTES OR SO.

IF ANY FIELDER RUNS INTO THE RUNNER AFTER THROWING THE BALL AND CAUSES AN OBSTRUCTION, THE TEAM WILL GET A LAP AT THE END OF THE DRILL FOR IT. THIS IS A CRITICAL MISTAKE TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COST IN GAMES.

BEST OF LUCK. I HOPE IT IS HELPFUL.

IT SHOULD HELP THE PLAYERS TO UNDERSTAND THE FOLLOWING POINTS:

GOOD ANGLES WILL TURN THE RUNNER BACK.

IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A RUN DOWN LOOK FOR THE NEXT RUNNER TRYING TO ADVANCE.

OBSTRUCTING THE RUNNER SHOULD BE AVOIDED.

IF THE RUNNER IS SAFE BACK AT ORIGINAL BASE NOTHING IS LOST BUT THEY SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT BASE.

INFIELD-OUTFIELD-RELAY
With many years of coaching youth, high school, women’s, and college fastpitch softball, I found one drill that fits every level of play. It develops both the INFIELD mechanics, OUTFIELD mechanics, and finally RELAYS to HOME.

I divide the team into 2 groups. One group lines up behind third-base. The other group lines up in deep right-center. I have an assistant coach acting as my catcher as I hit hard grounders to the first in line at third-base. She fields the ball and quickly makes a sharp throw to home-plate. I then hit a deep fly ball to the first in line at right-center. As this player sprints to catch the ball, the fielder that was at third-base sprints to a relay position for home-plate. The outfielder hits the now relay fielder who should be properly positioned to receive and relay the throw to home-plate.

The cycle repeats as the infielder that was the relay joins the rear of the line of outfielders. The outfielder that caught and threw the ball to the relay then joins the rear of the line of infielders. This cycle should be repeated as to correctly get everyone to errorlessly field, catch, throw, and relay through an entire cycle.

POSITION CARDS
We put these drills on 5×8 index cards and laminate them, to water proof them. Some days at practice we hand them out to players who play each position. They work on these drills for about 15-20 minutes with the other players who play that position. These Position cards enable a coach to concentrate on helping one or two positions, as the kids should not require a lot of supervision. One thing we absolutely do is put our Freshman team and our JV team with the Varsity team for this session a lot and put our Senior players in charge.

You can modify them for any level of ball. On some cards, one position may need to be coordinated with another position for part of their card.

FIRST BASE DRILLS

-Stretch
-Tag out for runner off the bag
-Scoop
-Back hand ground balls (short hops)
-Tag on dive back
-Pick off by catcher (footwork to get back to bag)
-Bunt coverage

SECOND BASE DRILLS

-Tag out at bag
-Three pivots to 2B (double play feed)
-Double play from SS at bag
-Back hand ground balls
-Pop ups between infield and outfield
-Cut off play steal with runner on 1st and 3rd
-Diving to catch ground balls

SHORTSTOP DRILLS

-Back hand ground balls
-Slap tag at 2B
-Feed to 2b on double play
-Pop ups between infield and outfield
-Ground balls in hole, pivot and throw
-Diving to catch ground ball
-Cut off play on steal runners on 1st and 3rd

THIRD BASE DRILLS

-Bail out and cover 3B from in close coverage
-Tag outs at bag
-Back hand ground ball on the line
-Ground ball to your left in front of SS
-Bunt pick up and throw 1B, 2B, 3B
-Diving to catch a ground ball
-Foul pop ups near the fence/dugout

CATCHER DRILLS

-Framing strikes
-Scoop dirt pitches
-Block and tag at plate
-Wild pitches
-Pop outs in front of plate
-Pop outs near backstop
-Bad pitch inside & outside
-Steal throw mechanics at 2nd and 3rd base
-Pickoff throws runners on 1st and 3rd

PITCHERS

-Fielding ground balls to your left and right
-Mechanics of bunt coverage and throws
-Pop Ups
-Wild pitch coverage at the plate
-Pointing up to the side of a pop up to the catcher
-Covering first base on ground ball
-Backing up third and home plate on throws from the outfield
-Work with catchers on intentional walks

OUTFIELD

-Side to side range
-Up and back range
-One down on ground ball
-Crow hopping
-Backing each other up
-Tweeners in the gaps
-Coordination between infield, outfield, on short fly ball
-Diving to catch a ball
-Diving to cut off a ball going gap

READY FOR ANYTHING
Have someone to throw the ball and to catch. First you form a line about 30 to 40 feet away from the person that is throwing the ball. Tell the players just to charge the ball. Also tell them that they could expect almost anything. Grounder, Pop Fly, or a line drive right to them. Anything.

It teaches them to be ready for anything. And to always charge the ball.

RELAY THROW
Have the players line up in a line stretching to the outfield. Have the first player throw the ball to the glove side of the second player in the line. Do the same for the rest of the players.

This teaches the proper location for the relay throw and also teaches quick turn and release of the throw.

SITUATIONS
One drill that our coaches use with us is where the infield takes their positions and the coach makes up situations for us. Like…A runner on 1st and 2nd…2 outs…and then she hits the ball to us making us like its a real situation and we have to figure out what to do with the ball so we’ll be ready for any situations like that in a real game.

She goes through every situation possible with us so we won’t get confused in a game. She does this every practice. It helps out a lot and causes less confusion during a real game. The outfielders participate too. It’s just like a real game going on except it’s practice. It really helps improve the mental aspect of your fielding skills.

STRAIGHT LINE PICK ‘EM
Take the fielders and line them up in a straight line. With plenty of space in between each one, line them up one behind the other away from the coach. Number each player such that the first person is number one, second is number two, and so on.

To execute the drill, the coach hits a hard grounder and calls one of the numbers at the same time. That number must field it, while the others step out of the way. The coach should randomly vary the numbers, so that each fielder has a chance to field a grounder and none can predict whose turn it is.

This drill teaches quick reflexes and clear thinking under pressure.

THAT GAME
We have called this drill “that game” because my daughter and I don’t have a name for it.

You split your team into 3 teams it works well with 12 players and 2 coaches. One team goes to the outfield, one team plays the infield and the other team is up to bat. One coach pitches and one catches, you can also use the tee if you only have one coach, he/she needs to play catcher, or you can play pitcher and catcher after the ball has been hit. The pitcher pitches 3 pitches and the batter hits the ball and has to run all the bases, the team who touches the ball first has to field the ball and pass the ball under their legs until the ball has been passed to every girls on their team and the lastgirl has to throw the ball to the catcher before the batter/runner makes it home. The throw home has to be a good throw and the coach receiving the throw home can stand on home plate and can stretch to catch the ball but cant leave the plate.

If the ball arrives before the runner then the home team has one out–three outs and they go to the outfield and the infield team is up to bat, the kicker is that the pitcher can pitch as soon as a batter is up to the plate with a helmet on so if your team was just at bat you better be running to position yourself in the outfield. We end up with girls not even taking their helmets off, but they also learn teamwork, they have each others gloves ready for their teammates on their way to the field and they usually have the girl with the best arm line up at the end of the line to assure a good throw home, coaches beware, this game has just pooped me out, especially when you are playing pitcher and catcher!!!!

Oh yah, the batter only gets 3 pitches, if she doesn’t hit a fair ball after 3 she is out. And no bunting.

TIGER
This drill is used to have everyone participate in fielding, catching and throwing.

Have everyone spread out evenly into a deep infield position. Place two fielders at first base, with one on the bag and another backing up the bag. Have an assistant be the catcher or use another player.

Start the drill by coach yelling, “ready!” This should be the queue for getting all the players into a ready position.

You then hit grounders or fly balls to them. As coach, be sure that players’ verbally call all fly balls. On grounders, make sure they setup in the PFP (Perfect Fielding Position) and keep the ball in front of them. Once the catch is made, a good throw to first base is the next step. The first basemen then throws the ball to the catcher.

If a ball is missed, the player missing the ball runs and retrieves the ball. Then he runs back and rolls the ball into the backstop while everyone else continues on with the drill. After they all have received at least one ball hit to them I will then yell switch. At that time the player that is backing up the first baseman becomes the first baseman. The first baseman goes to where third would be and everyone else rotates toward first.

I usually have punishments for trying to correct certain aspects of the drill. For example, not getting ready, not getting in front of the ball, not using PFP, or making bad throws to first can all result in a short run before returning to the drill. More importantly, I do my best to reward players doing things correctly.

PFP – Perfect Fielding Position – Glove foot forward. Other foot shoulder with apart at the inseam of the glove foot. Glove out in front and on the ground. Back parallel with the ground. Shoulders square with the hitter.

TRIANGLE
My Coach this year taught our team this drill. You have to divide your team up into 3 groups. The first group stands between first base and second base. The second group stands at short stop. The third groupstands at home plate. A coach and the catcher stand a little to the side of the plate. The coach hits the ball to the first group,then the first group catches it and throws it to the second group while running to the second group position. The second group girl that catches the ball throws it to home plate while running there. You just keep on rotating in all of the positions.

This drill gets you in shape and alert the whole time.

WILD BALL
The Coach sets up a situation that forces a wild throw to a lead base. Fielders and runners are used in this drill. Give the players the number of outs to help increase concentration and awareness of whether to get the lead runner out first or just get an out to end an inning.

Here is an example: Runners on 1st and 2nd. Fielders needed: 2nd baseman, ss, 3rd, P, catcher, left fielder. One out. The coach says go and makes a wild throw to third base forcing the defense to try and get the lead runner out for the second out of the inning, or make a decision to at least get the next runner out. Stress making smart decisions depending on outs!

BARNEY
I got this drill from our current Hitting Coach, Coach Burney. It is the most fun game we play and the players absolutely LOVE IT!!!

You get a Barney (or any other stuffed animal, but Barney works the best because they hate him) and put him on a chair by 1st base. If you have a net, put the nest behind the chair to stop the balls, otherwise put the chair near home. Have a coach hit ground balls to shortstop.

The player fields the ball and makes a throw trying to knock Barnet off the chair.

The ball must be fielded properly or no points. Have a time limit (about 5 minutes) and keep track of how many hits Barney gets. We have a rule that if the players can beat the previous record, we run (not me of course, I coach the pitchers).

BAT AROUND THE HORN
My name is Gary Shepherd. I’m a high school coach at Fox, Oklahoma. I call this drill BAT AROUND THE HORN. It works on every aspect of the game–Hitting, Fielding, Throwing, Base Running and requires two teams of 5 players. (It can be played with 6 players or more but each player scores for herself.)

One team takes the field at 1b,2b,ss,3b, and c. The other team is at bat. The batter hits a ground ball (from a tee, soft toss, or just toss the ball up and hit it). Fly balls are outs. An infielder catches the ball and throws to 1b. 1b then throws to one of the other infielders. That fielder throws back to 1b. 1b then throws to the other infielder (who hasn’t touched the ball) who throws back to 1b. The ball then goes around the horn (1b to ss to 2b to 3b) and then to the catcher.

Each fielder must touch her base before throwing except for around the horn and home. If the batter-runner can run all the way home before the ball gets home, 1 run scores. If the ball gets home first, one putout is made. Fielders rotate one position clockwise and next batter hits. Each Fielder has caught 3 ball and made 3 throws. Every catch and throw must be accurate or a run scores. Bat until 3 outs are made and change sides. Batters need to wear helmets. Play 3-7 innings. With more than 10 players – Fielders can rotate in at 3b.

Here’s an example in case my explanation was not clear:

Ball hit to 3rd.
3b catches batted ball, steps on 3rd, throws to 1b
1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to ss
ss catches ball, steps on 2nd, throws to 1b
1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to 2b
2b throws to 1b (now around the horn)
1b throws to ss
ss throws to 2b
2b throws to 3b
3b throws to c and c steps on home plate

Hope my contributions help somebody out there.

GLOVES OFF
We use this drill to teach aggressive baserunning, hitting, and fielding. The drill uses a whiffle ball and a plastic bat. First set the bases at about 40 feet apart. Divide your team in two. One half fields and the other bats. Fielders do not use their gloves. We want to teach them that the hands are the real tools in catching the ball.

The ball is pitched from about 20 feet away. The batter has only three chances to hit the ball. (There are no balls or walks in this drill.) Once the ball is hit, the batter must run the bases until she reaches home plate or is tagged out. The fielders must always try to tag the runner out at first. You bat the entire line up. Then you change sides. We usually do this drill twice a week for about 20 minutes at a very fast pace.

GROUNDER FLYBALL GROUNDER
My favorite drill is called grounder Flyball grounder. It goes like this:

Line all of your players up at third base. Hit a hard grounder to the first person in line. As soon as they throw it in to the coach throw a high fly to first. Make the player hustle to get it. as soon as they throw it in hit another grounder to third, thus making them run back across to get it.

This drill is good for footspeed, fielding and personal effort. Speed it up as players advance.

GUTS
The girls have created their own names for this drill – guts, kill your teammate, the grounder game. Simply divide the girls into two teams. Have the teams form two lines about 40 to 60 feet apart, with players shoulder to shoulder three feet apart. Place something two feet from each girl at either end of both lines. These are the goal posts. The goal posts can be buckets, cones, balls, or the parents. Hand a ball to one of the players. To play the game, the girls take turns trying to throw grounders through the opposing line. They can throw as hard as they want (make sure they’re spaced far enough apart).

The rules are fairly simple: The player who fails to prevent the ball from going past the imaginary line between goal post is out of the game. The team who loses all its players first loses. The ball must bounce in front of the players to count. If a player’s ball is caught on the fly without bouncing she is out – if it is dropped, she stays in. If a ball goes through the line without bouncing, it has no effect. Any throw outside the goal posts has no effect.

As players are eliminated move the goal posts in until the last player has a goal roughly six feet wide. Hint: if the girls learn to charge the ball, it gives one of their teammates an opportunity to back them up. If there is a question as to which girl allowed the ball to get through the line, the opposing team decides.

KNOCK OUT
When my team is stuck in the gym for a couple of days it’s hard to keep up their interest. I do an X-out drill where the team is divided into two teams and stands on the corner of gym on opposing corners.

Each coach stands on the opposite end at the corners and hit/throws grounders or fly balls to their team cross court. Each coach has a catcher who feeds the ball to the coach and also must catch all balls if possible. To complete the play the player must catch the ball successfully and make a catachable throw to their catcher for a point.

This goes on for about 3 minutes with the winner watching the others run or getting a treat. My girls like this drill the best.

PEPPER
The name of this game is Pepper. A coach gathers a small group of players which are only a few feet from him/her. The coach then hits or bunts the ball to the players in any random order, then the players must use quick reactions to retrieve the ball and accuracy to pitch, this pitch is only a toss, for the coach to hit again.

You do this drill to improve the players reaction time. You have to do this drill as quickly as possible and the pace will increase as time goes on, and the players improve. This can also be used to help players with bunting by having a player bunt the ball in place of the coach.

STAR DRILL
This is a drill that I think we all have used, it just slipped my mind when I was doing this site. Thanks to Scott Otto for bringing it to my attention!!

You get your infielder’s at their position (except the pitcher). The ball starts at the catcher, she throws to the second baseman, she throws to the third baseman, she throws to the first baseman, she throws to the shortstop, and she throws back to the catcher. The whole time this is going on you have a runner run the bases. They leave at the same time as the catcher starts the cycle.

It starts out easy for the fielders because they tend to start in kinda close and creep in. I let them do that for a while, till it get to easy, then I make them start backing up. After they get a few steps in the grass the faster runners start making it close. (the runners like to see a dropped or missed ball)

This really helps on the infielder’s learning to get rid of the ball quickly. I hope that it’s helpful.

PITCHERS, BATTERS AND SELF-DEFENSE
Pitchers get hit by line drives and screaming one-hoppers. Batters get hit by wild inside pitches.

The key to big improvements in pitcher/batter reaction times does not lie in extending the pitching distances. It lies in improving the player’s reaction time. A 5 year old student of the martial arts can be trained to have very quick reactions from an attack coming from as little as 2′ away. They react to the attack because they have had experience defending/deflecting the attack. They are experienced at it from being placed in the exact same situation hundreds of times at their practice sessions with their instructors.

A batter and pitcher can also be trained to have very quick reactions to an attack from a softball coming from 35′ to 46′ away. However, they are seldom put in that EXACT same situation in their practice sessions. They do not have the experience dealing with that exact situation, therefore, they do not react well, they react too late or they do not react at all.

The pitcher is the closest fielder to the batter, the closest in the line of fire. They stand directly in line with the center of the playing field. Therefore, they have the least amount of reaction time to a ball hit back at them. When the ball is hit, at that instant, the pitcher is also the only fielder that is NOT in a down, set and ready defensive posture/stance. The other fielders are already in their defensive stance, down, set and ready. The pitcher has just finished throwing the pitch and, at the moment the ball is hit, probably still has a little forward momentum/travel going on, still a little off balance and is standing up. I think it is safe to say the pitcher has everything going against them as far as defense is concerned.

These are all contributing factors to pitchers being hit. Despite these things going against them, there is one simple fact that cannot be denied; if they reacted in time, they would not have gotten hit or at least might have deflected the ball a little and not gotten hit so hard.

The key word here is REACT. You train your infielders to react to a line drive or a fast one hopper. They don’t have to decide what to do; they just react and defend themselves because they have been through that exact same situation hundreds of times at practice. Drilling your pitcher while she is in a down, set and ready position, like a 3rd baseman, is good and will surely help a little. However, this is NOT a realistic game situation for a pitcher that will have to defend themselves at the very end of their pitch. How often do you have your pitchers practice receiving line drives and fast one hoppers WHILE SHE IS PITCHING? She is not going to be set and ready for one back at her when she is pitching. She is going to be forced to defend herself while she is standing up, off balance and maybe even still moving forward. More than likely she will be moving when she will have to defend herself from the ball.

I have heard numerous responses to the safety issues regarding the recent pitching distance change from 35′ to 40′.

In pitching, the ball travel time is measured from the point of release (usually around 4′ in front of the pitcher’s rubber) to the point where it will/might be hit by the batter (usually around 1 foot in front of home plate). So, the distance that matters, the ball travel distance, is normally around 5′ less than the regulation distance. This can be easily calculated if you know the ball speed and distance. The same formula is applied to calculate ball travel time from a pitch thrown to the batter, or a hit ball coming towards the pitcher (the pitcher is now 4′ closer to the batter).

The batters and the pitchers at the 12under level now have an extra 5′ of ball travel time to react to a wild inside pitch, a screaming line drive or one hopper coming at their body.

Let’s do the math and see just how much more time they will have to react at different ball speeds.

At 30mph a ball will travel:

158,400 ft per hour (5,280 x 30)
2,640 ft per minute (158,400 divided by 60)
44 ft per second (2,640 divided by 60)

At 35′ (30 divided by 44) the batter has .681 seconds to react.

At 40′ (35 divided by 44) they will have .795 seconds.

A difference of .114 seconds more at 40′.
————————————–

At 35mph, using the same equations:

51.3ft per second

At 35′ – .584 seconds

At 40′ – .682 seconds

A difference of .098 seconds more at 40′
—————————————-

At 40mph

58.6′ per second

At 35′ – .512 seconds

At 40′ – .597 seconds

A difference of .077 seconds at 40′
—————————————-
At 50mph73.3′ per second
At 35′ – .409 seconds
At 40′ – .477 seconds
A difference of .068 seconds
—————————————-
At 60mph88.0′ per second
At 35′ – .341 seconds
At 40′ – .397 seconds
A difference of .056 seconds at 40′
———————————–
At 70mph102.7 ft per second
At 35′ – .292 seconds
At 40′ – .341 seconds

A difference of .049 seconds at 40′
————————————–
I am going to carry this out to 80mph. I have seen girls that have just turned 13, have a bat swing speed of 75mph.

At 80mph – 117.3 ‘ per second
At 35′ – .256 seconds
At 40′ – .298 seconds.
A difference of .042 seconds at 40′

So, a ball coming at a pitcher/batter, between 30mph and 80mph, will have an additional .042 seconds to .114 seconds with the extra 5′ of ball travel time. If the thought of that extra 5′ made you feel very comfortable for your pitcher’s/batter’s safety, I hope you realize how little added time it actually gives them.

Anything that gives even THAT slight amount of extra time WILL help and prevent some injuries. The ASA has done about all it could do to help make the game safer and still keep the game as nearly the same as it was. I applaud them for that but it is only the first and a very small step towards a noticeable improvement/reduction in these types of injuries.

If you think moving the pitching distance back 5’ will make a tremendous amount of difference for a pitcher/batter that does not react well now, it probably won’t. The ones that get hit the hardest and hurt the worst are not the ones that did not have time to react, that is not the case. They are the players that failed to react AT ALL!

I see coaches practice their pitcher’s defense skills by hitting line drives to them while the pitcher is in a down, set and ready position, like they were playing 3rd base. That is good and it helps but it is not nearly enough. The fact remains that this is NOT a realistic game situation for a pitcher that has to react in self-defense of a hard hit ball.

A pitcher must be trained to react to a hit ball at the end of their pitch, while they are off balance and standing, just like when the balls are hit back to them in a real game. If a coach thinks training their pitchers to defend themselves, like they were a 3rd baseman, is doing everything they can to help prevent injuries, they are sadly mistaken. The overwhelming vast majority of the responsibility to keep pitchers safe falls onto the shoulders of the parents, coaches and instructors of softball players, exactly where it was before any pitching distance rule changes were made.

You cannot point at a rule, rulebook or any softball organization and simply say; “You must make it safe for my pitcher to play the game”. If you do not do everything to teach the player to react to the self-defense situation they will encounter during the game, you have yourself to blame.

FORCE THEM TO REACT AT PRACTICE AND THEY WILL REACT IN THE GAME. You must change their response from a decision to a reaction. The worst hit players I have seen are the ones that do not react at all. Their eyes open up real wide, their mouth drops open, then they get their nose broken, having never made an effort to defend themselves or get out of the way. I urge all coaches to make sure you practice your pitcher’s/batter’s self-defense EXACTLY like they will have to defend themselves during a game.

Here are a few ideas to help train your pitcher in a realistic self-defense game situation.

1. Have them pitch at practice, have them pitch the ball to their catcher. Stand just outside the batter’s box and fire a woofle ball back at them with a tennis racquet, just as fast as a hit ball would be and at the same exact time it would be hit by the batter. Make it a random thing, just like the game. Don’t fire one back with every pitch. Instead, make it a surprise attack just like the game. Chest, waist, knees and one-hoppers. Swing the racquet sidearm so the ball comes back from the same level as a hit ball would come.

2. Stand about ten feet in front and just to the side of the pitcher and throw a woofle ball back at them sidearm to duplicate the same thing. Again, make this random.

3. Set up a pitching machine just to the outside of the batter’s box, one that can fire woofle balls. Do the exact same thing. Leave the lock downs loose for the left/right and up/down adjustments so you can fire them at their chest, waist, knees, one hoppers etc.

4. This drill will not exactly duplicate the game situation but it is great for developing hand to eye coordination for pitchers that must defend themselves while they are in motion. Have your pitcher doing a jogging motion on a single person trampoline. Fire the woofle balls at them as they are jogging and in motion. Make them defend themselves while they are moving, just like they will have to do in a real game situation. (This is also a great drill for ALL the infielders to help develop quick eyes and hands for defense AND self-defense.)

The numbers above are the exact same amounts of time a batter has to react to a wild inside pitch coming at them at the same speeds. Now, for the batters, here is what I do to prepare them for wild inside pitches during the game.

When I throw batting practice, I throw from a bucket of balls. The bucket is to my side, sitting on a chair. Mixed in with the softballs are 2 softball-sized woofle balls. When I grab another ball I secret it into my glove so the batter does not know what type of ball is coming. At random, I will pull out a woofle ball and intentionally throw right at the batter. I make it a big surprise and I force them to react and deal with the self-defense situation. I place them in the exact same situation they will face in the game.

I do this as a test to make sure they react as taught and to make sure they react PERIOD. I also do it to give them experience dealing with a wild inside pitch. I urge every parent/coach/instructor to duplicate the exact same self-defense situations, in practice, that their players will encounter when it happens in their games. You might be very surprised at how badly some of your players react. You might get very worried to see how many of your players do not react AT ALL.

Experience dealing with the exact same self-defense situation in practice is the ONLY thing that will give the player the experience necessary to develop the quick and appropriate self-defense reactions needed when it happens in the game. Teaching the players to react is the ONLY answer for a big reduction in these types of injuries.

Although the numbers above illustrate the 12under distances and times, the same training can be applied to every level of play.

BOUNCE TOY
I came across a fun little toy … a spherical bunch of balls randomly put together like a bunch of molecules. It bounces every which way and very good for eye hand coordination and reaction.

I get the athletes in a small circle and they call the ball and must catch it on the 2nd bounce (it bounces funnier on the 2nd bounce)

Very good for those rainy day practices indoors. Sorry, I don’t know what they are called.

IT ISN’T POLITE TO GRAB
Catching a softball that is hit or thrown does not involve grabbing it with your glove. If the ball is sitting still or rolling slowly you should grab (or pick it up) with your bare hand but you should never grab the ball with your glove.

Instead, you should open your glove, wait for the ball to hit the pocket and then close around it. Actually in most cases your hand and glove will close around the ball automatically from the impact.

Grabbing the ball with your glove hand requires that you time the closure exactly upon impact and if your timing is slightly off the ball will hit the edge of your closed glove causing an error. Open it wide and let the impact of the ball signal closure.

3-2-RUN
I got this game from a site on the Internet. If anyone knows whose it is, I will gladly give him or her credit. It is a game we use almost every week. Place 3 balls on the ground evenly spaced, about 3/4 of the way from third base to home. The fielding team has a third baseman and a group at second base. Another team is at bat (without bats). When the coach yells, “Go”, the 1st batter (runner) runs as fast as she can to first base and on to second. The fielder at third base runs to the first ball and makes a throw to a teammate at second base, then goes to the second ball and makes a throw to the same fielder at second base and does the same thing with the third ball.

The object of this game is to make 3 good throws from third base (third base line) to second base before the runner gets to second base. If the runner gets there first, or if the fielder makes a bad throw or bad catch, the batters get 1 point (you can use any value you want). If the fielders get all 3 balls to second base before the runner gets there, no points are awarded.

BUNTING GAME
I am a big proponent for turning every drill into an intra-squad competition. The players forget they’re practicing. I also believe in allowing them to take control of a drill. They learn more by coaching each other and have more fun doing it. Coaches should try reversing roles. Let the players tell the coaches what they are doing wrong. It’s a great way to reinforce what they have learned. You’ll discover real fast who how much these kids have learned.

Bunting – Draw sections in the dirt in front of home plate. In each section, write a number representing a point value based on what the coach considers the perfect bunt. For example, a two-foot diameter circle in that no-man’s area between the pitcher, catcher and either 1st or 3rd base. Divide the girls up into teams. Each girl takes her turn bunting. She is awarded the point value of the section that the ball stops in (not lands in.)

After every player has taken her turn, total up the points and reward the winners. Once or twice in a season we’ll hand out a small piece of candy (Tootsie Roll or Starburst) for each point. After the girls have played this game, let them take turns drawing sections in the dirt and assigning point values. Even if they give high point values to what would be considered a bad bunt, they are still learning how to control the bunt and put it where they want it. If you use your own pitchers, they get practice. Caution: the pitching machine balls tend to be more bouncy that real softballs and are more difficult to control. Make the sections larger and explain why to the players.

DIZZY LIZZY

This game is a great one to just have some fun with your players. If they have been working really hard for a while, you may want to do this as a release from the tension. Have one team at bat, and one team in the field with a fielder on third base and one at first base. The batter must take a bat and place the knob to her forehead and the other end on the ground. She now spins around 5-7 times, then hits (or tries to hit) a ball off a tee and runs the bases until both the fielders have touched the ball in the outfield (or where ever it has gone). If you have some uptight players, this will loosen them up in a big hurry.

PERFECT THROWS
Start by placing your infielders at their positions (except the pitcher). The ball starts at the catcher, she throws to the second baseman, she throws to the third baseman, she throws to the first baseman, she throws to the shortstop, and she throws back to the catcher. The whole time this is going on you have a runner run the bases. They leave at the same time as the catcher starts the cycle. It starts out easy for the fielders because they tend to start in kind of close and creep in. I let them do that for a while, till it gets too easy, then I make them start backing up. After they get a few steps in the grass the faster runners start making it close. The runners like to see a dropped or missed ball.

This really helps on the infielder’s learning to get rid of the ball quickly.

PICKOFF GAME

This is a good game for all aspects of stealing. Put players at each of the infield positions. Have the rest of the team put on helmets and line up at 1st base. The base runners will each run the bases in this pattern: lead off, steal. You may only have one runner on the bases at time. The first runner gets ready on first. The pitcher pitches the ball and the runner takes a lead. The catcher attempts a pick-off at first and the runner tries to get back in time. On the next pitch the runner attempts to steal second and the catcher tries to throw her out. The runner proceeds with a big lead at second, stealing third and big lead off at third. The final pitch for that runner is a deliberate passed ball/wild pitch, which gives the catcher and pitcher a chance to practice this play.
To encourage the runners to take big leads and to teach them what they can get away with we will place little pieces of candy in the dirt as a challenge. If they can grab the candy and get back safely, they can keep the candy. After they have done this drill a couple of times, allow the runners to do a “delayed steal” on their lead offs. If the catcher throws to first, the runners can attempt to go to second. This way the catchers learn to recognize the delayed steal and run the base runner back.
The drill gives the catcher a lot of practice throwing to the bases, allows the infielders to practice positioning themselves for and putting on the tag, and allows the base runners a chance to practice leading off, sliding.

ROTATION
BAT AROUND THE HORN.

This game requires two teams of 5 players.
(It can be played with 6 players or more but each player scores for herself)

One team takes the field at 1b,2b,SS,3b, and Catcher. The other team is at bat.
The batter hits a ground ball (from a tee, soft toss)
Fly balls are outs. An infielder catches the ball and throws to 1b. 1b then throws to one of the other infielders. That fielder throws back to 1b. 1b then throws to the other infielder (who hasn’t touched the ball) who
throws back to 1b. The ball then goes around the horn (1b to SS to 2b to 3b) and then to
the catcher.

Each fielder must touch her base before throwing except for around the horn and home. If the batter-runner can run all the way home before the ball gets home, 1 run scores. If the ball gets home first, one putout is made. Fielders rotate one position clockwise and next batter hits. Each Fielder has caught 3 balls and made 3 throws. Every catch and throw must be accurate or a run scores.

Bat until 3 outs are made and change sides.
Batters need to wear helmets..
With more than 10 players – Fielders can rotate in at 3b

Here’s an example in case my explanation was not clear.
Ball hit to 3rd.
3b catches batted ball, steps on 3rd, throws to 1b
1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to ss
ss catches ball, steps on 2nd, throws to 1b
1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to 2b
2b throws to 1b (now around the horn)
1b throws to ss
ss throws to 2b
2b throws to 3b
3b throws to c and c steps on home plate

RUNNING GAME
RUNNING GAME
My daughter calls this game, “The Running Game”. It is as old as the hills, but we use it almost every night in practice. Have half of the team line up at second base and half the team line up at home. On the signal, one player from each team runs the bases until she reaches the base she started out at. When she gets there, she tags the next runner in line and she runs the bases. This is done until all the runners have run. Whoever reaches their base first wins. The other team has to pick up the bases. This is usually the last thing we do at the end of practice.

SHORT HOPS
This can be done with two players or you (the coach) and all teammates.

This drill will help players with their short hops. You can be inside or outside. If inside, find an area that is clear.

One player gets in the field and the other one stands about 10-20 ft. away. The player or coach will throw the fielder a ball that hits the ground right in front of them.

The fielder has to go down to get the ball without it going by them. You do this over and over until they get the hang of it. If the fielder won’t keep their head on the ball you may want to use a softer ball at first. This will show the fielder the ball is likely never going to hit them in the face. That will help them keep their head down.

Then you go back to the regular softball and you will see that the fielder will not be as scared of the ball hitting them.

I hope this tip helps some of you players out there.

THUNDER BALL
THUNDER BALL
This game has been played ever since the start of time. It is played with 2 teams. One team is at bat with a tee or soft-toss, the other team has one fielder on third base and one on first base. The batter hits the ball off the tee or from a soft-toss as hard as she can and runs as many bases as she can until BOTH fielders have touched the ball. Keep score by counting bases reached before the ball is touched. After all batters have batted, switch sides.

WE CALL IT BOBBLE
Fun indoor drill…good for a rainy day activity.

Needs: 2 teams, a bucket of incrediballs, bat and a plate.

One team is on Defense past half court line and the other team (Offense) is at bat.

The coach pitches from half court line.

Defense

Defense is scattered past the half court line
Hit ceiling is out.
A catch or clean fielded grounder is out.
Grounder hits court before half line is out.
Swing and a miss is out.

Offense

Batters get unlimited amounts of consecutive points but only 1out.
If a player hits grounder through defense to the back wall = 1 pt.
Line drive to back wall=3 pts.
Fly back wall= 1 pts.
If there are hoops a drive to the opposing backboard is a slam. The offense screams slam for 4 pts.
If a fielder BOBBLES a grounder or drops a fly the opposing team screams bobble and earns 5 pts.
Once a team hits through the order you switch.
Both teams must scream their score between each pitch, if a team forgets a score they go back to 0 pts.

This drill is fun after the first day of learning the rules. It uses hitting, fielding, as well as communication and is very fast and competitive.

WHIFFLE BALL GAME
We use this drill to teach aggressive base running, hitting, and fielding. The drill uses a whiffle ball and a plastic bat. First set the bases at about 40 feet apart. Divide your team in two. One half of the team fields while the other half of the team bats. Fielders do not use their gloves. We want to teach them that the hands are the real tools in catching the ball. The ball is pitched from about 20 feet away. The batter has only three chances to hit the ball. (There are no balls or walks in this drill.) Once the ball is hit, the batter must run the bases until she reaches home plate or is tagged out. The fielders must always try to tag the runner out at first. You bat the entire line up. Then you change sides. We usually do this drill twice a week for about 20 minutes at a very fast pace.

3 TEAM SCRIMMAGE
I have coached girls softball for Little League for 4 years starting in B-ball. With at least a 12 girl team, young girls can become bored with drill after drill and yet they want to experience every position.

I have a scrimmage that is made of 3 teams of 4. One team consists of the outfield, the second, the infield and the third bats. After the 3 outs, the outfield moves to the infield, the infield bats and the batters go to the outfield. Etc., etc.

JAMIE
This is an excellent drill to start your defensive practice using every player on the team to warm up fielding & throwing. I usually start this drill with 4 balls allowing for 4 overthrows. As we are trying to field the ball correctly we are also emphasizing accurate throws. If the 4th ball is overthrown the entire team will take a lap around the field (jogging) and the drill will start over. I’ve had great success with this drill narrowing the no. of balls down to two. Anyway…. On to the drill. Setup a player at 1st base with a 2nd player as a backup. Setup a catcher at home. All other players are at 3rd base with one player playing 3rd base and everyone else in line outside the foul line. Coach is at home plate with the 4 balls and a bat. Coach hits grounder to 3rd baseman who fields the ball; makes an accurate throw; follows her throw and becomes backup at 1st base; player playing first base after catching ball makes accurate throw home to catcher; then follows her throw to become catcher; catcher tosses ball to coach(catcher than goes to end of line at 3rd base) who hits to next player in line at 3rd base. After entire team completes fielding & throwing to from 3rd base; move to ss; then to 2nd base; then back to 3rd base and run bunt defense with a player at 2nd base moving to 1st base for the catch (other words on the bunt defense you now have the 1st base backup playing 2nd base and 1st base as well as 3rd base are charging the bunt. After the play the 1st base comes home to be catcher; 2nd base becomes 1st base, 3rd baseman moves to 2nd base and catcher gets in line at 3rd base.

MECHANICS SERIES
This throwing drill is used for warm ups and is done is a series. It allows the players to focus on the “mechanics” of proper throwing techniques, using certain isolation drills.

1.) Indian style: have the players start approx. 10-12 yards from their partners sitting indian style. By throwing in this position, the players isolate the upper body motion, using the glove hand for proper shoulder rotation. To help emphasize proper follow through, the players should follow through, with their throwing arm elbow outside their knee, as if picking a blade of grass. (this can also be done in the kneeling position with both knees on the ground, bodies square to their partners.)

2.) One Knee: Have the players proceed to the one knee position, stride leg in front pointing towards their partners. The players should move back to approx. 15-20 yards. This focuses on upper body mechanics and accuracy. Again, the players should follow through with their throwing elbows outside their knee with bend int he waist.

3.) Standing: Players put all three together and begin throwing from the standing position. Again, emphasize using the glove hand to point at the target as well as proper follow through (throwing wrist should brush the outside of the knee).

4.) Crane: Players begin in the “crane” position. That is, with their stride leg raised in the air (knee bent), their glove hand pointing at their target, their throwing hand in the launch position (ball outside ear), players hold in this position for 2-3 seconds before releasing the ball. To ensure proper follow through, the players then take one full step towards their partner after releasing the throw. This helps the players focus on properly using their glove hand for emphasis on shoulder hip and knee rotation. What I tell the girls is that (if righty), their left shoulder, hip and knee point at their target and when they are done, their right shoulder hip and knee should be pointing at their target.

5.) Quick throw: Players work on framing and quick release. Players catch and throw without hesitation for approximately 1-1.5 minutes straight.

6.) Tags: While partners are working their “Crane” positioning, the receivers set up in the straddle position. When the throw comes in, they perform sweep tags. This allows the receivers to train as well as the throwers.

7.) Throwing for distance: Once the series has gone through, continue to have the players back up until they are able to make accurate, strong throws DIRECTLY to the receiver. No lob throws. This allows arm strengthening.

STRIPED BALL MECHANICS
Many coaches overlook a great opportunity to instruct correct mechanics in throwing when the players are warming up. What I like to do is to have about 7-8 softballs with a stripe drawn right down the middle and have the players get on one knee and warm up letting the ball roll off the fingertips and imparting the proper “6-12” rotation to the ball. The ball will actually have “riseball” spin on it when done properly.

This drill is done completely with the wrist and fingers. The proper rotation “6-12” is necessary to make the ball fly straight to the target and to make it fly farther. If a ball thrown from 3rd base to 1st base has sideways or “curve ball” spin on it, what was a great throw directly to the firstbaseman, will now be way offline and could cause an error. The ball with the peoper “6-12” rotation will fly perfectly straight to the target and with less drop. I usually have my players do this drill for about 5-10 minutes before throwing overhand.

THREE BALL THROWING MECHANICS
If a player’s throwing mechanics are improper, one characteristic of this is the glove hand flying out away from the body and away from the target. This will result in less velocity toward the target and generally a ball that is offline.

One drill I use a lot is to place 3 balls into the players’ hands (glove hands) and have them go through their throwing motion. If the glove hand is flying out, the players will not be able to hold onto the balls in her glove hand and they will fly out. This is instant feedback to the player that a mechanical correction is needed and the coach can correct it immediately. If her mechanics are correct, the balls will be held in the glove hand and no correction is needed.

THROWING FOR BUCKS
Regardless of the name of this game you won’t go broke. At the end of practice is the best time to do this drill. Place a large container on its side (a 30-gallon trash can is perfect but a ball bucket will work) at home plate with the open end facing centerfield. Have fielders line up in centerfield (age of players are a factor in how deep you go to centerfield). Players should be lined up to receive a hit ball.
The first player fields an outfield hit from the coach and attempts to throw the ball on target and one-hop it into the bucket. After her 1st attempt she goes to the end of the line and next player trys. We offer $1.00 to each player who is successful within three trys. The $1.00 incentive has grown with the age of our players now this contest is worth $5.00 at the 15-16 year old level.

THROWING FORM
In watching warm ups and in particular, throwing warm ups, the main problem I spotted in players trying to make the team was their throwing motion. Granted, some of the players had been taught the correct form for throwing the ball, but a lot had absolutely horrid form. Here are a few drills to fine tune your throwing form.

The bringing back of the throwing hand is done is a graceful, arching movement. The hand swings back and up, with the ball facing backward at the top of the arch. This can be practiced by having someone standing about 5 feet directly behind you. Take a ball and from the hand in glove position (as if the ball were just fielded) separate the hands with the ball hand swinging first down, then back and up until you throwing arm bicep is parallel with the ground and you have a 90 degree angle with you forearm pointing up and the ball facing backwards. Looking at this motion from the third base side (right handed thrower) the ball hand starts at 9:00 O”clock, swings down to 6:00 o’clock then up to 12:00 o”clock. If you release the ball at about 3:00 o”clock (for the drill) and your form is correct, the ball should be easily caught by the person standing behind you. If the ball goes to the left or right of the catcher, you are not using a proper path for your arm. Practice this drill until you have the proper arm motion, then, instead of releasing the ball, go into your throwing motion, striding with your lead foot and following through.

If you need additional work on this motion, try the load and go drill. Stand with your weight evenly distributed between both feet and in the position of already haven taken your stride, with hips facing towards third base(right handed thrower)Transfer your weight to the rear foot and lift the front foot off the ground. As you come forward with the ball in the throwing motion, transfer your weight back to your lead foot and make a throw.

If you work on this drill, it will improve your accuracy and distance.

3-2-RUN
I got this game from a site on the Internet. If anyone knows whose it is, I will gladly give them credit. It is a game we use almost every week.

Place 3 balls on the ground evenly spaced, about 3/4 of the way from third base to home. The fielding team has a third baseman and a group at second base. Another team is at bat (without bats). When the coach yells, “Go”, the batter (runner) runs as fast as she can to first base and on to second. The fielder at third base runs to the first ball and makes a throw to a teammate at second base, then goes to the second ball and makes a throw to the same fielder at second base and does the same thing with the third ball.

The object of this game is to make 3 good throws from third base (third base line) to second base before the runner gets to second base. If the runner gets there first, or if the fielder makes a bad throw or bad catch, the batters get 1 point (you can use any value you want). If the fielders get all 3 balls to second base before the runner gets there, no points are awarded.

HIT THE BUCKET
To improve throwing accuracy and footwork in the infeild, I like to divide my team in two groups. Half are positioned at short stop and the other half are positioned at second base. We mark off a starting point that the girls must stay behind until a ground ball is hit to them by a coach at home plate. Each group alternates players feilding ground balls and throwing to home plate where two stacked buckets are located. Each time a player hits the top bucket on a bounce 1 point is awarded. Hitting the bucket without a bounce gets 2 points.

My players charge their ball as hard as they can so that they can get a shorter throw. First group to 10 points is the winner and usually gats extra hacks during BP.

5 STAR
5 Star Throwing Drill Place players in five separate groups that form an upside down pentagon. X2 X5 X4 X3 X1 X1 has the baseball, throws it to X2 and follows his throw. X2 throws the ball to X3 and follows his throw. X3 throws the ball to X4 and follows his throw. X4 throws the ball to X5 and follows his throw. X5 throws the ball to X1 line and follows his throw. This drill can be run inside or out and at any distance. We shorten the distance to work on quick hands and lengthen the distance to provide long throwing for our players.

I like this drill because it forces the players to follow their throw. By doing this we have found the players are more likely to make a correct throwing motion and step directly at their target. We have noticed that in drills which require a player to return to the end of their line after making a throw the player tends to be in a hurry to go in an opposite direction of their throw which screws up extension and follow through. ( Thanks for the great info from other coaches and to Coach Brabant for putting this page together!) When we shorten the throwing I have the players about 10 feet apart. We extend it as far as 200 feet outside. This also serves as a good conditioner. One important detail about the drill after a player throws the ball to another line he should follow his throw to the outside to avoid getting hit by the next thrown ball.

8-BALL
Our throwing drill that we use is called the “8-Ball Drill”. It is divided into eight steps:

1) Player stands shoulder width apart, puts throwing arm up at 90 degree angle, holds elbow with glove, and throws ball to partner using just his wrist action.

2) Player sits with legs spread and has arm in same position, only this time he can use from his elbow up and throws the ball to his partner.

3) Player remains sitting, only now he can rotate his hips and turn his upper torso to throw the ball. Follow through is not necessary yet. There is an emphasis on using the glove arm or elbow to direct throw.

4) Player now goes to one knee. He rotates his hips and upper torso and throws the ball, only now he puts the emphasis on following through across his knee, which is raised.

5) Player now stands with glove arm closest to partner, and feet shoulder width apart. Using all of the above steps, he throws the ball concentrating on follow through, only he cannot move his feet.

6) Player now goes to the post position as in pitching, and throws the ball using the above steps. Emphasis in this step is balance at the post position.

7) Player now uses all the steps above, crow hops and throws the ball to his partner. Emphasis in this step is on proper technique of the crow hop.

8) Finally, the last step is long toss. Additionally, we add playing quick toss to the last step, primarily intended for the benefit of the infielders. They stand about 10 feet apart and toss the ball to each other as quickly as they can for one minute. You can even keep track of the number of catches to turn this into a competition. Emphasis here is on a quick release and concentrating on the ball entering and leaving the glove (transferring).

HIT ONE AND COVER
We call this “Hit one and Cover.”

With the infield in position hit a ball to the third basemen who makes the throw to first. First base brings the ball home and the catcher throws it back to the third basemen who brings it home again. Repeat the activity around the infield with each new base throwing to the previous one i.e. hit to first comes home back to first then to second third and home again. If proper throws are not made then start the drill again. We have found that this help get the infielders set and used to making good throws.

LENGTHEN
We use This throwing drill to strengthen the players arms during the season. This is a long toss drill that tries to lengthen out all throws made.

We split the outfielders into two groups, one in left, the other in right. Every one else is in their positions. Each group of outfielders start with one ball each. The left fielder throws through his cut off man (a third baseman,Optional) to a catcher just off the plate. As that ball comes in, a coach in front on the plate will short toss a ball to a catcher that is in the catching position. Upon receiving the ball he throws down to second base(like throwing out a runner), where a second baseman awaits the throw and makes a tag. He then throws a backhander to the next second baseman, who fields the backhand and throws to one of two first basemen. This first baseman is on the outfield side of first base and about 3 to 4 feet away from the bag. He then returns the ball to the next left fielder in line. who starts the process over again. The right fielder makes a throw to third base through a cut-off man (a shortstop,Optional). The third baseman throws a backhand to the shortstop who turns and throws to the first baseman that is on the bag. (We usually put up a screen to keep the other first baseman from getting hit). The first baseman tosses the ball to a third first basemen who strings it out to the right fielder.

Every player should rotate to get a turn. The third basemen rotate with the shortstops to get in their throws. Every throw should be on a line, either one or two hopping it. The first basemen who throw to the outfielders should throw it on a line as if it was across the infield.

Please email me if you have any questions.

MACHINE GUN THROWING
This is an adaptation of an old basketball drill called, ” machine gun passing.” We call it machine gun throwing. We put pitchers, catchers, and all position players through this drill. It can be run during preseason indoors ( in Minnesota we spend a good share of our early season inside ) or during the season outdoors.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: 2 baseballs and 8 players with gloves.

DRILL SET UP: Put 7 players in a straight line approximately 3 to 4 feet apart with the player at the far right holding a baseball. Put 1 player facing the line of 7 approximately 15 feet away from the center player in the line of 7. The player facing the line of 7 also has a baseball.

X8 X7 X6 X5 X4 X3 X2
X1

Coach will say, “Go.” Player 1 throws his ball to player 3. At the same time player 2 throws his ball to player 1. As soon as player 3 catches the ball he throws it back to player 1. As soon as player 1 catches the ball from player 2 he throws it to player 4, and so on down the line. Player 1 works his way down the line to player 8 and then back up the line to player 2. At this point player 1 flips his ball to player 3, player 2 replaces player 1 ( player 1 then goes to the end of the line ) and everyone rotates up one spot and the drill starts over again.

X1 X8 X7 X6 X5 X4 X3
X2

We believe this is an excellent drill for developing quick hands and quick feet. It forces the players to catch the ball with two hands. If he catches it with one hand he can’t get rid of it in time before the next ball is coming at him. It also teaches our players the importance of stepping at your target because you have to shift your feet in a different direction before throwing to the next person in line. A player who is lax or sloppy with his glove or feet is easily spotted in this drill.

It really is not as complicated to run as I have made it to look on paper.

ONE KNEE
Purpose: To develop the player’s arm and shoulder strength for throwing.

Procedure: Each players kneels on the ground 10 yards apart facing eachother. (Right handed players kneel on right knee with the left leg out in front, while left handed players kneel on left knee with the right leg out in front.) Each pair has one baseball.

The players throw the ball back and forth to each other for a desire time period. Then the players are moved apart another 5 yards, and they continue to throw back and forth to each other for an additional time period. The drill continues to proceed in this manner for as long as desired. The distance the players are moved apart depends on their arm and shoulder strength.

RELAY RACE
Divide your team into two lines, around 8ft. apart.

x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x

Give the first player in each line a baseball and have a relay race with the baseball of three or more rounds. When the ball gets to the end of the line and back to the player at the beginning is considered one lap. Make sure each player is turning on the glove hand as they turn to throw. If a player in the line misses the ball, that player must retrieve the ball and throw to the next player in-line. The team that completes the the amount of laps set is the winner.Divide your team into two lines, around 8ft. apart.

x x x x x x x
x x x x x x x

Give the first player in each line a baseball and have a relay race with the baseball of three or more rounds. When the ball gets to the end of the line and back to the player at the beginning is considered one lap. Make sure each player is turning on the glove hand as they turn to throw. If a player in the line misses the ball, that player must retrieve the ball and throw to the next player in-line. The team that completes the the amount of laps set is the winner.

THROW AND GO
This drill teaches young players to follow their throws in the right direction.

Have two single file lines of players (one behind the other) facing at a comfortable throwing distance.

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 >> << B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

The player at the head of line one throws to the player at the head of line two. After the throw, player continues a forward motion (as one should) in the direction of the throw by running to the back of the opposite line.

The drill is especially effective for Tee Ballers as it encourages players to follow their throws instead of allowing them to ‘cheat backward’ as they tend to do when going to the back of the same line.

More Softball Drills


Summary
Softball Throwing Drills
Article Name
Softball Throwing Drills
Description
Are you looking for some softball throwing drills? Here are some drills that I have compiled from various sources for you to use right away.
Author
Publisher Name
Softball Tutor
Publisher Logo
   
     © 2017 Softball Tutor