Welcome to Little League® - Baseball, Softball and Challenger

Partners & Offers

Active Ad All and Snuggle Ad BombPop Ad BBFactory Ad Dudley Easton Ad Eteamz Ad ilead177 Gatorade heinz-ad177 Honda Kelloggs Musco Ad New Era Oakley Russell Ad Sams Club SKLZ SBFactory Ad Spalding Subway
 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2010 > Coach's Box - December > Michele Smith Feature

Michele Smith Feature

Volume 5, No. 8 - December 2010

One Knee Throwing Drills for Softball Pitchers

By Michele Smith, Two-Time Olympic Champion

One-Knee Throwing

  • Purpose – To practice basic upper body throwing mechanics
  • Equipment – safety ball or tennis ball
  • Number of players – two players; or can be done alone against a wall
  • Number of repetitions – 20 reps for two (2) sets
  • Allocated Time – Five (5) minutes
  • Parent-friendly drill - Can be practiced with parent
  1. Two players kneel on their dominant (i.e., throwing side) knees facing each other 10 to 15 feet away.
  2. The players throw the ball to each other using proper upper body throwing mechanics.
  3. The players catch the ball using two hands (no glove), thus reinforcing “soft hands” technique.

Advanced Variations:

Coaches should try the following for their advanced players:

  • Increase distance to 20 to 25 feet. Although the throwing mechanics are the same for longer throws, the player must rotate her hips slightly and her shoulder faster and whip her throwing hand faster from behind her throwing side ear to generate the velocity to cover the longer distance.


Make sure your players rotate their throwing-side shoulder away from the target and bring their throwing hand past the ear before beginning the forward motion towards the target.  Don’t take the catching part for granted. Your players should use the “soft hands” technique to catch the ball. This is a great drill to help with the proper overhand throwing mechanics as well as using the off season as a great time to build arm speed and arm strength!

For more information on base running, sliding skills and drills check out my website at www.MicheleSmith.com and visit the sections on “A Coaches Guide to Game Winning Drills Book”, the Dynamic Training DVD’s and a Year Long Training Guide for help to build speed and agility techniques.

© 2010 Little League International. All rights reserverd.