How to Use A Baseball Hitting Net For Throwing Accuracy (Drills for Whatever Position You Play)
Having a strong arm means nothing if you can’t throw the ball where you want it to go. In baseball, defense will always be just as important as offense, and making good defensive throws in a game will:
- Cut down on overall errors
- Keep runners from moving up to the next base
- Help the pitcher keep the pitch count down
All positions can work on their throwing accuracy whether they are on the pitcher’s mound, home base, infield, or outfield. All you need is a hitting net from Baseball Express to use as a target or to catch those pesky fly balls!
Bow Net Softtoss Practice Screen - https://www.baseballexpress.com/bow-net-softtoss-practice-screen
Rawlings Pro-Style 7' Practice Net - https://www.baseballexpress.com/rawlings-pro-style-7-practice-net-pronet
Bownet Zone Counter Accessory - https://www.baseballexpress.com/bownet-zone-counter-accessory
Once your throws become more reliable, you will notice that your accuracy on more difficult throws will improve as well. Here are a few drills to do at home to get you started...
1. Bullseye (Pitcher Drill)
TOTAL TIME: 15 Minutes
PURPOSE: Getting the ball exactly where you want it to go is perhaps the most important aspect for pitchers than any other position on the field. This drill is meant to improve accuracy and the mechanics of your throw.
Tape three to five squares onto a hitting net, each one getting smaller in size until the last square is your smallest bullseye. Then stand 60 feet away from the net to simulate throwing from a pitcher's mound toward home base.
On the first couple of throws, try to aim for anywhere inside the largest target. As you improve your accuracy with each go, move onto aiming for the next square and so forth until you feel comfortable with aiming for the smallest box.
To make it even more difficult, you can increase your distance from the hitting net with each bullseye you make! Or how about setting up a baseball tee and baseball in front of the hitting net?! While still aiming for the boxes, you can also try to knock the ball off the tee to earn bonus points for yourself.
2. Squatting Position Transition (Catcher’s Drill)
TOTAL TIME: 10 Minutes
REPETITION: Every Other Day
PURPOSE: This drill tests your grip, throw, accuracy, and how well you can transition the ball from the glove to your hand— all while starting from the catcher’s squatting position.
After placing a target on the hitting net, set it up about 90 feet away from you to simulate throwing down to 1st or 3rd base OR 127 feet away to practice throwing to 2nd base.
Once you are set up, get into your squatting position and practice fielding the baseball from either the ground or out of your glove. Once you have a four-seam grip, throw the ball at the net as fast as possible and with your best accuracy to hit the target. See if you can do all of this in less than a second while maintaining strong throws. You may also practice while wearing your chest protector and leg guards to better simulate how it would feel during live gameplay.
This drill is useful because it allows you to practice full-speed and combine two drills in one: the Grip Drill, which helps you practice picking up the baseball with a strong four-seam grip; and the Mock Throwing Motion, which helps you work on your throwing mechanics and accuracy.
3. Stand and throw (Infielder Drill)
TOTAL TIME: 15 Minutes (5 minutes at each position)
PURPOSE: This drill works on throwing accuracy, developing proper fielding footwork, and transitioning from glove to throwing hand.
Set up the hitting net roughly 30 feet away from you and get into a fielding position. While pretending to field a grounder, put the ball into your glove and then throw it at the net.
As you “field” the groundball, pay close attention to:
- How your body is situated – Make sure your chest is in proper position to knock down any ball that takes a bad hop. Also try to field the ball slightly closer to your glove side.
- How you grab the ball from your glove – Make sure you properly adjust the ball in your throwing hand to find the proper seams.
- How you throw the ball – Make sure to point your toes in the direction you want to throw as you step towards your target.
Once you have your mechanics and throwing motion down, start doing this drill at game speed. You can also do this drill from different distances and different angles away from the net to simulate fielding and throwing from 2nd base, 3rd base, and shortstop.
4. Bucket Throw (Outfielder drill)
TOTAL TIME: 20 Minutes
REPETITION: Every Other Day
PURPOSE: This drill focuses on long-distance throwing accuracy
Set up your hitting net 100 feet away from you. Grab a ball bucket and place it on it’s side in front of the hitting net so that you can practice aiming low to the ground. This is good to practice because this is an area where your infielders can not only catch the ball, but quickly apply a tag on a runner attempting to move up a base or score a run.
Grab some baseballs and start throwing them towards the bucket, trying to aim inside. As you progress through the drill, move further and further back to practice throws from greater distances.
You can also use this drill to practice your transitions from catching a flyball to fielding a ball on the ground.