Softball Pitching Tempo Drills

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.

Tempo Drills

  1. 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.
  2. Next we throw eight balls concentrating on arm speed.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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