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Using string throwing dropball ?

May 17, 2009
53
0
I have read on here using a string during a dropball drill. My question is how far from the
plate do you put the string. I know the higher the string is the sharper the break must be.
What is the starting height of the string when starting out 2ft, 3ft?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,560
113
Dallas, Texas
My DD was All-conference D1 mainly because of her drop ball. Here is how she developed it:

We would lay a bucket on its side, the mouth facing the pitcher, directly behind the "point" of the plate. We would put a trash can about 3 feet high between the mound and the bucket. So, the challenge was to throw the ball over the trash can and put it into the bucket. We had 50 to a 100 balls.

We would start out with the trash can perhaps 15 feet from her. Each time she got the ball over the trash can and into the bucket, we moved the trash can forward. It became a game rather than a drill. She loved trying to get the trash can as close as she could to the plate.

Word of warning: Do *NOT* catch when she does. The ball is going to do some crazy things when she hits the trash can.

I know the higher the string is the sharper the break must be.
Yes and no. The sharpness of the break depends upon the height of the string, the distance of the string from the plate, and the distance from the plate that the ball hits the ground.
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2011
31
0
Sluggers, which drop ball did your daughter throw? My daughters PC has started showing her the rollover but man that looks difficult to learn.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,560
113
Dallas, Texas
She threw a rollover. A rollover is a difficult pitch to throw well. On the other hand, most pitchers don't throw a drop very well.

There seems to be a real lack of understanding of exactly what the hand does when throwing a rollover. This spring, we did a video of my DD throwing the drop and focusing on the hand movement. Here it is:

<a href="http://share.ovi.com/media/ratwod.softball/ratwod.12520"><img src="http://media.share.ovi.com/m1/lt/3034/68391a8df6b74a90a8d4e60bd2ecd458.jpg" border="0" title="drop-sequence - Share on Ovi" alt="drop-sequence - Share on Ovi" width="280" height="23" /></a>

If you download the pitch sequence, you can blow it up some and see the hand motion more clearly. One thing of importance is that the the ball is in the fingers and well away from the palm.
 
Last edited:

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,712
113
Mundelein, IL
How high and far away the string goes depends on the pitcher. I will usually set it just above the knees, and set the string line two to three feet in front of the plate to start. Eventually I want the string to be about a foot in front of the plate, with the ball hitting the back corner of the plate when it drops. If you can do that, you're going to get a lot of hitters with it.

I've found this drill is great for getting pitchers to learn to throw the ball flat and then let the ball do the work. Often with the drop, the pitcher tries to throw it "down" and therefore it's too low when it gets to the plate. It should look more like a low, flat fastball coming in, then break as it gets to the hitter. That way, if it doesn't drop it's still a low fastball.

Most of my students throw the peel drop. It's easier for them to learn since it's not a substantial deviation from the fastball. But I have a few who throw the rollover. One in particular had quite a summer throwing it.
 
Feb 25, 2018
281
43
She threw a rollover. A rollover is a difficult pitch to throw well. On the other hand, most pitchers don't throw a drop very well.

There seems to be a real lack of understanding of exactly what the hand does when throwing a rollover. This spring, we did a video of my DD throwing the drop and focusing on the hand movement. Here it is:

<a href="http://share.ovi.com/media/ratwod.softball/ratwod.12520"><img src="http://media.share.ovi.com/m1/lt/3034/68391a8df6b74a90a8d4e60bd2ecd458.jpg" border="0" title="drop-sequence - Share on Ovi" alt="drop-sequence - Share on Ovi" width="280" height="23" /></a>

If you download the pitch sequence, you can blow it up some and see the hand motion more clearly. One thing of importance is that the the ball is in the fingers and well away from the palm.
Still have the video? I can't access the link above.

Thanks.
 
Oct 1, 2014
1,467
113
USA
We used to use string and before that we were using those foam pool noodles until Java suggested we use Chinese jump rope. The ball doesn't deflect nearly as much when it hits the jump rope which is a big thing when you're trying to catch this drill.

DD throws a peel drop. Had an assistant coach a year ago that during the warm ups before the first game of the season tried to get DD to change her motion to a rollover..."ugh" what a disaster. DD was trying to do what the coach asked (be coachable right?) but man what a mistake.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,560
113
Dallas, Texas
Thanks
Still have the video? I can't access the link above.

Thanks.
Two better videos:

Side view:

"https://www.youtube.com/embed/XgJ8puGjhuM"


Here is the back view:



In the back view video, my DD falls off to the left to give a better view of the ball flight. If she were throwing in a game, she would not fall off to the left. If I remember right, she put something around 28RPS on the ball...which is pretty good since she hadn't thrown the drop "in anger" for more than 10 years.

To make a long story short:

The difference between a properly thrown peel drop and a properly throw rollover drop is one of degree. Fundamentally, they are the same pitch.

The goal is to make the internal rotation of the forearm as quick as possible.
 
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2018
281
43
Many thanks!

Since she started having a horizontal piece of PVC pipe about knee-high a foot in front of the plate to get the drop over, the pitch has been noticeably biting harder.
 

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