water bottle drill softball

How to Use a Water Bottle for Throwing Drills in 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? 


Check out Snapsoftball.com – my other website dedicated strictly to softball, complete with new articles weekly on throwing, mental training, strength training, and more.

My Free Throwing eBook

Download a free copy of my eBook, Ten Softball Throwing Mistakes. 

My YouTube Channel

Check out the Snap Softball YouTube channel with tons of videos on throwing, the mental game, strength and conditioning, and more. 

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