Softball Hitting Drills – Wait Drill

April 30, 2011 at 6:33 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To learn to wait until the ball enters your strong zone. To effectively hit the ball to the opposite field. <a href=””>Softball hitting drills</a> are important to better one’s hitting

Procedure: This drill is performed in a short toss situation. Don’t pitch from the full distance, so that the pitcher can more consistently locate the ball on the outside corner. Move the screen up to at least half distance or more. The drill can also be performed in batting practice.

The pitcher will place every toss on the outer half of the plate. You will watch the first few pitches without swinging but yell ”swing” at the exact moment when you must start your swing. Hit outside pitches to the opposite field, Going the other way with the pitch is achieved by making contact deeper in the hitting zone without modifying the swing. So if you want to make contact deeper in the zone, you must still begin your swing early enough to get the barrel of the bat on the ball. After watching a few tosses, you can start swinging to hit every pitch to the opposite field. Use a six-pitch round consisting of three observations and three swings.

The players should discover just how long they can wait before swinging. Don’t permit players to alter their swing to hit the ball the other way. The strong zone of hitting happens when the top arm is bent at contact.

Softball Drills – Blocking Drills

April 30, 2011 at 6:31 am | Posted in Catching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To know the importance of keeping the ball in front. To accustom your catcher to being hit by the ball.  Blocking is an important of softball catching and must be practiced.

Procedure: Have your catcher in full gear. Catcher does not use their gloves.

The blocking drills are a two-step process:

The first phase: catcher will be on her knees with her hands behind her back. Coach will stand not more than 3 feet away with the balls. Bounce the balls into the chest of  the kneeling catcher while she attempts to form a wall with her body and block the ball while keeping it in front

The second phase: The catcher will assume the proper catching position behind the plate. Bounce balls off the ground and into the chest of catcher. Catcher is not trying to catch each ball. Rather, she is simply trying to let the ball hit her chest and keep it in front.

Coach must demonstrate this drill before letting the players try it. The partner or coach who will be bouncing the softball must make good tosses so that the ball hits her in the chest

Softball Hitting Drills – See, Read & Explode

April 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: A former major league hitting coach Mike Epstein liked to say, batters need to “see” the pitch just before the pitcher releases the ball, “read” the spin and location of it while en route to the plate, and “explode” at a strike with an aggressive swing at tbe ball. One good softball hitting tip is to act not react

Procedure:  Have bats plus a brand-new regulation ball. First explain “soft” and “hard” focus. While in the batters box the hitter should first “soft” focus on the pitcher’s head and shoulders. Then when the ball is at the pitcher’s hip she should “hard” focus on the ball just before delivery. Have this theory in every live throwing activity.

Now arrange the group into lines. The instructor should face the team, and go through a simulated pitching movement. When the batter thinks the ball is just in front of home plate, she should make a swing. First, pitch in slow-motion for easy recognition. Second, pitch from the wind-up. Third, pitch from the stretch. Fourth, pitch full-speed. Fifth, add in the fastball. See if the kids can pick up the different arm motions. End with a ninth inning, 3-and 2 count, 2-out, bases-loaded scenario.




Softball Pitching Drills – Gun It

April 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Measure pitching speeds of youngsters, and teach how varying speeds will fool hitters.  Varying pitches truly help in softball pitching.

Procedure: Rent, purchase, or borrow a radar gun. Measure speeds from behind the backstop. For advanced players, use the radar gun when teaching the fastball vs. change up speed which should differ in mph, When pitching the fastball and basic change up, the arm action should be the same. This disguises the different pitches, so a batter can’t tell which one is coming. Simply alter the grip and ball placement in the hand. The changing of speeds keeps hitters off-stride. The radar gun also reveals velocity. Scouts like to compare speeds for purpose of consistency. During games the gun can be used for measuring velocity each inning, and monitoring whether or not a pitcher is tiring and may be losing some speed on the fastball. Professional teams have a coach behind the backstop of every game charting each pitch, location (strike or ball), and most likely velocity. Note that velocity is measured at the point of release —not when the ball reaches home plate. Because kids love to throw as hard as they can, make sure everyone is warmed up and loose before trying this activity, and remind them it’s not always strength, but precision that determines the success of a pitcher. When using the radar gun at a camp or clinic competition, use velocity readings to track and record a variety of statistics: the speed of pitchers of different ages, the velocity of each pitcher each day, and stats on the fastball vs. changeup numbers. This ball is for pitching training only, so do not hit it with a bat or throw it on hard surfaces.

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