If you’re a coach, you’re probably looking to improve your throwing progression for your team. But the typical softball throwing progression that I see is little more than outdated drills backed by pseudoscience. In this article, I’ll show you the throwing drills that belong in every softball team’s pregame throwing routine.
Problems with Typical Softball Throwing Progressions
When I watch softball teams warm up, I often see the same few drills:
- Wrist flicks
- Short, quick throws from 20-30 feet (kind of like hot-potato)
- Drills with the feet planted
These are all very poor throwing drill choices for softball players. Why? Because they reinforce many of the common problems seen in throwing mechanics, which include:
- A low elbow (the reason many softball players throw with low velocity
- Poor hip rotation (which is a root cause of the low elbow)
- Early opening of the front side (which causes poor velocity, accuracy in addition to adding elbow stress)
Learn more about why to avoid the wrist flick drill in the video below:
Reasons These Old Drills Don’t Work Well
The body wants to use the legs, then the hips, core, upper body and finally the arm to throw at max velocity. Though it can be an effective tactic sometimes to keep the feel planted so that one individual piece of the mechanics can be isolated and improved, there is often too much of this in team throwing progressions.
In short, the more players move their feet, the more their body will get in sync with itself, allowing the legs, hips, core and arm to work together to produce the best mechanics…naturally.
Here’s what a Good Softball Throwing Progression Looks Like:
- 1-2 Drills with stationary feet.
- These help players feel and work on making mechanical changes without worrying about too many moving body parts.
- 1-2 Drills that use most the body and teach weight shift.
- These drills should teach good weight transfer and use of the front side.
- 1-2 Drills that are very dynamic, mimicking game-speed and the position the athlete plays.
- We want to get our players ready to play, so incorporating game footwork and position-specific throws is VERY important.
A Sample Throwing Progression for Softball
On my YouTube Channel, Snap Softball, I have a playlist that contains fundamental throwing drills, tips and techniques. I highly recommend you subscribe to the channel and watch every video in that playlist.
My Favorite Stationary Drill For Softball Players
The lawnmower drill is a GREAT throwing drill. It improves mechanics by reinforcing a good elbow angle while not forcing the arm to stay stationary like in the traditional L-Drill.
My Favorite Weight-Shift Drill For Softball Throwing Mechanics
My Best Position Drill Video For Coaches & Players
Get My Free Softball Throwing eBook Instantly
Learn more about common throwing flaws, drills and tips to improve throwing velocity. Any player can add 2-4 miles per hour by following the drills outlined, working hard and practicing regularly. And, it’s free.
Want a Made for You Softball Throwing Progression? I Have One!
I have a softball video course called She’s Got a Cannon: Lite Edition.
It’s a pre-made throwing progression that you can use right away, and it includes 40+ videos explaining everything. It was built for teams and coaches, and its a terrific value.
If you’re new here, definitely check out the video below that explains the major factors involved in softball throwing speed.