Whilst we cannot guarantee that every throw you will make is going to be a strike, it is still important for players like you to enhance your speed, endurance and accuracy. Fortunately, there are various activities to build speed and accuracy in softball pitching drills that you can try.
The drills aim to sustain the players’ natural abilities by repeating specific activities. We compiled a shortlist of the best recommendations and potential practices to be included in your drills. Remember that these drills can help you increase your speed and improve accuracy, but the success may vary from one pitcher to the other.
Rapid-Sequence Pitching Drills – also known as speed drills, help build stamina and strength. To do this, the pitcher must throw 15 full speed pitches as quickly as possible without winding up. Apparently, you need a cooperative catcher to properly execute the drill.
The catcher will quickly return the softball to the pitcher who is on the mound and starts delivering again. Use two balls for quick throwbacks. If done correctly, the entire drill will take 45 seconds to one minute. Do at least four sets of this drill.
Distance Pitching Drill - is another effective drill to increase the player’s control, speed and accuracy. To execute this, take a step back after each pitch you made. This will make you throw the ball at a longer distance each time. Continue working your way back until you can barely make the pitch towards the catcher.
Repeat the process, but this time, you will start backward. You will throw ball a step closer each time. When you are back in the rubber, throw 15 consecutive fastballs. The distance pitching drill must be incorporated in your daily practice and should be done before a game.
20-4 Drill - also called the 10-3 drill is an ideal activity, especially if you are working with younger players. It will help them work on their ball control and focus on their accuracy. Start at a normal pitching distance or even closer, depending on the pitcher’s skill level.
The pitcher needs to pitch 20 strikes for every four softball he will pitch. If he gets the fourth ball before he gets the 20th strike, he has to start over again. The drill requires repetitive pitching, but make sure not to overdo it to avoid injury.
Instead of focusing on speed, the pitcher is encouraged is to pitch slower and focus rather on the accuracy. We recommend you to pitch at about half or 60% of your normal pitching speed. This is due to the lesser downtime between every pitch.
Isolation Drill – this focuses on the final portion of the pitching motion. This activity aims to develop specific moves needed to execute an accurate pitch. To do this, stand 30 feet away from, with your feet aligned with your partner.
Form a letter “C” by raising your pitching arm and curling your wrist above your head. From this position, you must complete your pitch and concentrate on firing your hips, swinging down your arm, snapping your wrist then finally, throwing the pitch to your teammate.
Remember that there are three things that every good pitcher must possess: accuracy, speed and movement. While others say it is important to focus on speed and movement, others will also agree that accuracy should not be left behind. It is when you are able to strike as a pitcher and deliver the ball wherever you want it to be.
When you are working with your speed and accuracy in fastpitch, there are a lot more things to consider. These factors include the amount of snap you will exert when you release the ball, your arm speed and velocity and how well you are able to use your lower body. Likewise, you should also be able to change speed and do it well.
Aside from trying these and other pitching drills, you must know how to drive with your legs and hips to create powerful and positive movements. Accuracy drills will require you to hit certain spots, regardless of the pitch you make. Moreover, having a good grip on the ball is another important thing. Apparently, you can master these tips and techniques with constant practice and continuous learning.
Read more softball drills in my blog