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Advanced Softball Pitching Drills

Advanced Softball Pitches - The Drop Ball

The drop ball is an interesting fastpitch softball pitch. At first glance, it appears to be a low fast ball, and then it drops off the table as it gets to the batter. A batter that is not expecting a drop ball will swing right over the top of a good drop. There are two types of drop balls commonly taught: the rollover and the peel.

The stride for a softball drop ball is shorter than that of the other pitches. You should try to shorten your strid by at least half a foot, or more if you have a long stride. You need to get on top of the drop. By getting on top, I don't mean leaning forward. You should still stand tall; your weight just needs to be on your front leg.

The peel or lift drop is the easier of the two to throw. It doesn't have quite as drastic of a movement but is easier for younger fastpitch softball pitchers to master. The other upside to this drop is that there is less chance of an injury if the pitch is thrown wrong. Grip the pitch the same way you would a 4-seam fastball. At release, instead of snapping your wrist, pull up and backwards with your wrist and hand. This will add a forward spin to the ball which causes it to drop. A pitcher learning this drop needs to practice softball pitching drills a few feet away from the pitcher, concentrating on the mechanics of the snap.

The rollover drop is a little tougher to throw. The pitcher still needs to stay on top of the pitch and take a shorter stride, but this time the ball is snapped down at release. You need to grip the softball with two fingers on the seams. As you go through the windmill bend your wrist back so that it is away from your body. As you reach the release point, snap your wrist over the ball to impart the important forward spin. Your thumb will be pointing down if you've snapped your wrist correctly. Be careful with this pitch Bad mechanics can hurt your wrist and arm.

There are numerous softball pitching drills that can be used to teach your pitcher the drop ball. Have them repeatedly practice snaps from up close before even attempting to throw the pitch from full distance. Start slow, then pick up the pace as the pitcher gets comfortable with the motion.

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