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Oswego Baseball & Softball Association

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5 STAR DRILL

5 Star Throwing Drill - Place players in five separate groups that form an upside down pentagon. X2 X5 X4 X3 and X1. X1 has the baseball, throws it to X2 and follows his throw. X2 throws the ball to X3 and follows his throw. X3 throws the ball to X4 and follows his throw. X4 throws the ball to X5 and follows his throw. X5 throws the ball to X1 line and follows his throw. This drill can be run inside or out and at any distance. We shorten the distance to work on quick hands and lengthen the distance to provide long throwing for our players.

 

I like this drill because it forces the players to follow their throw. By doing this we have found the players are more likely to make a correct throwing motion and step directly at their target. We have noticed that in drills which require a player to return to the end of their line after making a throw the player tends to be in a hurry to go in an opposite direction of their throw which screws up extension and follow through. ( Thanks for the great info from other coaches and to Coach Brabant for putting this page together!) When we shorten the throwing I have the players about 10 feet apart. We extend it as far as 200 feet outside. This also serves as a good conditioner. One important detail about the drill after a player throws the ball to another line he should follow his throw to the outside to avoid getting hit by the next thrown ball.

 

8-BALL DRILL

Our throwing drill that we use is called the "8-Ball Drill". It is divided into eight steps:

 

1) Player stands shoulder width apart, puts throwing arm up at 90 degree angle, holds elbow with glove, throws ball to partner just using his wrist action.

 

2) Player sits with legs spread and has arm in same position only this time he can use from his elbow up and throws the ball to his partner.

 

3) Player remains sitting, only now he can rotate his hips and turn his upper torso to throw the ball. Follow through is not necessary yet. There is an emphasis on using the glove arm or elbow to direct throw.

 

4) Player now goes to one knee. He rotates his hips and upper torso and throws the ball, only now he puts the emphasis on following through across his knee which is raised.

 

5) Player now stands with glove arm closest to partner, and feet shoulder width apart. Using all of the above steps, he throws the ball concentrating on follow through, only he cannot move his feet.

 

6) Player now goes to the post position as in pitching, and throws the ball using the above steps. Emphasis in this step is balance at the post position.

 

7) Player now uses all the steps above and crow hops and throws the ball to his partner. Emphasis in this step is proper technique of the crow hop.

 

8) Finally, the last step is long toss. And we also have added to the last step, playing quick toss, which is for the infielders. They stand about 10 feet apart and toss the ball to eachother as quickly as they can for one minute and they keep track for a contest. Emphasis here is on a quick release and concentrating on the ball entering and leaving the glove (transferring).

 

HIT ONE AND COVER DRILL

We call this "Hit one and Cover."

 

With the infield in position hit a ball to the third basemen who makes the throw to first. First base brings the ball home and the catcher throws it back to the third basemen who brings it home again. Repeat the activity around the infield with each new base throwing to the previous one i.e. hit to first comes home back to first then to second third and home again. If proper throws are not made then start the drill again. We have found that this help get the infielders set and used to making good throws.

 

LENGTHEN DRILL

We use This throwing drill to strengthen the players arms during the season. This is a long toss drill that tries to lengthen out all throws made.

 

We split the outfielders into two groups, one in left, the other in right. Every one else is in their positions. Each group of outfielders start with one ball each. The left fielder throws through his cut off man (a third baseman, Optional) to a catcher just off the plate. As that ball comes in, a coach in front on the plate will short toss a ball to a catcher that is in the catching position. Upon receiving the ball he throws down to second base(like throwing out a runner), where a second baseman awaits the throw and makes a tag. He then throws a backhander to the next second baseman, who fields the backhand and throws to one of two first basemen. This first baseman is on the outfield side of first base and about 3 to 4 feet away from the bag. He then returns the ball to the next left fielder in line. who starts the process over again. The right fielder makes a throw to third base through a cut-off man (a shortstop, Optional). The third baseman throws a backhand to the shortstop who turns and throws to the first baseman that is on the bag. (We usually put up a screen to keep the other first baseman from getting hit). The first baseman tosses the ball to a third first basemen who strings it out to the right fielder.

 

Every player should rotate to get a turn. The third basemen rotate with the shortstops to get in their throws. Every throw should be on a line, either one or two hopping it. The first basemen who throw to the outfielders should throw it on a line as if it was across the infield.

 

MACHINE GUN THROWING DRILL

This is an adaptation of an old basketball drill called, " machine gun passing." We call it machine gun throwing. We put pitchers, catchers, and all position players through this drill. It can be run during preseason indoors ( in Minnesota we spend a good share of our early season inside ) or during the season outdoors.

 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED: 2 baseballs and 8 players with gloves.

 

DRILL SET UP: Put 7 players in a straight line approximately 3 to 4 feet apart with the player at the far right holding a baseball. Put 1 player facing the line of 7 approximately 15 feet away from the center player in the line of 7. The player facing the line of 7 also has a baseball.

 

X8 X7 X6 X5 X4 X3 X2

X1

 

Coach will say, "Go." Player 1 throws his ball to player 3. At the same time player 2 throws his ball to player 1. As soon as player 3 catches the ball he throws it back to player 1. As soon as player 1 catches the ball from player 2 he throws it to player 4, and so on down the line. Player 1 works his way down the line to player 8 and then back up the line to player 2. At this point player 1 flips his ball to player 3, player 2 replaces player 1 ( player 1 then goes to the end of the line ) and everyone rotates up one spot and the drill starts over again.

 

X1 X8 X7 X6 X5 X4 X3

X2

 

We believe this is an excellent drill for developing quick hands and quick feet. It forces the players to catch the ball with two hands. If he catches it with one hand he can't get rid of it in time before the next ball is coming at him. It also teaches our players the importance of stepping at your target because you have to shift your feet in a different direction before throwing to the next person in line. A player who is lax or sloppy with his glove or feet is easily spotted in this drill.

 

ONE KNEE DRILL

Purpose: To develop the player's arm and shoulder strength for throwing.

Procedure: Each players kneels on the ground 10 yards apart facing each other. (Right handed players kneel on right knee with the left leg out in front, while left handed players kneel on left knee with the right leg out in front.) Each pair has one baseball.

 

The players throw the ball back and forth to each other for a desire time period. Then the players are moved apart another 5 yards, and they continue to throw back and forth to each other for an additional time period. The drill continues to proceed in this manner for as long as desired. The distance the players are moved apart depends on their arm and shoulder strength.

 

RELAY RACE DRILL

 

Divide your team into two lines, around 8ft. apart.

 

x   x   x   x   x   x   x

x   x   x   x   x   x   x

 

Give the first player in each line a baseball and have a relay race with the baseball of three or more rounds. When the ball gets to the end of the line and back to the player at the beginning is considered one lap. Make sure each player is turning on the glove hand as they turn to throw. If a player in the line misses the ball, that player must retrieve the ball and throw to the next player in-line. The team that completes the amount of laps set is the winner. Divide your team into two lines, around 8ft. apart.

 

x   x   x   x   x   x   x

x   x   x   x   x   x   x

 

Give the first player in each line a baseball and have a relay race with the baseball of three or more rounds. When the ball gets to the end of the line and back to the player at the beginning is considered one lap. Make sure each player is turning on the glove hand as they turn to throw. If a player in the line misses the ball, that player must retrieve the ball and throw to the next player in-line. The team that completes the amount of laps set is the winner.

 

TAG-UP THROW DRILL

 

This teaches the outfielder the proper step forward as he catches the ball as well as practices the correct fundamentals of throwing.

 

Procedure: Put a runner on second or third base. The outfielders will be in their outfield positions and coach stands behind second base throwing fly balls in all directions and telling them what the situation is and where the throws should go. The outfielders should try to attempt to get behind the ball with their drop-step and throw to the right base. Remember, if he throws with his right hand he will be stepping forward with his right foot as he catches the ball and vice-versa if he is left-handed.

 

This drill provides the necessary momentum and arm-leg coordination needed to make the throw strong and accurate without wasting to much time with additional steps.

 

THE BOUNCE DRILL

This is used to develop the outfielders ability to throw low and put the correct backspin on the ball and to throw overhand.

 

Procedure: The outfielders can pair-off and face each other about 100-125 feet apart. Each pair has ball to bounce back and forth to each other to see who can get the longest bounce. Remember to have them check their throws, if the ball goes left or right after the bounce, they are not throwing overhand or keeping their fingers on top of the ball. They want to achieve backspin on the ball.

 

As they develop, they can gradually move out to about 175-200 feet.

 

THROW AND GO DRILL

This drill teaches young players to follow their throws in the right direction.

 

Have two single file lines of players (one behind the other) facing at a comfortable throwing distance.

 

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 >>    << B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

 

The player at the head of line one throws to the player at the head of line two. After the throw, player continues a forward motion (as one should) in the direction of the throw by running to the back of the opposite line.

 

The drill is especially effective for Tee Ballers as it encourages players to follow their throws instead of allowing them to 'cheat backward' as they tend to do when going to the back of the same line.

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