Softball Drills – Shin Guard Shuffle

June 21, 2012 at 8:03 am | Posted in Catching, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Catchers need to think of themselves as a banana: the gear is just an outer layer of skin. These drills focus on getting acquainted to the equipment, footwork, hand-eye coordination, endurance and quickness. It is important to have separate softball drills for catcher when one considers softball coaching.

Procedure: Prepare a full catcher’s gear for each person and balls. For indoor work wear wrestling knee pads instead of shin guards. Have two catchers face each other while standing in a circle. Use the basketball tip-off circle when indoors. While wearing full equipment (no mitts; mask is optional) shuffle around the circle while playing underhand catch with the ball and listening for verbal instructions. The toss should reflect most of the commands (see below). Attempt to frame every toss. Even the catcher without the ball should perform each command. After each skill, continue on playing catch.

verbal commands include:

left: rotate to the left

right: rotate to the right

up: stimulate pop-up

down: simulate a block in the dirt

push-up: do an actual push-up

sit-up: do an actual sit-up

jog: Run in place

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

Fun Softball Drills – Ultimate Throw & Catch

September 20, 2010 at 3:56 am | Posted in Catching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This competitive game teaches throwing accuracy, team work and quickness. Adding games to drills make practice more fun when coaching softball
Procedure: softball, gloves, and colored vests. Make two distinct teams. Designate playing boundaries similar to a game of “Ultimate Frisbee.” While playing outside on a diamond, name the outfield foul lines as the “touchdown areas.” Kids can play anywhere but only on the outfield grass, for example. The goal is to complete a series of throws to teammates, and then reach the other foul line.
Put at least three opposing teams. You cannot throw underhand. Defenders must be feet away and cannot touch anyone. The receivers can only take 2 or 3 steps after a successful catch. Upon receiving the ball, throwers must make a toss or else a turnover is called. Make short tosses. A dropped or missed throw, the ball goes to the other team, One team starts with the ball. Attempt to make accurate throws. Point is awarded for every successful throw caught beyond the foul line. After a “touchdown,” the “losing” team should walk to the other end line. The next game should begin with a “throw-off” to the other team. Play to 10 points.

Softball Throwing Drills – Bucket Relay

April 9, 2010 at 8:29 am | Posted in Catching, Outfield, Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop techniques for relaying a softball from the outfield to the infield. Don’t forget to remind the outfield to communicate with infield when Coaching softball

Procedure: This drill will need two buckets of softball, six empty plastic buckets, gloves time. Divide the players into two teams, station, one team and a coach in right center, and the otter team and a coach in left center. Each group has a bucket of hardballs. On home plate, stack six empty plastic buckets into a pyramid. Place one player from each team in the infield.

The teams alternate turns. The coach throws the ball high behind the outfielder, preferably hitting the outfield fence. The outfielder turns, locates the ball, runs to it, picks it up, turns, and throws it to the infielder. The infielder pivots after the catch, and throws the ball toward the buckets, trying to knock down as many as possible. The outfielder becomes the infielder, and the infielder goes to the end of the line in the outfield.

Emphasize these four points:

The infielder waves his hands over his head as the outfielder prepares to throw the ball.

The infielder then makes a target for the outfielder with the arms extended at shoulder height.

The ball should hit the infielder at shoulder height.

The infielder must pivot to the glove side whsn turning to throw. The term “glove side” is used rather than “right” or ‘left” because right-handed and left-handed players turn opposite directions before throwing.

Variation:

Use a garbage can lying on its side instead of buckets. In this case, the infielder must throw the ball into the garbage can after the relay.


Fastpitch Softball Drills – Rapid-Throw Drill

April 9, 2010 at 8:26 am | Posted in Catching, Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop quickness and proper catching and throwing techniques. Coaching softball entails practicing all important skills to be ready for any game situation.

Procedure: You will need one softball for each pair of players and gloves. Divide the team into pairs. Kids in each pair should be of similar age and skill level. Each pair stands 25 to 30 feet apart, facing each other.

For safety purposes, make sure there is at least seven feet between each pair. On the “go” command, partners throw a ball back and forth as fast as they can while keeping their throws under control, After 10, 15, or 20 seconds, the coach yells, “Stop.” The players keep track of the number of successful catches they make within the allotted time. Award l0 points for 10 successful catches. After each round, players can move back two or three steps. This game can be played up to any number of points.

This drill teaches young players how to get the ball out of the glove quickly before throwing However, you should reinforce the idea that rushing the throw often results in errors and misplays. Players drop balls during this drill if they try to take the ball out of their glove before they have a proper grip. Also emphasize that players must have control of the ball before throwing. The person catching the ball should present a chest high target for her partner.


Fast Pitch Softball Drills – Crow Hop Fly Ball Drill

May 11, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Posted in Catching, fielding, Outfield | Leave a comment
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Purpose:  This drill for softball fielding is to develop the outfielder’s crow hop technique when fielding a fly ball.

Procedure: Standing on the right-field foul line, the coach hits a fly ball to an outfielder who’s positioned in centerfield. The coach switches hitting pop-ups and line drives. The outfielder should field the ball and finish the drill with a crow-hop technique. She may fake a throw or make a throw to a cutoff fielder. When fielding a fly ball with a runner on base, the outfielder should round the ball and square off with their back foot before as they initiate the crow hop.

Softball Fielding Drills – Explode Through the Ball

November 12, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Posted in Catching, defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To practice reaching and running through every ball, improving a player with softball skills catching.

Procedure: Fielders form a line about 10 feet from the tosser. One at a time they run laterally as the tosser tosses the ball low and in front of them so that they have to reach. Each player focuses on exploding through the ball as she catches it. The fielder must not stop and reach because doing so would limit her range. Each player returns the ball with a toss, waits, and form a line that reverses the direction.

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