Pitching Basic Dropball Drills and Tips

Tips for Throwing a Peel Dropball and Rollover Dropball

A slightly shorter stride is usually helpful when throwing dropballs. When throwing a drop, or any other pitch for that matter, make sure you keep your arm close to your body. Otherwise you could risk injuring your arm. When throwing the rollover dropball you do not want to turn your elbow and shoulder out “chicken wing”. Focus on using the wrist and fingers to get up and over the ball.You may also find it helpful to throw a variation of the peel and turnover. By doing this the ball starts to peel off the fingers while you follow through up and over the ball. A good fastpitch pitching drill for the dropball is to take a string and tie it to two stakes about two feet off the ground. Get on one knee and practice thowing your dropball over the string and try to make it break down as it crosses the string. Also, some fastpitch softball pitchers find it helpful to take a slight crossover step and then throw the drop across their body. Again, work with the TightSpin Trainer at your normal release point.

The Peel Drop Ball Pitching Drill

The grip for the Peel Drop requires you to grab four seems while really focusing on the pointer finger and the middle finger. Once the arm reaches the hip line, and as you feel the ball coming out of the fingers, you want to pull up and peel on the ball.

You should have your weight on your front leg, and you want to lift up your weight on that front side as you peel up on the ball as you do, keeping the pull up tight and short. With this weight forward, you can into a better position to get over the top of the dropball.

Sometimes young pitchers hang on to the ball a little too long, so they need to think about releasing it a lot sooner. The pitch should be thrown at the bottom of the zone or on the batters hands.

30 Dropball Drill

Give your pitcher a bucket of 30 balls (they can be softies) and either a net, tarp, or fence. The pitcher stands approximately three feet away from her catch net. The pitcher goes through their pitching motion and exaggerates their release of the drop ball by pushing it directly into the bottom of the net. Let each pitcher throw three buckets of balls.

6 Dropball Drills

1. Dropball drill

This activity will give you the feel of the rotating ball using different grips and releases. Experiment with the finger grip, using various locations and different numbers of fingers until you find what is best for you. Hold the ball in your pitching hand using one of the drop ball grips, snap the ball off the end of your fingers in a peeling motion while rotating the ball forward, using fingers wrist and arm action.

As your ability improves try to bring in more wrist action and increase the rotation speed. I would carry out this routine daily for around 15/20 minutes until you can rotate the ball with complete control. For instance flip it the same height every time without dropping it

2. One-Leg Drill

This places you in the exact position you will land where you set your stride foot. You place your stride foot under yourself with all your weight over the leg. You bend your knee slightly so that your stride leg accepts the weight but is still flexible.

Your head should be slightly over your front foot and allow your back foot to touch the ground lightly for balance.

You can move around a bit at first to get comfortable on the mound in this position. From this position you carry out a full circle maintaining your position and releasing the ball a knee height, after release the body will follow through forward in the direction of the ball.

You should not worry too much about balance at this stage if you are in the correct position and manage to hold it all the way through the pitch you will see almost instant results when you release the ball at the correct position.

I would suggest doing this drill at half speed at first.

This is about body awareness at this stage you can add the step as you gain more success with this drill.

You should try and get back into the starting position as quickly as possible IE the one leg drill position. As with most drills stay at a pace that you can start at with success and then gradually add speed.

3. MOUND DRILL

For this drill you can use a pitchers mound or if one is not available construct a mound out of the way of the diamond using any materials that is available to you.

You start in the one leg drill position first, and then bring in the step and the arm speed.

Throwing from a baseball mound off of the incline this will give you the muscle memory from the angle that you are pitching from.You must remember to land with your stride leg under your body to enhance the drop release.

4 THE ROPE DRILL

If you position a rope 1.5 to 2 metres in front of the plate and at around middle strike zone level. You have to pitch your drop ball to the catcher with the ball passing over the top of the rope.

If the pitches are correct then the ball should be below the rope by the time the catcher can make the catch.

The best thing about this drill is the visible gauge you get to see how much and how early or late that your pitch breaks.

Find the height that the pitch comes down at before it breaks and adjust the rope height accordingly.

You can also use different positions of the rope for many useful training aids, For instance! If you are ahead in the pitch count then you can lower the rope so you practice the low end of your drop ball zone.

If you are behind in the count and you need a higher break of the ball then you higher the rope to give you a more believable strike before the break.

Re-positioning of yourself by leaning a little more forward over your upright position or getting on to your stride foot earlier to see what differences you can make in the time of your ball breaking.Always remember to get your catcher to move with the batter as he changes position in the batters box ,you do not want to leave your catcher with a stretch.

5. LOW NET THROWS

From a distance of about 3 metres place a safety net in front of your pitching mound. The object is to throw your drop ball into the bottom of the net using your proper grips but exaggerating the release. This will help you to keep your drop balls low and help with the proper release.

6. BASKET THROWS

As with the rope drill this will give you a good visual aid to see how your drop ball is going.

You throw from the mound and try to drop the ball into a large basket similar in size to a laundry basket.

Using your drop ball grips you have to try and drop it into the basket ,obviously if it knocks the basket over then it is not dropping in, do not expect the basket not to move at all it will but it will show you how far inside the basket your drop ball can go

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