Tags: coaching softball, offensive play, rundown
Purpose: Teach the art of the rundown, and how to act when you’re in a pickle. An important softball coaching tip you should remember would be making sure rundown mechanics are practiced.
Procedure: Prepare fielding gloves, tennis balls and 2 bases. Explain the roles of fielders and base runners in the event of a rundown. Depending on available space and the number of kids, this game can be performed between first and second base, or between each of the other bases. The goal is for the “police officer” (person with the ball) to catch a “speeder” (person in the rundown). The base runner wants to safely reach one of the bases. An elimination factor can be added here by sending people to the “jail”. Those “criminals” include tagged base runners, fielders who collide with a runner, the fielder closest to a runner who has successfully made it back to a base, or the fielder who makes a poor throw. the “jail” is emptied after each completed rundown since someone is always safe or out remember, “speed kills”. Steal as many bases and runs as you can!
Tags: baserunning drills, fun softball drills, team drills
Purpose: In Vamos (Spanish for "let's go") the challenge is to run in the correct direction, not necessarily home to first. To get your player's attention you sometimes must have fun drills when coaching softball. Procedure: Drill will need bases. Make different baserunning rules for an actual practice game or specific inning. First inning: run the bases in reverse. Second inning: second base becomes first, third becomes second, and first becomes third. Third innning: when the ball is hit to the right side of the field (or infield), the player should initially run to third base and proceed around the bases in reverse. If another batter hits the ball to the left side, then the player funs to first base. If multiple players are on the base paths they must determine the correct direction in which to run, based upon where the ball is hit. then reverse this trend the next inning. Stipulate that "running in the wrong direction" (for that particular play) results in an out for the offensive team. Fourth inning: refer back to the rules of the first inning. Keep home plate as the final destination in each phase.
Tags: baserunning, softball running drills.
Purpose: These relay utilizing running and balance. Incorporating games when coaching softball makes it fun for the athlete.
Procedure: For each race designate the different teams with starting and finishing points (use bases). In the first game,each kid must run or walk with a bat resting on the end of one or two finger(s). This tests one’s balance and hand-eye coordination. Upon arriving back at your team simply flip the bat to the next person. For the daring, then try balancing the bat on each hand. In the second game race with a ball balanced on top of a glove. After that try to flip the ball up and down off of a glove as you go. For every game, if the object drops to the ground a runner must start again from that point before continuing on.
Tags: baserunning drills, softball speed drills
Purpose: This is a timed race where runners receive points for their efforts.Every aspect in softball should be addressed when coaching softball.
Procedure: You will need a whistle, four bases, and for stopwatches. This game is best suited with either stationary bases or with chalk-drawn bases on a blacktop. Try to use four instructions. Pick four random teams and a captain for each. The captain names a runnning order which cannot be changed. Each team then sits down behind one of the bases. At the whistle, the first person in each group runs to the next base. Four bases must be touched. If a base is missed that team is disqualified for the particular round. The instructor (standing together) time one group each. The times are then compared for first place (4 points), second (3 points), third (2 points) or fourth (1 point). Tally up the points after everyone has a run, and declarea winner. Play this game each day during a camp, for example
Purpose: Time and evaluate the speed of each person. Increasing speed should be a goal in coaching softball.
Procedure: The team will need stationary bases and speed. For running home to first take an actual swing. when touching first base, lean forward as if , breaking the tape in a sprinting competition. Don’t lunge for the bag. Sprint in a normal fashion. When running first to third or home to home, start from the base or the actual lead. Make a cut out towards right field just before rounding second base. Try leaning to the left when rounding the bag. Be sure to touch every base during the activity. Add three seconds if you miss a base. No sliding. Add in the 60s yard dash for high school and up. Write the times down for each kid, and see if they improve over time.
Tags: Base Running, Base running drills
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.
Tags: baserunning drills, fun drills, warm-up drills
Purpose: Knock home the importance of touching the bases in this fun race. Baserunning is an important aspect of coaching softball.
Procedure: You will need four bases. Make four equal teams. Have each group standing up in a line behind their own designated base in the infield grass. The formation should look like the letter “X”. At the starting signal, the first person in eachline runs to the next base. You must touch eacho f the four bases, and then sit down at teh end of your line. Each person then moves up a spot. If anyone misses a base, that particular team is eliminated. The first team to have everyone sitting down is the winner.
Tags: baserunning, Bunting, fielding, Pitching
Purpose: This bunting drill includes bunting and pitching techniques. It is important to add practices for bunting when coaching softball.
Procedure: You will need bats, balls, bases, gloves and screens (optional). There will be a bunter at each base and one on home plate (four people total). Four pitchers throw to the four different bunters stationed at first, second, and third base, and home plate. Either use screens as backstops at the four stations or include four actual catchers in full gear. At a safe distance, line up an equal numbers of bunters at each base. The four pitchers should pitch simultaneously. The batters practice their bunting technique (sacrifice, drag and squeeze.) Once the ball is bunted the pitcher should field the ball, while the bunter sprints to the next base (home-1st, 1st – 2nd, 2nd-3rd and 3rd – home). Work on that quick first step out of the box. Pitchers get so excellent fielding exercises in a live situation (no throwing). They should throw from the stretch, and focus on throwing strikes but they can also add in breaking pitches. Coaches can participate in pitching to keep score, track the number of successful bunts.
Tags: agility drills, footwork, running drills, Softball coaching
Purpose: These agility drills improve footwork, quickness, balance, and stamina. It is important to practice footwork drills when coaching softball to improve base running.
Procedure: On the gym floor or in the parking lot, set up a rectangular grid with nine spaces. Hop on one or two feet to-and-from the spaces in the grid. Start of by making the letter “X”. Then form the letter “S.” Then form these letters in reverse order. Older kids can be taught a specific scenario and compete against the clock. For a simple drill, hop back and forth over a line. First, left and right. Second, front and back. Then hop on both feet while making a small square box. First go clockwise and the counter-clockwise. Then try it on one foot. Use time frames (30 seconds each). Work hard and try to improve the times each day.
Tags: baserunning, offensive drills, Sliding
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.
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.