Youth Softball Drills – Overcoming Batter’s Fear Drill

February 25, 2010 at 12:28 am | Posted in Hitting, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To alleviate a player’s fear of getting hit by a pitch.  This drill can be one form of mental training as well for the players to be tough while on the plate.

Procedure: This drill will need access to a chain link fence, a bat, a soft-covered ball.  A pitcher or coach stands on one side of a fence. A batter stands on the other side of the fence facing the pitcher. The distance between the pitcher and batter should be an approximate Little League pitching distance of 45 feet. The pitcher throws a soft-covered ball into the fence. The batter either swings the bat, or she moves away from the oncoming pitch if she thinks the ball would hit her if there were no fence. The coach should throw strikes and wild pitches to keep the batter on her toes.

This is an effective method for alleviating a young batter’s fear of an oncoming ball. Although we teach players to turn into the ball, they can also bail out of the batter’s box. The point of this drill is to teach the players to handle the indecisive moment when they might ‘freeze” at an inside pitch. By repeating this drill, the batter can learn to decide earlier whether to turn or bail.If the ball looks like a strike, the batter should swing. If the ball comes right at the batter, she should turn into the ball so that, if the fence were not there, the ball would hit her in the back or on the helmet. The proper helmet will protect the player’s head and ear. A proper helmet should fit comfortably on a player’s head. It should also be a little snug over the player’s ears.

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