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wrist snap warm up

May 20, 2009
Charlotte, NC
I am an asst coach for my DD's rec league 10U team. Her pitching coach has her warm up by doing wrist snaps to isolate the movement with the body in the open position. A high-school ptcher that teaches some of the other girls in our league uses a similar drill but has them facing the catcher. My question is if one of these are better?

I work with pitchers on our team and primarily try to focus on their mechanics. My feeling is the drills should be progression to a full movement pitch. The wrist snap when facing the catcher does not seem to do this since that is not the body position with a full movement. I need some of the expert's good advice.


Out on good behavior
May 8, 2009
We don't do wrist snaps. I don't think they are a natural motion. We just do drills in the T or K position in the open position, then to full pitches.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
The wrist snap that you are practicing isn't part of the pitching motion. The arm is a whip, and the wrist is one part of the whip. There is a whole thread entitled "Internal Rotation" where there is a discussion of the relationship of the forearm and wrist in throwing.

Some believe the "wrist snap" drill is a waste of time and shouldn't be done. IMHO, the drill is beneficial to strengthen the wrist and to develop control of the wrist. The strength and control of the wrist is critical when throwing breaking pitches. My DD did the drill when warming up all the way through college.

As to the body position, the HS pitcher is selling snake oil. The most prevalent mistake is for the pitcher to close her hips before release of the ball. Further, it is very difficult to break the pitcher of the habit. Therefore, no drill should be done where the hips are closed (i.e., where the pitcher faces the catcher). Everything should be done from the open position.

The drill should be performed from the open position, with most of the weight on the right leg.

May 20, 2009
Charlotte, NC
Thanks. I like the drill just to get them thinking about the snap and feeling the ball roll off their fingers. I see alot of the girls rolling their hand at the release so the spin is not straight. The is gives us a chance to focus on the release.
May 4, 2009
Thanks. I like the drill just to get them thinking about the snap and feeling the ball roll off their fingers. I see alot of the girls rolling their hand at the release so the spin is not straight. The is gives us a chance to focus on the release.
In my opinion the wrist snap drill is a complete waste of time. It doesn't warm up the wrist. If you want to do that just spin the ball in your hand 50-60 times. It also creates a release point that no pitcher ever lets the ball from. If you are trying to get down spin, the wrist snap drill doesn't remotely resemble what would be a peel drop's release point. The pitcher would be practicing something that has no value and may contribute to being unable to throw a true peel.


Abby's Dad
Jan 23, 2009
Collegeville, PA
I don't use wrist snap drills often with my daughter - may 10-15 at the beginning of warm-ups sometimes to loosen the wrist. I teach it primarily to aid in understanding the impact the palm has in the direction the ball travels and to aid in focusing on feeling the ball peel off the fingertips.

I teach standing with the hips & shoulders at a 45 degree angle to mimic the upper body position on release. I also prefer a modified wrist snap from this position that uses a little arm whip - I keep the elbow in close then start a few inches back with a slightly bent elbow and wrist. From here you can quickly snap forward with minimal follow-through focusing on feeling the whipping action.

The pitching instructor our local LL uses for winter clinics teaches the closed hips method and I've never agreed with her. I won't attend any more of her clinics since the more I learn the less I agree with her methods.

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
"has them facing the catcher"

No, they need to be open on the power line. See the video by Central IL coach Denny Throneburg, Framing the Pitch. He starts with the young ladies down on the right knee and open on the power line.
May 20, 2009
Charlotte, NC
We do use a little bit of arm swing with the drill. I like the one knee down because it forces to keep their weight back. Which is a problem especially as the girls move up in age divisions, the ball gets bigger and the distance further they tend to over throw the ball.

Most of these girls are first or second year pitchers so we are not trying to teach them any pitches. They basically have 2 pitches, ball and strike.

Does anyone use a spinner during their warm up? I like the instant feedback and it is easy for the girls to see the difference in their pitches.

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