There are a LOT of old throwing drills in softball that just aren’t very useful. Many are ineffective, outdated, or are just plain teaching the wrong things. In this article, learn the best four softball throwing drills for any player or team, that you can put to good use immediately.
Throwing Drills To Increase Velocity and Accuracy
To throw harder and increase accuracy, softball players need a handful of things:
- Good coaching
- The right drills (keyword: right)
- Excellent arm conditioning
- Consistent throwing and practice
- An effective arm care routine
Today, we’ll cover item two on this: the right drills that every softball player should be doing as part of pregame and practice. Drills are not magic fixes, but they are an important tool to help teach efficient, powerful throwing mechanics.
Drill #1: The Lawnmower Drill
The lawnmower drill is great for increasing scap load, which is something that many softball players lack. For more on the scap load, visit my YouTube channel (links at the end of this article). I have videos there and on snapsoftball.com.
The lawnmower drill is great for beginners and helps get players accustomed to pulling the shoulders back (scap loading) as well as getting their arm into proper timing.
Most softball players throw harder just from doing this drill for a few days. It’s powerful and yet simple.
Drill #2: The Hand-Break Timing Drill
When a player breaks her hands is a CRUCIAL time in the throwing motion. If the hands break too early, everything later on in the delivery will suffer, getting out of sync and leaking power.
In the video below, I explain and demonstrate what good hand break timing looks like and why it’s so important to softball players who want to fix their throwing mechanics. As far as softball throwing drills go, this one can make a massive impact right away – timing is THAT important.
Drill #3: The Swing Shuffle Drill
The swing shuffle drill is great for improving the glove arm action, lateral explosiveness in the legs, staying closed, building momentum. and more. It’s one of my favorite drills for long-toss, which is also great for improving arm strength.
When long-tossing, I recommend staying on a line (something that a cutoff man could intercept). Very high angle long toss adds stress to the elbow (research on baseball pitchers has proven this) so staying at lower angles is probably the safest thing to do.
Drill #4: The Glove Arm Drill
I want to share with you the role of the glove arm, and I explain in depth what a good glove arm does in this video below.
The glove arm acts as a crank, helping the hips to turn powerfully toward the target once the stride phase of the throw has finished. Without good glove arm action, softball players are leaving a lot of velocity on the table. This is one of the best softball throwing drills that you probably haven’t seen before.
BONUS: What NOT to Do: The Wrist Snap Drill
…And Please Stop Doing The L-Drill.
Want to Improve Your Throwing?
I have tons more videos on my YouTube channel, as well as on Snapsoftball.com. Check them out below.
If you’re interested in throwing harder from the field (I specialized in teaching softball players how to throw harder overhand) download my free eBook.
I also offer an extensive online course on throwing that will help any player gain miles per hour and accuracy on her throws. It’s called She’s Got a Cannon and it’s an amazing step-by-step resource for players, parents and coaches.
Good luck this season! – Dan