Your stride length can play a major role in your pitch delivery. A strong, extended stride can cut the distance between you and the batter. This shortened range can make for quicker, more explosive pitches.
However, some pitchers can have a tendency to stride too short. The stride over hurdle drill can help you learn to combat this habit. Former professional softball player Jessica Vogel shares her step-by-step instruction for this effective softball pitching drill with these Pro Tips.
STRIDE OVER HURDLE DRILL
To set up this fastpitch drill, you’ll need one speed hurdle that is roughly six inches in height. Place the hurdle across the pitching circle, closer to the mound than the circle’s edge. As your pitching stride improves, you can inch the hurdle closer to the edge for more of a challenge.
You can begin this drill by going through your normal pitching motion. Focus on driving your landing leg over the hurdle. “[You] should think about kicking the bottom of [your] heel toward the sky,” Vogel says.
Once you’ve planted your land leg, be sure to drag your drag leg at an outward angle so you don’t hit the hurdle.
Perform this drill for a few repetitions to get comfortable with the exercise. Extend the hurdle distance to help learn how to explode out and up for a more efficient pitch.
“The hurdle serves as a reminder to the pitcher to shoot [your] leg up as well as out as [you] lengthen [your] stride, increasing [your] leg drive and shortening the distance between [you] and the batter,” Vogel says.
Improve your pitching stride and increase your dominance on the diamond with this softball pitching drill.
Looking to mix up your softball practice with another stride exercise? Find out how to perform the rocker drill with these additional softball pitching tips.