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Advanced Softball Pitching Drills

Softball Pitching Drills - Fielding Your Position

The love for softball

One of the toughest things for softball pitchers to learn is to field their position. A young pitcher will often end the pitch in a position that makes it almost impossible to field a ball hit right back up the middle. Luckily, there are softball pitching drills that can help resolve this problem. This article could very easily have gone in the beginning pitcher section because work on this should be started at a young age. I've included this in the advanced softball pitching drills section because advanced pitchers often need help with this too

It is crucial to teach a pitcher from an early age that they have to finish each and every pitch in the ready position. They are the closest position to the batter and it isn't rare to see a ball smoked right back up the middle. A pitcher that is in an awkward position can easily get hit by a ball and end up badly hurt. While injury prevention is the number one reason to teach your pitcher to field her position, it also benefits the team. A pitcher that can handle balls that are hit back at her can make the difference in a close game.

Young pitchers are often afraid of balls hit back at them. They will often flinch every time the ball is hit because they are worried it is coming right back at them. When a ball is hit back at them, they will make a weak effort, if any effort at all, to go after the ball. Their main concern is not getting hit when it should be attacking the ball. This fear more often than not results in them being out of position and increases the likelihood of them getting hit. If they actually do get hit, they end up even more scared.

It's a vicious cycle and is one that needs to be broken using softball pitching drills when a pitcher is young. A young pitcher that gets hit by the ball is likely to have a bruise but little else. An older pitcher who gets hit by a hard-hit ball is a lot more likely to suffer a serious injury. Teach your pitchers while they are young to be in the ready position and ensure they are able to field balls hit back at them.

The best softball pitching drill to use to teach a pitcher to be ready to catch a ball it back at them is to have them pitch and then hit the ball back at them. Yes, it is a easy as it sounds. Have a coach stand in the batter's box and wait for the pitch. As the pitch crosses the plate, the coach should hit a ball back to the pitcher. Start off hitting the ball softly and them progress to harder and harder hits.

This drill will take a little getting used to for the pitchers. Be patient and remind them to focus on the mechanics of the pitch first and then to get in the ready position. Pitchers worried about balls being hit to them tend to get a little wild. Once the pitchers are comfortable with the drill, switch it up a bit. Don't hit the ball right back to them every time. Wait a couple pitches in between hits, then hit two or three in a row. Hit a mixture of pop flies and grounders. I even square up to bunt once in a while and have them crash towards the batter.

I have seen coaches that do this with whiffle balls but don't recommend it unless you have a pitcher that is really gun-shy. The reason I don't use whiffles for this drill is because they simply don't come off the bat the same as a regular ball. I think that a pitcher who gets used to catching whiffle balls hit back to them is going to struggle when a real ball is hit back to them during a game. It's best to just use a regular ball from the get go.

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