Reach, Track, Fire and Drive

What follows is one of my favorite muscle memory drills which helps pitchers see and feel their bodies at various, crucial points in the delivery.  Please note the following when performing this drill:

1. The pitcher should be 25 – 35 feet from the catcher, depending on age and level.

2.  Coaches commands should be a minimum of 2 to 3 seconds apart to allow the pitcher to sense and adjust any mechanical flaws, as well as keep her balance (if she cannot keep her balance, it’s an indication that she needs to strength train).

3.  This video is a demonstration for a fastball.  The drill can be adapted for any pitch.  Look to future posts for other pitches.


Watch on YouTube


About the author


Phil Schonberg is a co-founder of Fastpitch Power, inc. He teaches all aspects of fastptich softball, specializing in windmill pitching and coaches' training.


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  1. Ken Bergren

    Coach Phil,
    I came across this site and found the Reach, Track, Fire and Drive video. As I follow the two lessons, I noticed the first lesson follows classic step-style timing. The second lesson follows the timing that more closely follows leap and drag style. For me this was confusing and difficult to follow. With the timing of the leap/drag, the arms are still behind or together in front of the body as the body begins the forward drive and the arms are not in the “reach” position until almost halfway through the stride. I realize you are using this “drill” to stop/freeze the student to look for flaws. My recommendation would be to teach the basics of the form and use any of the compact cameras now available to slow motion record and look for concerns to discuss/correct. Food for thought, if nothing more.


    1. Phil

      Excellent comment. We often utilize slow motion and stop action video in our instruction and analysis. It is not always practical, however, in our typical lesson format. The sequence that you mention here is designed to emphasize the load phase as a prelude to a simultaneous reach and track. Both lead the athlete to a power “K” position which is where the delivery of the pitch actually begins. The second version aids in the transition to fluid movement and has proven very useful in allowing our students to feel and record the position of their bodies during these crucial stages of the pitch. The terminology we use is extremely important. What you refer to as “leap/drag”, we refer to as “stride/drive”. In our methodology, the term “leap” is almost always used to point out a mechanical flaw whereby the pitcher employs a down/up movement off the rubber rather than out/through. The former will often lead to loss of contact with the ground by the drive foot, which results in an illegal pitch. Similarly, we use the term “drag” as in indication that the pitcher has externally rotated her “drive” foot creating an anchor effect which often results in forward lean and premature hip and shoulder rotation. The “drive” through we teach requires the toe and knee to be in a power forward position, thereby allowing the drive foot to come through faster and with much less surface resistance. I hope I have clarified this for you and I really appreciate your insight.


  2. Scott Phillips

    Found your videos on the internet my daughter has been pitching for about 3 years. She is now 14 entering her freshman year of high school. I have had her at several different coaches trying to get her mechanics right. I watched this video like the drills on this one. My question is what would you recommend for her to try and switch over to your way. She is bad about leaning and getting out over her front foot. She is having a hard time with learning on how you throw in the forearm fire video. Just not sure where to start.

    1. Carly

      Hi Scott, we have a general getting started guide here: http://www.fastpitchpower.com/getting-started-with-fastpitch-powers-pitching-style-a-guide/

      And here is a guide about forearm fire specifically: http://www.fastpitchpower.com/learning-arm-whip-in-pitching-when-it-doesnt-come-naturally/

  1. Should the Stride Foot Land on the Power Line in a Windmill Pitch?

    […] When you reach, both arms and your stride leg should be lined up over the power line. When you track, your pitching arm should follow a circle that is always over the power line, your glove hand should remain over the power line, and your drive-through foot should move to the power line (naturally…don’t hop there!) and begin dragging along it. When you fire, your pitching arm—and thus, the ball—should travel down the power line. For a more in-depth look at reach-track-fire mechanics, watch this video. […]

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