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2 Drills to Help Pitcher’s Stop Slapping Their Gloves

By: Cindy Bristow

If you’re a pitcher that slaps her leg with your glove then you know how much it hurts, and, how hard it is to break that habit. Read on to discover 2 simple drills that will help you break this habit today!


Slamming your leg with your glove is common with pitchers, so if you do it then you’re not alone. And while it might be normal for you now, the problem comes when you try to get faster since the faster you pitch the harder you slap your leg. Pretty soon, pain wins since nobody likes to be in pain.

And just like most habits that are easy to get and hard to stop, it’s not easy to stop slapping your leg with your glove. People can tell you you shouldn’t do it. You can look at the big red spot on your own leg and figure out you shouldn’t do it, but just like a lot of bad habits we all have – knowing we shouldn’t have them and stopping them are two totally different things!

Well fortunately I’ve come across two pretty simple drills that I’ve used to help pitchers stop this habit in one day! Actually, in 30 minutes! That sounds simple, doesn’t it? So let’s get going and I’ll show you how they work.

The best time to try and change a pitching habit is when you’re going slow, and this usually happens during warm ups. In fact, the slowest most pitchers ever throw is the very beginning of warm ups when you’re the closest you’ll ever be to your target. So, let’s start our glove slapping prevention drill right there. Before I go over the two drills, another important thing to mention is that going slow is REALLY important to getting better because you can better control all your moving parts, and because your brain learns slow things much stronger enabling you to do them faster much better.

Fastpitch Softball Free Article on Pitching - 2 drills to help stop glove slapping pix 01

1st Step – 2 Balls, No Glove:

  • Start about 15 feet from your catcher and have a softball in each hand.
  • Slowly pitch the ball in your pitching hand, using your complete motion. The key is to go slow at first and avoid rushing your pitch.
  • You’ll be surprised to find out that you won’t slap your leg with your glovehand because the ball would hit your leg – so your brain prevents you from hurting yourself by breaking your own habit.
  • Do this about 15-20 times never going very fast but trying to relax and make your motion as natural as possible.

Fastpitch Softball Free Article on Pitching - 2 drills to help stop glove slapping pix 02

2nd Step – 2 Balls, Glove On:

  • The next drill involves you putting your glove on, moving back to the pitching rubber and placing a softball in your glove as well as having one in your pitching hand.
  • Start by pitching about half speed to get used to having a ball in your glove. Again, you’ll be amazed that you won’t slap your leg with the glove simply because the ball is in it.
  • As you get more comfortable with this drill and confident that you won’t slap your leg, you can pitch closer to full speed.
  • After doing about 15-20 pitches with 2 balls and your glove on, try alternating between 1 pitch with a ball in your glove followed by a pitch without a ball in your glove. Remember, you’re working on not slapping your leg with your glove so try having your glove move down and back just past your stride leg.
  • After alternating for a few pitches, if you find that you’re slapping your glove when you don’t have the ball in it then go back to pitching with a ball in your glove.

Remember that change takes time and it took you a long time to create the habit of slapping your leg, it’s going to take some time to break the habit as well. But, keep practicing at it and good luck!

For pitching drills to help you check out the following:

3 Comments »

  1. Cindy,
    This is at odds with what I have always understood and studied about using both sides of the body to pitch with. So you need to explain in more detail how “having your glove move down and back just past your stride leg.” will still allow for left side resistance that is necessary for power. It seems that there will be unnecessary effort/energy used to stop the glove arm that should be used to impart power to the pitching arm.
    I await your explanation with eagerness.
    Rex

    Comment by Rex — September 4, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  2. A pitcher’s side opposite her pitching hand does provide the necessary resistance for pitching just as the front side of a hitter’s body provides the necessary resistance. What I meant by the glove hand moving down and back means that once the pitcher has her glove up in front of her (when the ball is around 11 to 12 oclock), she’ll then move it down and then slightly back. I was not meaning back as in behind her. Sorry if that was confusing. In these 2 drills, the pitcher needs to use the balls in the same way she’ll use her glove once she puts it on – but without the leg slapping. Hope that helps Rex! Thanks for the question – Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Bristow — September 5, 2012 @ 10:07 am

  3. Greetings Cindy:

    Thank you. Two things that just mentally rub me wrong: The slapping pitcher and the screaming pitcher. (I don’t mind a “grunt” but we actually faced a pitcher this last year that would scream as the ball crossed the plate. Ump said he wouldn’t say anything because it was “natural”.)

    Thanks for giving a way to correct this. I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone teaching the pitcher to slap their leg except as a timing drill for beginners, not intending for it to carry into their actual pitching.

    Comment by Mike D — September 11, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

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