18 games and drills that put pitchers in competitive situations and prepare them for game day pressures
- Help your pitchers perform their best in pressure situations
- Discover new practice games that will engage your players physically and mentally
- Learn how to condition your pitchers while they compete
with Myndie Berka,
owner/pitching instructor of BreakThrew Fastpitch
Myndie Berka has trained hundreds of successful pitchers. Her pitchers have:
- earned scholarships at over 60 different colleges and universities
- competed at the Women's College World Series at the NCAA DI, DII, NAIA and JUCO levels
- been named collegiate All-Americans
- been collegiate national strikeout leaders at both the NCAA DI and DII levels
Competition between the pitcher and batter is at the heart of the game of softball. With the ball in the pitcher's hand, the outcome of the game is usually also in their hands. Pitchers must practice these pressure-packed, competitive situations to excel in live game situations.
Pitching coach Myndie Berka introduces multiple competitive games that can be done individually or with a fellow pitcher. Consequences are also built into the drills to help pitchers learn how to deal with the failure or stress that can occur during a game. Coach Berka's games and drills will force your pitchers to be uncomfortable and she discusses different strategies of how to deal with the pressure situations and failures that often occur during games.
Having a good mechanical foundation is important part of pitching, as poor mechanics can result in inefficiencies or injury. Mechanics can break down under pressure, so Coach Berka starts off with four mechanical competitions. These drills feature pitchers competing against a partner and challenges the pitchers to conquer basic mechanical concepts like staying balanced.
Movement Pitches, Change-Ups and Target Pitching
Throwing late-breaking movement pitches is vital to success on the mound, as these are the pitches that will cause batters to swing and miss. Coach Berka has her pitchers compete with a different drill for throwing fastball/change-ups, drop balls, and rise balls. Location is another critical component for success on the mound, and Coach Berka has three stations of drills to prepare her pitchers to hit their spots when the pressure is on.
Pitching is a demanding cardiovascular activity, so pitchers must be in top shape to be able to throw full 7-inning games. Coach Berka offers four competitive conditioning drills to challenge pitchers to execute their pitches while fatigued. In one drill, players must throw a pitch and sprint to the catcher to retrieve the ball, and then sprint back to the mound to throw another pitch. In this drill, the pitcher is competing with the clock, as the goal is to get seven pitches thrown as quickly as possible.
Coach Berka helps pitchers develop the mental toughness it takes to work through the adversity that can occur during a game. She offers two competitive pitching games and two drills to replicate game-like situations. These drills focus on important concepts for pitchers like throwing strikes, hitting spots, and also challenge pitchers to understand the strategy behind pitching.
Pitching is one of the most pressure-packed positions a player can assume on the field. Coach Berka's drills will help prepare your pitchers to thrive in competitive game situations.
77 minutes. 2016.Softball Videos