Softball Pitching Drills – Umpire

July 31, 2010 at 7:02 am | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Pitchers need to learn the strike zone while facing a batter and get accustomed to game atmosphere. Always have variety when coaching softball pitching.

Procedure: This drill will need catching equipment, helmets, bats, balls and gloves. During pitching practice with catchers, hitters should stand in the batters box. No swinging. Catchers call the balls and strikes and call/frame pitches according to the count, Catchers should call out each pitch, so the hitter can thereby judge velocity, movement, and location of each variety. Then have the hitters try and guess which type of pitch is thrown. Try to alternate between left- and right-handed batters and pitchers. For older players, try rounds of 25 pitches per person. Non-throwers count the number of strikes. Try it as a competition.

Youth Softball Drills – Hurry Up

July 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This game preaches aggressive hitting and hustle. It is important to emphasize hustle when coaching softball.

Procedure: Will need a bat, four bases, and jugs foam bill wrapped with athletic tape. Make two teams and an assigned batting order. The pitcher is from the hitting team. This person cannot field any batted ball or else the batter is called out. The hitting team does not have to wait for the fielding team to get ready. Thus, the fielding team has to hustle out to their positions. The pitcher can stand anywhere, but has to be a safe distance away. The batter receives one pitch. A fair ball must be hit or else an out is called. No leading, stealing or bunting. It’s great to see the kids hustle after each third out. They’ll learn to place the next batter as catcher, so she can quickly jump into the batter’s box, Runs are scored in traditional fashion.

Fun Softball Drills – Scramble the Egg

July 26, 2010 at 9:07 am | Posted in Bunting, Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To teach or reinforce bunting techniques. One important  softball coaching tip is to add fun during practices.

Procedure: We will need a bucket of very old softballs, a bat, a dozen eggs, a clear plastic tarp. Lay out the tarp on the ground and place the eggs on top of it. The first player bunts the ball toward the eggs, with the goal of trying to break or “scramble” the eggs with the ball. Give each player several chances, but make sure there are enough eggs to last the entire drill.

This is messy but incredibly fun. Only do this drill once, usually at the end of the season when the softballs you have been using are worn out. The player should square to bunt when the pitcher’s front foot is about to hit the ground. Substitute water balloons for eggs; however, they are harder to break. Make sure the players are away from the tarp when the coach cleans up.

Softball Baserunning Drills – Baserunning Curcuit

July 16, 2010 at 4:54 am | Posted in Base Running | Leave a comment
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Purpose: A pitcher will throw from the plate. A catcher in full gear will receive the ball at home plate. Runners are positioned at first and second base only. Practicing base running is part of coaching softball.

Procedure: The pitcher throws to the catcher. He deliberately throws many pitches in the dirt. The runners at both bases will take their primary and secondary leadoffs, read the pitch and react accordingly. If the ball is caught, runners will return to the base. If the ball is in the dirt, runners will react and take off for the next base immediately.

If you can set up additional temporary bases a few feet behind the real bases, more players can participate on each pitch. For older age groups, the pitcher should use a variety of pitches so that the runners can learn to read breaking balls and change-ups.

Softball Hitting Drills – Eyes Closed Drill

July 16, 2010 at 4:52 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose:  To visualize the ball. To make the swing automatic, developing solid muscle memory. Visualization is a good mental training practice as well.

Procedure: A tee and a few softballs are all that is needed for this drill. Place a ball on the tee and prepare to hit. Once you feel ready and have had a good look at the softball close your eyes. Picture the ball in your mind. With eyes closed, stride and swing to strike the softball.

The Eyes Closed Drill is demanding, so it will be popular with players while refining their hitting mechanics.

Free Softball Drills – Paddle Drill

July 16, 2010 at 1:45 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop an infelder’s hand-eye coordination. Practicing fielding ball hop is a  good Softball fielding tip.

Procedure: You will be needing softballs and foam paddles. Players start facing each other a short distance apart. One player throws the ball in such a manner as to make the ball hop, simulating a ground ball hit to the infielder. The right-handed infielder assumes the ready position and awaits the throw, keeping his left foot slightly in front of the right. The ball is tossed directly toward the infielder who is holding a foam paddle in each hand. The infielder should use the funnel technique on regular ground balls and the push-through technique on short hop ground bails. The funnel technique involves the infielder cushioning the impact of the ball as it hits the hands. The push-through technique involves the infielder catering the ball by pushing his glove forward through the ball as he points the fingers downward.

The players should strive to make the catch without making any noise. The drill maybe run with hitting softballs using fungo bats to the infielders from home plate.

Softball Throwing Drills – Elimination

July 11, 2010 at 10:20 am | Posted in Outfield, Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Use this as a competitive game during long toss. Stress accuracy and proper throwing technique, especially the follow through.  Softball fielding tip for all players is to develop strength and accuracy for long throws.

Procedure: You will be needing gloves and balls. One partner stands on the foul line and the other in the outfield. The instructor initiates each toss and designates the location of the outfield group. You can only take three steps before throwing. Receivers must catch the ball without it getting by them. You can scoop the ball. Older groups can only take 1 to 2 steps to make the catch, and must not drop the ball. Keep moving back equal steps when groups successfully throw and catch the ball. Use listening skills such as ousting those groups not throwing on the whistle or call. Eliminated groups (sit down) should act as assisting judges. Change partners each day.

You can also vary the rules by only having up to three steps for the catch. Then try a long distance Throwing contest only. Rotate the throwers and then receivers. See which person can throw the ball the farthest. Also, if a ball gets by a receiver that person must throw from the spot where the ball is retrieved. For safety reasons nuke sure eliminated people watch the action away from the field.

Fun Softball Drills – Rip

July 4, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Create a fast-moving hit-and-run game in the gymnasium. Fielders better be awake for those “rips” right at them and the ricochets off of the walls. Offensive plays should be part of practice so we can start making things happen during games.

Procedure: This drill will need tennis balls, bats, gloves, helmets, and pitching screen.  Start by providing a brief instruction of the hit-and-run play; swing at anything, use a shorter swing, and aim to hit ground balls to the opposite field. To start the drill have one batter at a time (standing in front of a wall) with a pitcher standing behind the screen near the middle of the gym. No catchers. Scatter all fielders behind the pitcher. Expect all types of pitches: fastballs, curveballs, change-ups, and pitches high, low, inside, outside, overland and sidearm. Stress making contact at all times.

Start with seven swings a piece and then rotate. After a catch, roll balls off to the side, or to the vacated area in front of the pitcher. This keeps the game moving along with fielders focused on the hitter. Diving is encouraged. Have a second round when the batter stays up until he/she fails to execute the hit-and-run. Award bonus swings for hits to the opposite field. During the switch of batters (safety purposes) continually yell, “Watch the hitter!”

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