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Indoor & Outdoor Fastpitch Softball Pitching Drills To Increase Speed

Updated on January 12, 2012

Are you a fastpitch softball coach looking to do more for your pitchers? This is the article for you. With so much revolving around the pitching of teams today, it's more important than ever to have your pitcher(s) in tip top shape. Mechanics are a must and these drills will help develop and refine them. Some drills have pictures to show you what it should look like. They are found at the bottom of the page and have captions to help. These drills are being told from a right handed pitchers perspective. For left handers, just reverse everything!

Wrist Snap Drill
Wrist Snap Drill

Drill #1
Wrist Snaps

One of the most, if not the most, important part of the pitch, the wrist snap is crutial to adding speed and velocity. There are 3 variations to this drill.

First Way: Start by having the pitcher kneel down on her right knee while keeping her left knee up (See Picture). For right handed pitchers, hold the ball in your right hand, while putting your left hand somewhere on your right arm between your elbow and your wrist. This is done to keep the wrist isolated. All that's left is to snap the ball to your catcher who is standing about 3-5 feet away. Do this around 20 times to help strengthen the wrist.

Second Way: Same way as the first except instead of kneeling, the pitcher will be standing.

Third Way: This way is a little more advance, and should probably only be done with more experienced pitchers. You will start the pitcher on her knee, right as in the first way. Instead of just having the arm to her side and snapping the ball in, she will be snapping the ball underneath her left leg to her target.

Open To Close On Knee: Right knee down, left knee up, arms in "L" position.
Open To Close On Knee: Right knee down, left knee up, arms in "L" position.

Drill #2
Open to Close on Knee

Start this drill with the pitcher down on her right knee again, her left leg up. (See Picture) Have the pitcher start in the open position (See Picture) and then bring her arm down, snapping her wrist and coming into the close position (See Picture) letting the ball go at her hip. She should hit her target, who is about 20-25 feet away, with force and velocity. Repeat this about 20-25 times.

Drill #3
The Double Arm

Pitcher will start in the same position as in the "Open to Close on Knee," however the pitcher will not have the right arm up by the head. She should act like she is standing on the mound (even though she is kneeling) and pitch the ball. Here's the kicker. She will not bring her arm around once, she will actually swing her arm around twice before snapping and closing. This builds arm strength.

Closed Position
Closed Position

Drill #4
Open to Close Standing

This drill is the same as Drill #2, however your pitcher will be standing, and can bring her hip around more easily.

The "T" Drill
The "T" Drill

Drill #5
The "T" Drill

This drill is done standing up, starting in the open position. Instead of bringing the right arm all the way up by the head, the pitcher will make a "T" with her arms. Her right arm and left arm will be the same height. Then, simply bring the arm through, snapping and closing to end the pitch. This pitch will not have as much velocity on it, but works on the wrist snap and close.

Drill #6
Walk Through's

Have your pitcher stand about 4 steps away from the mound. Then have her walk up to the mound, and as she is walking her motion starts. When she gets to the mound she will pitch. It's like having her do a walking pitch. Try to have her take 3-5 steps before hitting the mound and throwing. This drill takes coordination and timing, and builds speed.

Drill #7
Distance Throwing

Set up 3-5 cones behind the mound in 5-7 feet increments. Have your pitcher throw up to 5 pitches from each spot, only counting it as a "good one" if the catcher can catch it without moving her body. This is great for accuracy and speed building.

Drill #8
Rapid Fire

Set a timer for a desired amount of time (times vary based on age). 30 sec. to 1 min 30 sec. is a good frame. As quickly as possible, have your pitcher throw as many as she can in the allotted time. This builds speed.

Drill #9
Pitching With Your Eyes Closed

The name gives this one away. Have your pitcher pitch with her eyes closed! This is a great way to see what mechanics you need to work on. If everything is right, she should be throwing strikes!

Good Luck!


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    • MichaelBurkesp profile image

      Michael Burke M Ed 

      3 years ago from Rapid City SD

      Some good ideas here. In my experience, one of the most beneficial things you can do us to increase leg and hip strength. Especially glutes, upper hams and quads. Put the technique training in and now you have something to be proud of!


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