Softball Throwing Drills-Crowhop Drill

August 27, 2010 at 11:17 am | Posted in Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To teach the proper footwork of a crowhop step which is essential for developing momentum and power behind a throw. Using the crow hop to increase strength in ones throw is a good softball fielding tip to follow

Procedure: You will be needing softballs and a glove. Start with your toes and body facing the target. Place your cap on the ground about a foot in front. Right-handed throwers will push off on their left foot and land over the hat on their right foot. Left-handers will push off with their right foot and land on their left. When you land, your foot should be squared and your body turned to the directional side as you continue the throwing process. Once again, righties push off their left foot to hop over the hat and land on the right foot, squared, and throw the ball. Vice versa for lefties.

If you have never tried this before, then practice yourself so that you can demonstrate. The first time you introduce this drill you should have players practice without a ball. Once players understand the footwork involved, have them throw the ball. It is very important that players don’t take a skip step. In other words, they do not push off and land on the same foot. It is a hop, from one foot to the other. As they become familiar with the drill, switch the focus to explosive power to generate more distance on each throw.

Free Softball Drills – Opposite Angle Drill

August 27, 2010 at 11:13 am | Posted in Bunting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop the hitter’s bunting technique. Softball hitting must include bunting to have an over-all game.

Procedure:  The team will need softballs, a bat, and two helmets. A marker should be placed near each base line approximately ten feet apart. The batter assumes a good hitting stance. A feeder then stands approximately fifteen feet away from the batter to overhand toss the ball to the hitter. The hitter should pivot on her back leg as the feeder raises her arm to throw the ball. As the batter pivots, she should square her body to the feeder and slide her top hand down the bat to the midpoint of the barrel. The hitter should flex her knees and get into position to bunt the ball. To bunt the ball down the third-base line, the right-handed hitter should pull his left hand to her navel. To bunt the ball down the first base line, the right-handed hitter should push her left hand away from her navel.

The batter should catch the ball with her bat,rather than punch at the ball. The batter should never bunt the ball to the feeder. The batter should practice bunting with only her top hand on the bat, so that she can learn how to catch the ball with the barrel of her bat. The batter should never drop the head of the bat below her hands when bunting. rather, she should bend her knees to bunt a low pitch.

Softball Infield Drills – Front end-Backhand Drill

August 27, 2010 at 11:11 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose; To teach the middle infielder how to underhand feed the ball to the back end receiver on the double play. Practicing game situation is good softball fielding tip to follow.

Procedure: This drill will need a crate of softballs and  a base. Position the players in the infield around second base. The feeder should kneel on the ground or sit on a crate in the infield grass. The infielder who will be the frontend of the double play should assume the ready position and await the toss of the ball. The feeder rolls the ball between the base and the front end infielder. The infielder should sprint toward the ball and field the ball on the move. The fielder should clearly present the ball to the backend receiver by immediately pulling his glove away from the ball as he begins to make the feed. He should then use an underhand motion to toss the ball to the backend receiver at second base.

The front end fielder should actually put his glove behind his back as he makes the underhand feed. The frontend fielder should grasp the ball in a manner so that the ball is held firmly. The front end fielder should keep a “stiff wrist” when performing the urderhand feed. The right-handed fielder should use his left foot to step toward the backend receiver, following through with his right foot.

Softball Practice Drills- First and Third Offensive Situation

August 18, 2010 at 12:46 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop defensive strategies against a first and third steal situation. Practicing game situations is important in coaching softball.

Procedure: For this drill, prepare one softball, a bat and gloves. Set up infielders. Station base runners on first and third. The pitcher pitches the ball, and when the ball crosses the plate, the runner on first runs to second. Depending on how the defense is set up, what the score is, and what inning it is, the runner at third will either stay or run home.

The batter should take the pitch so that the runners can move up. The runner at first base must slide at second whether the catcher throws the ball or not. Sliding creates a bigger diversion for the fielders than going in standing up. The runner at third base should lead off the base toward home plate and constantly look at the catcher. If the catcher fakes a throw down, the base runner on third should stay on the base. Although the third-base runner doesn’t advance, at least one base runner moves up and no one is thrown out. If the catcher throws the ball to second base, the base runner on third must watch the flight of the ball. Sometimes the catcher throws hard back to the pitcher to make it look like he is throwing it all the way to second base. In this case, the pitcher can throw to third and catch the base runner too far off the base.

Other times, the catcher may make it look like he’s throwing to second base, but he will throw it to a drawn – in shortstop or second baseman. If the shortstop or second baseman catches the ball, the base runner must go back to third base. If the ball goes all the way to second base, then the base runner at third can take off and slide into home plate.

If the coach determines that the fielding team has excellent skills, the base runner on first can stop between first ard second.  A rundown will ensue, which might allow enough time for the runner on third base to score.

Free Softball Drills – Dive-Ball Drill

August 17, 2010 at 8:38 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop the confidence to leave the feet, or dive, when finding a hard-hit ball on the ground. One good softball tip is just to “choose now”

Procedure: Prepare a bucket of softballs, and have some gloves. Divide the team into two or three groups, depending on the number of available coaches. The coach calls out the first player, who stands 10 to 20 feet from the coach, facing him.The coach takes a ball from the bucket, then yells, “Left.”  The player moves toward the left, and the coach leads him with the ball so that the player must dive for it. If the player catches the ball, he rolls it back to the coach. Knocking down the ball or stopping it with his body is as good as a catch. The player should kick aside any balls in the active “diving” area. The coach then yells, “Right” The player moves to his right. The coach leads the player with the ball so that he must dive to catch or stop the ball. Each player gets three or four turns before the next player’s turn.

The player’s main objective is to stop the ball and keep it in front of her instead of worrying about making a spectacular catch. Players should start off in the ready position Teach players to keep their gloves open as they run to make a backhanded catch. Teach players to run toward the ball to make a catch rather than reaching outward diving for it. A dive should always be a player’s last resort. As the players progress, add a player at first base, and instruct the fielders to throw to first after making a diving stop.

Begin this drill with the players kneeling, diving for the ball from their knees. This variation trains players how to dive even if they aren’t in the ready position.

Basic Softball Drills -Pop-Up Drill

August 11, 2010 at 1:46 am | Posted in Catcher | Leave a comment
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Purpose:  To practice fielding pop-up balls around home plate. This is a helpful softball catching drill.

Procedure: As a coach, you will need a tennis racquet and a few tennis balls. Each catcher will be in full gear. Get them in a crouch position at home plate. The coach will hit a tennis ball straight up in the air. He will decide when to yell “Go” to signal to the catcher that the ball is up. You will attempt to locate the ball, discard your mask, and then field the pop-Up at or above eye level. Because the tennis ball is bouncy, the catcher is forced to use two hands to safely make the catch. The tennis racquet makes it easy to place the ball where you wish.

With older, more experienced players, add a second ball to the drill. Once the ball reaches its height, catapult another ball and have the catcher attempt to catch both of them. This makes the drill more difficult and challenging.

Softball Hitting Drills – Vision Drill 2

August 11, 2010 at 1:45 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose:   To improve pitch recognition abilities. Visualization and tracking is  a big part of softball hitting.

Procedure: Number six to nine softballs with a marker. This drill can be conducted in soft toss or live batting practice environments. The hitter will use solid hitting mechanics to make contact with each feed. After making contact, the hitter will call out the number she saw on the softball, (Number the ball several times to increase visibility.)

Since the rotation will not be as tight on soft-toss feeds, coaches are encouraged to use soft toss when first introducing this drill. As players become more adept at seeing the rotation, progress to a batting practice situation. If the batting-practice pitcher throws with a tight rotation on her ball, players may not be able to identify the numbers. Even so, since they’ll be concentrating on the pitch in an effort to determine the number, the objective of the drill-pitch recognition will be met.

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