water bottle drill softball

Softball and baseball players alike can benefit from doing “dry work” at home – mechanical exercises without throwing a ball. Classically, the “towel drill” or using a towel in the hand was the common way to perform towel drills. Players hold many things in the hand – a whiffle ball, a ball inside a sock, a towel or water bottle. My preference as a coach and player was to hold a half-filled water bottle, so in this article I’ll explain how and why to use it. 

Why Use a Water Bottle for Drills? 

For me, there isn’t a set “water bottle drill.” Rather, I just like the feel and teaching power of a water bottle in the hand. It’s a simple, cheap and effective tool made popular by throwing coach Austin Wasserman. For $0.10, any player can grab a 16oz bottle and navigate dry work a little better on their own. 

Watch The Video Below For a Full Demonstration

What The Water Bottle Drill Helps With

I like using water bottles as a replacement for the towel that I grew up using as a young baseball pitcher. It feels more natural and helps remind players of the following: 

  • where their hand is in space 
  • when their arm should lay back, and where 
  • when they’re spinning off and getting around the ball 
  • sidearm vs. overhand throwing action 
  • proper hand break action and timing
  • anything else you as a coach want to teach 

But Remember: It’s Just a Tool. 

Like any throwing drill, they only produce as much value as the work and coaching that goes in. The water bottle is a tool that I use to help dry throwing drills work a little better. But, they’re not a fix in themselves nor are they a miracle replacement for coaching or hard work.

At the end of the day, a water bottle is just something to hold in your hand while you either focus (or don’t) on improving throwing mechanics.  

Want More Throwing Resources? 

SnapSoftball.com

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My Free Throwing eBook

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My YouTube Channel

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