The Indiana Jones drill for fastpitch pitchers
Increasing leg drive is an important factor in maximizing speed for fastpitch pitchers. While a lot of the speed comes out of properly using the arm, strong leg drive helps generate more power that can be transferred into the arm.
Sometimes, however, no matter how much you talk about leg drive the pitcher has trouble feeling what it’s really like. She steps or maybe jumps forward a little, but doesn’t really push and drive.
If you’re facing that situation, here’s a fun little drill I like to call the Indiana Jones drill. The name comes from a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
You remember the one. It’s when he’s trying to get to the room that actually contains the Holy Grail.
Indy had already passed the first test, the one with the sawblades that come flying out of the walls (the Penitent Man), and is now up to the second test about the name of God. He must jump from letter to letter spelling out the name Jehovah (and at first forgets there was no J in the Latin alphabet and thus must start with I).
In this drill, the pitcher starts at the rubber, then jumps forward, one jump at a time and alternating legs, until she reaches the plate, as Abbie is demonstrating here. Then she goes back the other way.
As she does this, count the number of jumps it takes. Then challenge her to cover the distance in one less jump. As she continues to try to take out one jump she will be developing not only leg strength but also the feel of what it’s like to push out more powerfully.
It’s fun, and it works. Of course, the Indy reference works better if the pitcher has seen the movie. But if nothing else the dads are amused.