When it comes to drills for softball, every coach will want to set aside some time to work specifically with pitchers. Following are some great pitching drills that are sure to get your pitcher ready for the game.
L Drill for Softball
The L drill doesn’t require more than one athlete–if you have a parent that your pitcher can throw to, or even a net they can throw to, your pitcher can perform this drill.
The L drill is performed from the knee. Pitchers will have their glove-side foot up and will start in an L position with their throwing hand directly above their head and their glove straight ahead of them.
We’re now working from the shoulder all the way down. One thing to point out is that through the pitching motion, we’re trying to achieve a whipping motion. The farther we move from our body, the more accelerated movement should exist in your body parts. Beginning with the shoulder down through the elbow, to the wrist, and ending with the fingertips. At release, your fingertips should be the fastest-moving part of your body. This drill should be performed for three to five minutes and 25-35 repetitions.
L Drill Standing
In this drill, now that we’re standing, we want to incorporate more of the weight shift and flow through the pitching motion.
Your pitcher should start in that L position with the glove out and the ball up. The start position cues for this softball drill are glove out, ball up, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. They should take a small stride forward as they drive off with the back leg and finish in that closed door position. The key here is alignment and mechanics.
Like most all of these drills, it can be performed alone with a friend, a parent, or coach, or even against a wall. This drill can be performed for three to five minutes or 25-35 reps.
Flamingo Drill for Softball
This drill works on push off and driving into your target. Your pitcher should start on the non-glove-side foot. She’ll need a little bit of rock to generate the forward motion.
One thing to think about as you do this drill is that the average pitcher should have a stride of six to six-and-a-half feet from the push-off foot to the plant foot as it goes forward.
As your pitcher does this drill, remember the open door, closed door. She should start to close shortly after the front foot plants. She should be open as she gets to the release point, plant, and shortly after the plant and as she moves into the follow-through, she will be closed.
Remind your pitcher to keep in mind as she drives forward that she needs to get her feet in line. If your pitcher draws a line from herself to the catcher, to the target, she wants to perform her skills and mechanics on that line. We get our shoulders, hips, feet in line, and our glove and throwing hand in line on that power line.
This drill should be performed for three to five minutes or 25 reps.
Stride with Cone Drill for Softball
This drill is similar to the flamingo. We’re focusing on leg drive and getting out through your target. We put a cone out where we’ve said that the taller pitchers (over five-and-a-half-feet tall) should be able to have a stride of six to six-and-a-half feet.
The idea is to get up and over the cone and learn to get that forward drive. Through this drill, watch the plant foot. When the plant foot makes contact to the ground, it should be at approximately a 45-degree angle.
A variation to this is to increase the distances of the cones as kids are able to drive out, as well as put taller cones out. For safety’s sake, make certain the cone isn’t where you’re going to land on it. If you’re concerned about that, get more flexible cones and lay them on their sides so that you don’t roll your ankles. Again, alignment, mechanics, and staying on that power line are of the utmost importance. This drill should be performed for five minutes or 25 reps.
With these pitching drills for softball, your pitcher should be able to perfect her mechanics and ensure that she’s pitching correctly and powerfully. If you liked these drills, be sure to share them with your fellow coaches on Facebook!