Softball Infield Drills – Wild Pitch Runner On Third

March 27, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Posted in fielding, Pitching | Leave a comment

Purpose: To develop tactics for handling a wild pitch with a runner on third base. A  softball pitching tip to remember is to practice pitchers to defend as well.

Procedure: This drill needs a softball and gloves. Situate the fielding team in their regular positions. Put a base runner on third. The coach places a softball somewhere behind the catcher without the catcher knowing where. On the “go” command the base runner sprints for home plate. The catcher turns to locate the softball, and the pitcher runs to cover home plate. When the catcher locates the ball, he turns and tosses it to the pitcher covering home. The pitcher tags the sliding runner with the ball.

This situation occurs in almost every youth softball game and is very rarely practiced. This is an easy drill to set up and if practiced correctly, can prepare players for real game situations.

1 While running to cover home plate, the pitcher should yell to the catcher where the ball is if the catcher has trouble locating it.

2. The catcher should concentrate only on locating the ball. After doing so, he should turn and toss !he ball underhand and low to the pitcher so that the pitchers glove will be in a good position to tag the sliding base runner.

3. The pitcher should concentrate on catching the ball before turning toward the base runner.
Because this is practice, the base runner should, at first, slow up a few feet before reaching home plate so that fielders can effectively practice the drill.

4. When this play occurs, either In practice or in a game, the second baseman should move to the base of the plate to back up the toss to the pitcher. This backup can prevent additional runs if the catcher overthrows the Loss to the pitcher and there is more than one runner on base.

5. Rotate all of the pitchers and catchers in this drill.

Softball Pitching Drillls – Throwing from Behind the Plate at second base.

August 17, 2011 at 3:21 am | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop the correct pitching form, with emphasis on a good follow through. Incorporate varied softball pitching drills to help improve performance.

Procedure: A bucket of softball is placed with the pitcher on the pitcher’s plate behind the rubber on the second-base side of Ihe diamond. Standing at the
edge of the dirt, the pitcher throws either to a catcher or to a screen at home plate.

Throwing further forces the pitcher to isolate the follow through portion of the pitch and concentrate on it more than when pitching off behind second. The pitcher
should take a bigger stride toward home to shorten the distance to the catcher or screen to 40 to 45 feet if the pitcher has trouble throwing from tiis location to
home plate. Because throwing strikes is not a priority in this drill, pitchers should throw into a large screen rather than aiming for a target. Because it is difficult
to throw behind, this drill forces pitchers to stride or jump more. When following through, the pitcher’s throwing hand should finish at the side of the throwing side.

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.

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.

Free Softball Drills – Four-Way Bunting

June 10, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Base Running, Bunting, fielding, Pitching | Leave a comment
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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.

Softball Pitching Drills – Balance Drill

March 16, 2010 at 7:51 am | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To improve pitching balance. Softball conditioning should focus on balance and power.

Procedure: You will need a bucket of softballs. Pitcher stays at pitcher’s circle. The coach stands behind the pitcher with a softball. Pitcher lifts stride leg  close to a 90-degree position and holds it for four or five seconds. The coach hands the ball to the pitcher, who is still in the balanced single-legged position. Upon receiving the ball, pitcher does her pitch and let leg drops forward after the pitch.

Balance is one of the most important aspects of proper pitching motion. A pitcher cannot throw accurately if she is off balance during the pitch. This drill, along with its variations, can be difficult for many youth pitchers. If your players have trouble with this drill, start them on a single leg position, lifting the stride leg only slightly and progress to extending it over time.

Softball Pitching Drills – Team Flat Surface Pitching

October 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment

Purpose: To improve the softball pitching windup.

Procedure: All the pitchers line up next to each other on one of the white lines on the field with about 10 or more feet between each player. On the ‘go” command, the players wind up using the white line as the pitching rubber. Their first step back (six to eight inches) should be with the foot opposite the pitching arm. The players pivot toward the side (the non throwing shoulder should face home) and then lift the front leg. The players then drop forward using the lower torso to generate hip rotation. The players repeat this motion several times very slowly In the middle of the windup, when the opposite leg is lifted, pitchers can freeze and try to maintain a balanced position for several seconds.

Softball Pitching Drill – T- Drill

October 16, 2009 at 12:02 am | Posted in Pitching, Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This is a competitive Softball Pitching Drill.

Procedure: Protective screen or soft toss net, tee, and regulation balls. Ruks: Set up a screen or net just behind home plate. Place a tee, with a ball on top of it, on the plate. Pitchers throw from the rubber. For indoors, use a portable mound and measure off the proper pitching distance according to the age level. Three pitches per perron. An instructor should record the points (see below). Declare a winner per station, age group, or up to 25 points, for example. Assign a set pitching order. Attempt to maintain equal rounds of throwing. The on-deckperson should be the hall feeder. Pickup the halls as a group. Older players can alternate between the four- and two-seam fastballs as well at the stretch and wind-up.

Scoring includes:

3 points: Pitch which hits the ball off of the tee.

2 points: Pitch which hits the tee (pole only).

1 point: Pitch which hits the screen.

Softball Practice Drills – Movement

October 6, 2009 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Pitchers strive to add movement to their pitches and variety to their softball pitching repertoire.

Procedure:Pitchers should play catch with another pitcher as part of the daily warm-up. Pitchers throw from the mound with the goal of adding late movement to each pitch—either in and out or down (way from the batter’s hands). To add movement to the pitch use different Grips (fingers on or off the seams), vary ball placement in the hand (e.g. choke it for a changeup), and use different pressure points on the ball, applying more pressure for increased movement and less for more velocity. Changing speeds with breaking pitches (changeup, curve or slider) can throw off a hitters timing, especially his/her stride. Pitchers can focus on developing their aptitude for the essential skills of pitch selection and focus, control (strikes) and command (location), movement and changing speeds, velocity, and getting people out These skills can be developed in a variety of ways. Experiment each day with a different grip, ball placement, or pressure point. Keep the same arm speed but use a different arm angle. Try for movement with a different pitch on each throw. Ask hitters for feedback. See what the other
pitchers on your team are doing. Work with the coaches. Always maintain proper mechanics, balance, and follow through when performing any type of softball pitching drill. And remember that the most important pitch is Strike 1!

Softball Pitching Tips: Team Softball Pitching Drills (Overhand)

September 24, 2009 at 8:26 pm | Posted in Pitching | Leave a comment
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Purpose: During a softball pitching session, accomplish the many variations. First work on the proper techniques, then loosen the arm up, progress to long toss, and conclude with specialties.

Procedure: Equipment required is softballs, gloves, and home plates (can also use white towels). This drill is for 9 years and up.Rules are  Partner up. Start with the proper grip while holding the glove out front just under eye level. Continue at each formation until the group leader switches the discipline. Points that you need to Consider: Turn with the ball and glove, make a smooth trans¬fer behind the back, get the ball above the throwing shoulder, rotate back, tuck the glove, snap the ball out from beyond the head, con¬tinue the body forward, swing the back leg through, and be in a balanced fielding position.
Perform each drill according to the desired discipline, each completed with a throw.
1.2 knee : Work on the hip pivot,
2.1 knee : Glove-side foot in front; work on bringing the ball back and up.
3.1 Leg: Glove-side leg in front with a wide stance; work on transfer and swinging the back leg through.
4.Stretch: Feet shoulders width apart facing either first or third base; work on striding to the plate and weight shift.
5.Wind-up. Work on a small step back, the balance point, and coordination throughout.

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