Softball Pitcher Drills: Cone Over Plate Drill

Visualize your breaking pitches and take command of the strike zone with these softball pitching tips.

A pitcher who has control of the strike zone can be a dominant force on the softball diamond. This involves covering all corners of the plate. Mastering breaking pitches like curveballs and screwballs can help you achieve this command.

The cone over plate drill can help you visualize where your breaking pitches cross the plate. Former professional softball player Jessica Vogel has some tips on how to properly execute this valuable softball pitching drill.


Setting up for this fastpitch pitching drill is simple. Take an ordinary traffic cone and place it over the middle of home plate. If you don’t have a traffic cone, Vogel recommends using a hitting tee instead.

“The idea is to cover the middle of the plate, so pitchers are forced to break their ball across the corners of the plate instead,” she says.

With your cone or tee in place, deliver your best curveball or screwball. Your goal should be to have your pitch break over the corners of the dish while avoiding hitting the cone. Ideally, Vogel says your pitch should land somewhere in the “river,” or “the space between the batter’s box and the edge of the plate.”

The cone over plate drill isn’t exclusive to softball curveballs and screwballs. Pitchers can also utilize this exercise to fine-tune their fastball pitch placement.

Use this visual challenge to improve your painting skills this softball season. Own the dish from corner to corner with these softball pitching tips.

Need a strong warm-up drill to complement your stronghold of the strike zone? Use the weighted ball drill to get yourself primed for a dominant performance in the circle.