Warming Up Without Gloves
Every time we warm up, I have my athletes play catch without gloves to ensure that they are warming up slowly–very slowly. This is so they have to throw that ball softly and use good mechanics.
Warming Up With Gloves
Now after the athletes have thrown without a glove and they’re fairly warmed up — they’ve thrown 10-20 balls without a glove — then we stand at a close distance and we allow them to pick up a glove to throw. They’re still throwing fairly easy, just warming up. We want both parts to be perfect: the catch part and the throw part.
Down on One Knee/Two Knees
The next move that we do is go down to one knee. For a right-handed thrower, we’ll have the right knee down.
This is going to isolate the upper body so they’re going to have to really use that left arm and pull down with the glove. This softball throwing drill also helps your players use the whole strength of the shoulders and torso.
Then we’ll back up to about 40 feet. Before, we were just at 30 or 35 feet. Now we’re at 40 and the athletes are a little warmer.
They’re still using their technique: elbows are high and they’re pulling with that left arm. They’re not throwing hard yet; they’re still getting warmed up.
You can do that one knee drill much farther apart, and for your outfielders you want to work with building upper body strength. You can really back them up to 70, 80 feet and make them throw just with the isolated body part.
From down on two knees here, we’re going to jump up and back it up to a greater distance so we’ll be throwing right at 60 feet when we complete this two-knee throwing drill.
It’ll take us 10 or 15 minutes to warm up through the softball throwing drill process. Going through the no glove, work on one knee, two knees, all the way through.
If you liked these softball throwing drills and would like to see even more (as well as other drills and coaching tips), be sure to check out my YouTube page!