Softball – Improve Your Throwing Skills

Throwing Accuracy for Infielders

Go to a park with paddle courts and draw a square (about 24 inches on each side).  Practice throwing side-arm or overhand to the square target to improve your accuracy.  You can play a game where you throw the ball into the square 27 times (representing the 27 outs in a 9-inning game).  If you throw outside the box, the “other team” scores a run.  See how many runs you will allow in a “game.”  Next time you do this, try to allow less runs.  Your ultimate goal is to go for a shutout.

A final note is that you can also practice using a net where the ball is returned to you.  Usually the nets have a square in the middle and you can use the same concept above for trying to throw a “shutout.”  These are usually available in sporting goods stores or super-department stores.

Throwing Accuracy for Outfielders

Go to a park where soccer nets are available.  Place two tall cones about 3 feet apart where the goalie would be.  The idea is to have the net prevent your thrown balls from rolling away too far.

Set another cone at 200 feet away from the goal.  From this starting point throw the ball as accurately as possible toward the two cones at the goal.  Remember to face your front foot forward toward your target.  It is not necessary to throw the ball without a single hop to the goal.  Your objective is to just get the ball in between the cones even if the ball bounces multiple times.

If there are no soccer goals at the park, you may buy a smaller goal from a sporting goods shop.  Make sure that there is a wall or building behind the goal so you don’t lose your balls if you miss the goal.

You can play a game where you throw the ball between the cones 27 times (representing the 27 outs in a 9-inning game).  If you throw outside the cones, the “other team” scores a run.  See how many runs you will allow in a “game.”  Next time you do this, try to allow less runs.  Your ultimate goal is to go for a shutout.  After each “inning” rest for a few minutes as you don’t want to overwork your arm.

Warming up

You must warm up before undertaking any sort of throwing exercise! You risk injury to your throwing shoulder or elbow if you don’t do this. 

If you are with someone, you can throw a football that you can grip and control properly.  The idea is to throw something that has more weight than the softball.  Throw the football with your partner about 30 times and your arm should be fine.  Start out by throwing the football casually then you can throw the ball harder as you get more warmed up.

If you are by yourself, use a size 3 or size 4 soccer ball to warm up.  Throw the ball overhand against a paddle-court wall or to a net (the ones that return the ball to you).  Again, go for about 30 throws to get warmed up.  Start out by throwing the soccer ball casually then you can throw the ball harder as you get more warmed up.

Developing throwing power

Whether you are an infielder our outfielder, repeat the exercise described in “Throwing Accuracy for Outfielders” above.  However, replace your ball with a Football.  At first, don’t focus on blowing out your arm with a distance throw.  Focus on accuracy when throwing the ball.  Remember to keep your front foot toward your target and not to the side.  It’s okay if you don’t reach the net as long as you are on target to get there.  If you are off-center too often then you need to focus on controlling your throws more.