Softball: Game Speed Training with Medicine Ball Throws | STACK 4W
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Softball: Game Speed Training with Medicine Ball Throws

March 21, 2013 | Michelle Diltz

Must See Softball Videos

Develop your explosive force through contact while hitting and running and at the release point of throwing and pitching.

Softball is a power sport, and players need to be able to exert max strength and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible as quickly possible. Speed-strength is used in every aspect of the game—defense, throwing, batting, base running and pitching.

Med ball throws allow softball athletes to move with speed and force similar to what they encounter in game situations. Players can greatly benefit from using med ball throws in their training, as part of a monitored strength and conditioning program that promotes continued growth and improvement in the sport.

Training speed-strength

The best way to increase speed-strength is through plyometric training. Plyometrics develop strength and power by teaching the body how to use gravity to store energy in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, like stretching a rubber band and then releasing it in the opposite direction.

Med balls are among the best plyometric tools a softball athlete can use in her training. They are great for athletes of all ages and levels, from inexperienced lifters to professionals. Med balls can be thrown, lifted, bounced and caught off walls, slammed into the ground or held. Each exercise has many variations. But the best med ball exercise—the one I use most often when training my University of Alabama softball athletes—is med ball throws.

Why use medicine ball throws?

Med ball throws should be a prominent part of all softball training programs, because they specifically focus on full body coordination and balance during the power transfer from the ground up through the core to the bat or ball. Triple extension, which is taught by using med ball throws, will help athletes transition from the weight room to the field successfully.

5 softball movements that med balls help transition to the field

Defense

Pitching

The use of med ball throws teaches pitchers how to transfer force generated through the drive leg, leading to  an increase in the speed and strength of the pitching arm and delivering an explosive force through the release. The triple extension emphasized in med ball throws trains body awareness, coordination, weight shift, and posture to ensure a strong core to transfer the power and control the ball. Example of a med ball throw used to enhance pitching: Single-Leg Front Diagonal Throws.

Fielding

Med ball throws improve a player's posture and footwork. The load and counter movement used in med ball throws help with the fielding stance and with cutting and reacting to hit balls with more force into the ground. Example of a med ball throw used to enhance fielding posture and transfer of power during cutting: Hammer Med Ball Throws.

Throwing

The transition from fielding to throwing and throwing arm speed are also enhanced by med balls throws, training an athlete's weight shift, posture, balance and coordination, and facilitating force transfer from the loaded fielding position to the release of the ball. Power in the arm during throwing is enhanced using the whip-like action created by the load and unload of med ball throws. Examples of med ball throws used to increase arm speed-strength and full-body force transfer from fielding to throwing: Squat to Push Press and Med Ball Slams.

Offense

Base Running

The first explosive step and drive off the base is the most important aspect of base running, both for getting out of the batter's box and for stealing. Med ball throws work on increasing the coordination, posture and force transition of the athlete's triple extension, enhancing the first step and acceleration on the base paths. Example of a med ball throw used to increase drive off the base: Med Ball Granny Throws.

Batting

Hitting is the most explosive and fun part of the game to watch. Med ball throws really enhance the performance of batting, bunting and slapping by increasing bat speed, bat control and full body power through contact. Softball athletes improve their rotational coordination, balance, weight shift, posture and power transfer, from the feet all the way through to bat contact. Example of a med ball throw used increase rotational force f0r batting: Med Ball Side Throws in Batting Stance.

Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 17,549,302
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,667,693
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 545,004

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,113
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,851
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,620
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,930,693
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,036

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 Ways to Get a Higher Vertical Jump

Combine season is here and man can these guys jump! Having a great vertical jump is not only a display of who can jump high it is also a display of...

Add Surprise Sets for a Great Workout Finisher

Prevent Volleyball Shoulder Injuries With These Exercises

Todd Durkin's Complete Football Strength Training Program

When Not to Try Unstable Hockey Training

Evan Longoria's Off-Season Strength and Resistance Workout

Build Wrestling Strength With the Gable Lock Isometric Hold

Increase Your Explosiveness with the Power Curl

Jump Higher After a Month With These 3 Exercises

3 Tricks for a Stronger Front Squat

4 Exercises From NFL Players to Build True Game Speed

7 Farmer's Walk Variations for Improved Core Strength

3 Simple Strategies for a Better Workout

Can You Survive This Insane 100-Rep Push-Up Challenge?

6 Gym Machines That Are Actually Worth Your Time

The 3-Minute Total Arm Pump

Train Like a Pro: Dustin Pedroia's Baseball Power Workout

12-Week Resistance Band and Chain Workout

Build Max Power With These Pulling Exercises

The Best Lower-Body Landmine Exercises

Build Bulletproof Chest Strength With This Unconventional Method

3 Keys to Better Softball Workouts

How to Improve Shoulder Strength and Flexibility

Putting Together an Off-Season Workout for Point Guards

Build Awesome Arms With This 15-Minute Workout

Grab a Broom for This Fast-Paced, Full-Body Workout

The Top 10 Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

What Happens When You Do The Same Exercise Every Day?

Get a Full-Body Workout With Just 2 Exercises

Use Eccentric Lifts to Increase Size and Strength

Train Like a Pro: Los Angeles Lakers Strength Training Program

4 Simple Golf Core Exercises to Increase Your Driving Distance

12 Strength Moves from NFL WR Harry Douglas's Full-Body Workout

Abby Wambach's Soccer Power Workout

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Exercise

Deadlift Grip Guide: How Hand Placement Changes the Exercise

Save Your Shoulders With These Barbell Landmine Exercises

Improve Your Squat Depth With 5 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

3 Keys to In-Season Baseball Training

Posterior Chain Fixes to Improve Your Game

Train Like a Pro: Peyton Manning's Core Workout

3 Tips to Blast Through Training Plateaus

Train Like a Pro: Damian Lillard's Basketball Core Workout

How Strength Training Changed Rory McIlroy's Game

3 Habits of Highly Successful Coaches

Todd Durkin

5 Quick Workout Fixes for Faster Muscle Growth