FB / Off-Speed Front Toss is a variation of front toss to work on change of speed pitches. A coach’s close positioning allows for accurate pitch placement, as well as the ability to easily change speeds. This drill should be run after fundamentals of hitting have been introduced and drilled effectively.
EXECUTION – Front toss begins training in and around anticipation of arm path and pitch release. And underhand toss is thrown from behind the tall portion of an L-Screen, roughly 15-feet away. Essentially, the L-screen is backwards. Because of the short distance, coaches can easily move the ball middle, inside, outside, up or down. After 6-8 swings rotate the athletes.
An off-speed pitch is easily created by holding onto the ball a bit longer and creating a higher trajectory out of the hand. Athletes are tasked with striding with their weight loaded, and keeping their hands back. This is pitch recognition and one of the most difficult skills to learn/execute for any aged hitter. Begin with regular front toss, add Off-Speed but keep delivery predictable – tell the hitter what is coming. When the time is right, move into Random reps – where the hitter does not know whether a fastball or change up is coming.
- Practice – Might be a good idea to work on your “pitches” Jump into the back yard and work on throwing strikes. Practice what you preach Coach!!!
- Bounce? – Sitting on a bucket or chair, this FB vs. Off-Speed delivery can be changed by bouncing the ball into the strike zone. Takes a bit of DC Key #1 (practice), but becomes a fun and effective way to capture the attention of a young team.
- Know Your Audience – Challenge but don’t dominate.
CLOSING – Any athlete, any age. This hitting drill works for all ages and skill levels.
- 6-8 SWINGS & ROTATE
- UNDERHAND TOSS (15 FT)
- HOLD ONTO BALL LONGER TO CREATE MORE LOFT AND MIMICK CHANGE UP
- BOUNCE ROUND?
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
- Baseball Buckets1