Purpose:

Works on a powerful push-off and on driving toward the target.

Setup:

Two players stand about 15 to 20 feet apart.

Instructions:

  1. The pitcher stands on her non-glove side foot.
  2. She puts her stride foot into the air and brings it forward, then back, then forward again to create a rocking motion.
  3. She strides forward and throws the ball to her partner.
  4. The pitchers throw the ball back and forth in this manner.

Coaching Tips:

  • The average pitcher should have a stride of 6 to 6.5 feet. Shorter pitchers (under 5’6\”) may have a 5 to 6 foot stride.
  • Pitches should be focused on getting a strong push-off to increase velocity.
  • The pitcher’s stride, shoulders and release point should all be along the power line.
  • Run the drill for 3-5 minutes or 25 repetitions.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Emphasize the importance of balance during the rocking motion. Encourage younger pitchers to pause momentarily at the peak of each rock to ensure they’re balanced before driving forward.
  • Younger pitchers might be tempted to swing their glove arm out wide. Coach them to keep their glove arm close and pointing towards their target to maintain alignment and balance.
  • When starting out with the Flamingo Drill, encourage younger athletes to prioritize getting the technique right rather than the speed of their pitch. As they get more comfortable, they can then work on increasing their velocity.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Experienced pitchers should be reminded to use their hips for additional power. The hips should open up towards the target just before the stride foot lands, allowing for a strong rotational force.
  • Stress the importance of a consistent release point. As the pitcher becomes more comfortable with the drill, they should focus on releasing the ball at the same point every time to improve accuracy and command.
  • Older athletes should be encouraged to reflect on each pitch. Was the stride consistent? Was the release point accurate? Self-assessment after each pitch can help fine-tune their skills and make necessary adjustments for the next throw.