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.
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