If you’re serious about becoming a better softball player, you need to practice throwing every day. This iSport Lesson will cover a few drills to get your throwing skills up to par.
We’ll first go over the most common throwing drills in softball: The One-Knee Snap Drills.
First, find a partner.
Standing about five feet apart, both you and your partner need to kneel down on your throwing knee.
Taking off your glove and keeping your glove next to you, grab the ball and find the proper four-seam grip.
Then bend your throwing arm in front of you and raise your elbow to about shoulder-height.
Stabilize your wrist with your glove-side hand to isolate the snap.
Now, simply snap forward to release the ball. Again, you should feel the ball roll off your fingertips, especially your middle finger, in a perfectly spiral rotation. If done properly, this ball should not go far. You want to try to get the ball to rotate as many times as you can.
After you’ve done 10 snaps, one of you will stand up and move five feet back.
Putting your glove on, you will raise your throwing arm in the same manner, but instead of isolating your wrist with your glove-hand, you are going to place your glove beneath your throwing-arm’s elbow. This isolates your upper arm, so you can focus on having a proper release and snap.
Bring your forearm down and release the ball when it’s about 45-degrees in front of you. After about 10 release snaps, one of you will get up and move 10 feet back.
For this final one-knee drill, you are going to isolate your upper body. Get your throwing arm into position and use your glove or glove-side elbow as a pointer. When your arm is in position, look back to check you have proper form: Arm in “L” position with the ball facing away from you. After you’ve checked it, look back and find your target, and then throw the ball. After you release the ball, follow through by sweeping the ground in front of your opposite-side foot.
Now it’s time to stand up!
The final throwing drill is called the figure-eight drill, which again isolates your upper body.
Spread your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart.
Bring the ball to your glove and start with both hands at your chest. Now move both hands down to your glove-side hip. Then move them toward your throwing-side hip, and up to the top of your glove-side shoulder.
Then move them to the top of your throwing-side shoulder and as you do this last move, turn your entire upper body perpendicular to your target.
Then take your throwing hand and ball out of the glove and get into proper throwing position.
As you bring your throwing elbow forward, bring your glove in to the side of your body.
Release the ball and follow through by bringing your throwing hand down past your opposite-side hip. You will not move your feet for this drill.
After about 10 throws, you can practice full throws.
Let’s review what we just learned about these throwing drills:
For the three one-knee drills, remember to first isolate your snap, and then practice your release, and finally practice your throwing by isolating your upper body.
For the figure-eight drill, remember to turn your upper body perpendicular to your target before throwing, and practice a good follow-through.
And for every snap, make sure you are feeling the ball roll off your fingertips and not come off your palm. You want to aim for a perfectly spiral rotation each time.