Softball Pitching Drills – Balance Drill

March 16, 2010 at 7:51 am | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To improve pitching balance. Softball conditioning should focus on balance and power.

Procedure: You will need a bucket of softballs. Pitcher stays at pitcher’s circle. The coach stands behind the pitcher with a softball. Pitcher lifts stride leg  close to a 90-degree position and holds it for four or five seconds. The coach hands the ball to the pitcher, who is still in the balanced single-legged position. Upon receiving the ball, pitcher does her pitch and let leg drops forward after the pitch.

Balance is one of the most important aspects of proper pitching motion. A pitcher cannot throw accurately if she is off balance during the pitch. This drill, along with its variations, can be difficult for many youth pitchers. If your players have trouble with this drill, start them on a single leg position, lifting the stride leg only slightly and progress to extending it over time.

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Softball Practice Drills – Bunt-Drill Batting Practice

March 13, 2010 at 8:28 am | Posted in Bunting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This drill is an excellent motivator for perfecting bunting skills and it should usually precede batting practice. Bunting drills are important softball practice drills.

Procedure: This drill will need a softball, bat, and put an object such as a cone, extra glove, or bucket five to six feet from the foul line, The batters should assume their regular stance and square to bunt just as the pitcher’s front foot is about to hit the ground.The pivot bunt is preferred for younger players. They should pivot on the front of their feet as they square to bunt. The barrel of the bat should be even with or higher than the handle. The hitter should bunt the ball onto the dirt right in front of home plate so that the ball “dies” exactly between the catcher and third baseman. The coach can widen the cones depending on the age of the players or the team’s skill, Positive reinforcement is important in this drill.

Variation:

The coach pitches to the hitter, who tries to “drag bunt” the ball between the foul line and the object. Five points if the player is successful; deduct five points if the ball reaches the mound. If the ball goes foul, no points are subtracted or added. This encourages the batter to bunt the ball either perfectly or foul.

Youth Softball Drills – Overcome Batter’s Fear #2

March 12, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To alleviate a player’s fear of getting hit by a pitch and to teach a player to keep the back foot planted while batting. Softball hitting will have more success if confidence of the plate is established.

Procedure: One or two wooden two-by-fours approximately 36 inches longer, a soft-covered ball, and a bat. A player takes a natural stance in the batter’s box. Place the two-by-four against the back of the batters back foot. Pitch a soft-covered ball toward the batter. If the ball is a strike, the player should swing the bat. If the ball looks like it might hit the batter, the batter should turn the front shoulder in toward the catcher so that the ball hits him squarely in the back.

Youth Softball Drills, hitting, confidence

Free Softball Drills – Chair Drill

March 10, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop proper swinging technique, while avoiding an uppercut swing. Constant practice is essential to improve your softball hitting skill.

Procedure: One batting tee, one chair, and a softball. Place a batting tee on home plate or in front of a net. Place the chair directly behind the tee with the seat facing the tee.  Adjust the tee so that it is slightly lower than the back of the chair. The player swings at the ball on the tee without hitting the chair. The chair acts as a blueprint for how the player’s swing should be.

This drill corrects a youth baseball players uppercut. The player should swing with a high-to-low stroke, hitting the back of the chair indicates an uppercut.

This drill is great for individual instruction and can be practiced as little or as much as needed. The player might feel a sting when hitting the chair. Therefore, start younger players off with a plastic bat and ball before progressing to a hardball and bat.


Softball Baserunning Drills – Three-base sliding

March 9, 2010 at 7:14 am | Posted in Base Running, Sliding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop proper sliding techniques. Teaching sliding basics is essential to coaching youth softball.

Procedure: Prepare three loose bases. Place three bases spaced at least 10 feet apart in a grassy area out in foul territory. Divide players into three lines, one line 45 to 60 feet behind each base. Players should not wear cleats for this drill. (This is a safety precaution.} On the coach’s command, the first player in each line runs and slides into the base. After sliding, the player returns to the end of the line, and the next person in line slides.

When players slide, they must not start the slide too early or too late- depending on their age and size, players should begin the slide when they are about three to five feet from the base.

Players should lift their hands over their heads when sliding to prevent hand injuries.

On the slide, the trail leg bends dramatically 45 degrees or even more while the lead leg bends slightly.

Variations:

Use large sliding mats for indoor practices. Put down a plastic or vinyl tarp on the outfield grass, water it thoroughly, and let the kids take off their shoes and slide on it. These steps reduce the chances of injury, Players slide a long way so that coaches can get a good look at technique, and the players have a great time.

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