I like to start each pitching practice with the players playing the 3-ball game. I got this game from ASU Head Softball Coach Linda Wells.
3-Ball: How It's Done
One player has one ball, the other player has two balls. The one with two balls throws a pitch to the other, the receiving player must throw a pitch to the first. These "pitches" are not thrown from the pitching stance. They are "walk-ins", meaning that they are thrown while walking into the pitch.
When done correctly, each pitcher can throw 50 pitches in a very short time. The reason for this is that the pitcher is not waiting for a ball to be thrown to her. She always has one in her hand.
After warming up with 3-ball we go directly to the tempo drills.
- First we throw eight balls into a net concentrating on wrist snap. During this drill, the player snaps her wrist as quickly and violently as possible.
- Next we throw eight balls concentrating on arm speed.
- Next is stride. I like for the players to make a mark in the dirt for her stride on the first pitch and then try to beat her mark.
- After that, we do one I call "Reach For The Sky." It is done with both feet together. The pitcher throws 8 pitches concentrating on reaching for the sky at the very top of the windmill. This emphasizes the full arm extension.
- Finally we put the whole thing together and throw eight balls incorporating all the drills above.
In between each of these drills, I have the pitchers do weights with a nine-pound dumbbell. First arm curls. Next are butterflies, then wrist curls isolating just the wrist.