Once you’ve got a good handle on the fundamentals of the pitch, the L position for example, you’re going to want to start working on improving speed and power. And while most players’ first instinct is to hurl them arm at the plate faster, the improved speed on their pitches will actually come from their stride.
So when I want to get players to really extend and commit to their stride as they pitch, I show them what I call the Cone drill.
Stride with Cone Drill
If your players are still learning the basics of the stride, you might want to make sure they have a go at the flamingo drill first off. Once they understand the technique though, you’ll want to get them to try this drill out.
Have your pitcher line up, in ready position. Your girls should be aiming for a stride distance between 6′ and 6’6. But explaining this to players can be tough – it’s hard to know exactly how long your making your stride when your worried about getting the proper grip, timing your weight shift, and all the other intricacies involved in throwing a softball pitch.
So I like to put down a cone at the exact distance I want my pitcher to stride at – it gives them a visual target to aim for, as well as a chance to assess post-pitch if they executed properly. This way they can develop a long, powerful, consistent stride, so that when they’re in a game, without the cone there, their muscle memory will take care of the stride distance for them.
Remember – they want their stride foot to land at around a 45 degree angle on the ground. They’ll be more stable as they finish off the pitch that way!
Remember, as always, I’d love to hear any questions or comments you’ve got below!