One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a coach is to throw your pitchers right into the fire. While you may find out who has the best natural throw, by neglecting the fundamentals now you may be sacrificing long term success later.
To avoid these pitfalls, I recommend breaking down the pitch from the end to the beginning. If your pitcher understands the proper way to finish their pitch, once they understand the proper way to start it, all the stuff in the middle will fall into place much easier. By putting the focus of your softball pitching drills on the end rather than beginning, players often learn better.
Wrist Snap Drill
The most important part of the softball pitch is the wrist snap at the end. It doesn’t matter how powerful the rest of your pitching motion is – if you can’t maximize the transfer of power into the last forearm snap of the pitch, it’s all a waste.
The drill is simple. Stand 5-10 yards away from another pitcher or partner, and hold the ball down by your hip, your arm completely vertical.
Now to simulate and accentuate the importance of the wrist snap, keep your arm in the same vertical position, but pull your wrist back as far as it goes. Your feet should stay planted.
Now focusing on keeping your arm in the same position from the shoulder to the wrist, throw the ball with as much force and topspin as possible at your partner. By isolating the wrist movement, your muscle memory will be trained in the importance of the last part of the pitch.
Forearm Snap Drill
Once your pitchers have got the hang of the wrist snap, allow them to unlock another crucial arm joint – the elbow.
The principles behind the drill are the exact same as the wrist snap drill, but instead of locking your arm from the shoulder down to the wrist, stop the lock at the elbow.
Now when you follow through, focus on bringing your elbow up to a 90® angle with as much force as possible.
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