In softball, one of the oldest throwing drills is the L-drill, in which players are instructed to turn the wrist back toward centerfield, then begin their throwing motion. Read on to learn why turning the wrist backward is not the correct way to teach good softball throwing mechanics.
This Softball Throwing Drill is Outdated and Incorrect!
Watch the video below, as this concept is a little bit complex to explain in text. I don’t want you to keep teaching the wrong softball throwing drills. Teach a ground foundation rooted in what the best players actually do on the field.
After you’ve got the basic concept down, I’ll show a little proof using the world’s hardest throwers to demonstrate proper wrist position.
Here’s What The Hardest Throwing Humans Do
I know, I know—this is a softball website, right? I know that female athletes are not the same as male athletes, and I also realize how much bigger a softball is than a baseball.
But, throwing is still throwing, and there are few anatomical differences between the way a male and female throw. Really, they’re the same—-I’ll just say it.
The softball definitely makes life harder for a girl with small hands and relatively low overall body strength; men get lucky that they are relatively stronger, have larger hands AND throw a smaller lighter ball. It’s not fair. And softball throwing drills should reflect real life.
Certainly there are times to segment portions of the throwing motion to teach different positions. However, we should NOT be teach positions that are not actually used by the best throwers.
But research on throwing biomechanics is all done on baseball players. So we need to be open-minded about applying them to women while still understanding that it’s not always a 100% apples-to-apples comparison. In this case, however—it is.
Exhibit A: Justin Verlander
Watch the slow motion video above, and take note of how his hand comes out of his glove, and his wrist position throughout his motion. You will NOT see his wrist turn back to center field. The wrist faces different directions when the arm is swinging into position, but when his stride foot strikes, the wrist is pointed directly at third base, not center field.
Exhibits B & C: Other MLB Pitchers
In Teach Softball Throwing Drills & Mechanics, Don’t Teach The Wrong Things.
Don’t just take my word for it. Watch more slow motion videos on YouTube of both baseball pitchers, outfielders and infielders. Find any photo or video of a softball player and check it as well – it will be very difficult to find examples of players who throw the way many coaches are teaching. After all…
…if the best players do NOT do it that way in games…why would we teach it?
Need to Throw Harder?
If you’re interested in throwing harder from the field (I specialized in teaching softball players how to throw harder overhand) download my free eBook.
I also offer an extensive online course on throwing that will help any player gain miles per hour and accuracy on her throws. It’s called She’s Got a Cannon and it’s an amazing step-by-step resource for players, parents and coaches.
Good luck this season! – Dan