Thursday, 3 May 2012

Fastpitch Softball Drills - Develop Speed and Accuracy With These Pitching Drills

ByBecky Wittenburg

Once softball pitchers have developed their technique, they often reach a plateau where they no longer improve. However, there is always potential to be a better pitcher. These innovative fastpitch softball drills were designed to help pitchers develop their speed and accuracy on the mound.

Snap Drill

This fastpitch softball drill was developed to practice the snap of the wrist at the end of the pitch. Using the wrist muscles to snap the ball as it is released will increase the velocity of the pitch.

For this drill, two pitchers will stand about ten feet apart. The first pitcher will start with the pitching hand down at the side, holding the ball. She then takes her wrist back slightly before flipping the ball forward to her teammate, focusing on using as much power as possible. The partner will catch the pitch and use the same technique to snap the ball back. Each pitcher should snap the ball twenty-five times, working to increase strength in the wrist and velocity in the snap. This also serves as a great pitching warm-up.

Two for One

This drill for fastpitch softball helps the pitcher develop fielding skills while practicing pitches. The pitcher needs to always be prepared for a ball hit back to the mound.

Set up this drill with the pitcher at the mound and the catcher at the plate, each with one ball. As the pitcher delivers her pitch, the catcher will toss a ground ball to the mound. The pitcher should field the ball and use it for her next pitch, while the catcher will receive the pitch and use it for her next toss. Complete the routine twenty times, focusing on proper technique and increasing reaction time.

Distance Pitching

This pitching drill develops arm strength while emphasizing accuracy of pitches.

Start with the pitcher twenty feet from home plate, pitching to the catcher at home. The pitcher throws as many pitches as it takes to get five strikes, according to the catcher's judgment. Next, the pitcher should move back ten feet and pitch five strikes from that position, and so on until she is sixty feet from home plate.

Pitching from a long distance stretches the arm and increases strength, resulting in more powerful pitches. Using the catcher to determine strikes will keep the focus on accuracy, as well.

Isolation Drill

This softball drill for pitching focuses on the last portion of the pitch. By isolating the final stage of the pitching motion, players can develop the specific moves required to deliver an accurate pitch.

Have the pitcher stand thirty feet away from a teammate. The pitcher will start by raising the pitching arm and curling the wrist to form a letter "c" above the head. She should then complete the pitch from this position, concentrating on swinging the arm down, firing the hips, snapping the wrist, and releasing the pitch.

And if you'd like to see more free softball drills and coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:

http://www.softball-spot.com/vid/

Becky Wittenburg is a kids softball coach, and the owner and publisher of Softball-Spot.com, the web's #1 resource for softball drills, tips, and practice ideas for youth and high school coaches.

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