There’s just not a ton of high speed softball throwing videos out there for athletes to observe, study and learn the patterning of an overhand throw. Besides MLB clips, which are incredible, there’s a lack of quality throwing videos that softball players can relate to.
The skill of actually throwing a softball should be worked on consistently, in a training environment or as part of group/team practice, using constraint set-ups and variational training modalities. This helps create efficient movements and intent to throw hard and far, without having coaches smother you with verbal cues.
I’ve completely changed the way I approach throwing to focus on movement through positions, rather than positional throwing such as the Wrist Flick and L-Drill. Understand that there are just cleaner ways to train the throwing pattern!As a new strength coach just coming out of school back in 2006 and 2007, I made the mistake of only assessing movement for the gym…because this is what I was supposed to do as a strength coach. This meant focusing on anatomy and physiology, prep work, exercise technique, energy system training and functional strength & power movements. I never integrated skill development transfer into my routines. I had to change my approach…
“Why get athletes incredibly strong and powerful without integrating skill development and task orientated training?”
Athletes, it’s up to you to take the time to own these skill-sets and strengthen through movement. Always have a purpose during a throwing session, even if the session is shorter and out of your control.
Softball Throwing Drills & Mechanical Patterning
Here are a few of our throwing drill progressions that we use in a practice or pre-game routine. We work from least intense to most intense and least complex to most complex. We love to incorporate these drills into a throwing session in some way, shape or form and you should too as it will help create, refine and reinforce the high level throwing pattern!
You will also notice our athlete is wearing a black sleeve. This is the Motus Sleeve to track elbow stress and chronic workload. We just have to switch the weight of the ball (7oz softball instead of 5oz baseball) so we get some realistic data.
We’re currently testing the Motus Sleeve with our softball players to see what types of values we get at various velocities! Really interesting stuff!
Use Promo Code: HighLevelThrowing and receive a 10% Discount on the Sleeve!
Look for similarities in each drill. Think about the following components working throughout the overhand throw in smooth, fluid movements!
- Arm Pathway & Shape (Directions, Angles, Timing)
- Timing Between Throwing Arm & Glove Arm
- Timing Between Throwing Arm & Stride Leg
- Back-Leg Movement (Femoral Internal Rotation Existence)
- Lead Leg Patterning (Firmness, Stability, Forward Knee Translation, Foot plant)
What is Rate of Perceived Intensity?
*RPI or Rate of Perceived Intensity, is a throwing intensity based off of your own perceived max effort throw. We use RPI (when indoors) and distance/intensity outdoors. Using intensities along with distance is ideal, but it allows you to read your body and learn how long it takes to warm-up. Keep track of your throwing intensities/distances during each session! You may start to see some really interesting trends.
- Step and Throw – Play Catch Intensity (Warm-Up)
- Rocker w/ Stride – Play Catch Intensity, Focusing on Rhythm, Sequencing, Direction and Lead Leg Patterning!
- Javelin Throw for Outfielders – 50-75% RPI, Focusing on Disassociation between Lead Leg & Trail Leg, Hip to Trunk Relationship, Trunk Acceleration and Lead Leg Patterning
- Double Hop Throw – 50-75% RPI, Focusing on Rear Hip Loading, Timing of Stride & Throwing Arm and Lead Leg Patterning!
- Reverse Rocker Throw – 80+% RPI (Rate of Perceived Intensity), Focusing on Hip to Trunk Relationship, Timing of Throwing Arm & Stride, Intent to Throw Hard and Lead Leg Patterning!
For more information on developing the overhand throw in softball players, check out the High Level Throwing Softball Edition Book. This is the most used throwing guide in the country for Rec League, Travel Ball, High School and College Programs/Organizations! Learn throwing patterns by positions, off-season and in-season programming, prep work, video drills w/ voiceovers, recovery modalities and MORE!