Softball Practice Drills – Move It

July 26, 2012 at 9:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Purpose: This activity combines the many bunting varieties, baserunning disciplines, and conditioning. Variety of drills must be done when coaching softball.

Procedure: Prepare bases, bats, helmets and balls. Pitch from the mound with one person bunting at home plate. Another three people run from each base. On contact the three runners attempt to advance to the next base. The bunter the sprints to first base. A bunter who misses of fouls the pitch off should run to first anyway. Players advance one base at a time. After reaching home, those runners become bunters and so on. No sliding. All participants should be running bunting at the same time. Move into the next round only after person has bunted and been to each base. Obviously the runners have different agendas as opposed to the bunters. Work individually on the specific disciplines. Adjust to the age levels. Sessions may include:

 

Round 1:

Bunter: Sacrifice (run through first base and turn right after the bag)

Runner at First: Steal of second base (work on a quick first step)

Runner at Second: Steal of third base (take a lead in the base line)

Runner at Third: Squeeze (wait for the pitcher’s front foot to hit the ground)

 

Round 2:

Bunter: Drag (simulate a base hit by making a wide cut to the right)

Runner at First: Hit-and-run (midway down the line make a quick look into home plate).

Runner at Second: Steal of third base (start from a 2-out lead behind the bag)

Runner Third: Score on a wild pitch (sprint from a secondary lead)

 

Round 3:

Bunter: Squeeze (run through first base and semi-advance on an overthrow).

Runner at First: Delayed steal (take second while in the secondary lead)

Runner at Second: 2-out lead (score on “crack of the bat”)

Runner at Third: Score on a sacrifice fly (simulate tagging up).

 

Round 4:

Bunter: Fake bunt (square around bring the bat back; then sprint to first base)

Runner at First: Early steal (go at a left-handed pitcher’s first move to the plate).

Runner at Second: Wild pitch (advance to third while in the secondary lead)

Runner at Third: Safety squeeze (score when the ball i on the ground).

 

 

Indoor Softball Drills – Crazed

July 10, 2012 at 6:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This indoor game teaches aggressive baserunning, the art of the rundown, and force outs. Coach’s would recommend to have rundown practices as a Softball Coaching Tip

Procedure: Have Three gym mats, home plate, rubber ball and bat for this drill. Spread the mats across a gym floor for bases. Each hitter has a 3-and-2 count. The defense must stand around the gym with everyone behind the pitcher. At least one player must be playing each infield position including catcher. The instructor is the pitcher and umpire. Outs are recorded just as in a real game. Runs are scored for each base touched, instead of having to touch all four. The base runner must stay on the bag once the pitcher retrieves the ball (i.e on the rubber) innings end after the third out. There is no limit to the number of runners on a single base. Advancement is voluntary. However, you cannot pass a runner in front of you. A player is safe while standing on a base. Fielders can tag out any runner with the ball (“Indian Rubber” is allowed with a softball thrown below the waist). Force outs can only occur at first base.

Then try this game another way. After a hit, the batter keeps running until hearing “stop”. Innings can last for three batters or the entire offensive team. The fielding team must retrieve the ball everyone must touch the ball and then yell “stop”. After a few times around, ask the kids to think of better ways to work together. They first may have thrown the ball to each person. Then someone may have run around to touch each person with the ball. The goal is for everyone to run to the person who catches the ball, form a circe, and for each person to touch the ball. The hitting team (after contact) could also be scoring runs by sprinting wall to wall. Each touched wall is a run. Instead of running do push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, or anything building stamina, endurance and strength.

 

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 Baserunning Drills – Wisk

April 10, 2012 at 1:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Ball players should be filthy after sliding and diving and those “wisks” around the base. Sliding head first is tough skill to learn but still can be taught.

Procedure: you’ll be needing throw-down bases. Wisk detergent can clean the dirtiest of uniforms.The day before playing wisk tell kids to wear uniform, pants, sweats or old jeans. this activity is best suited without shoes. Start with one giant line of people (standing on the foul line). Have a starting signal. Include five sliding stations.

First, use a per leader to demonstrate each of the five slides 1) straight leg but arms down to avoid the tag. 2) pop-up, 3) hook with either leg, 4) head first, and 5) slide past the bag and reach around to touch it. Second, have the kids perform each bent-leg slide (leg out front) as a group by only taking a few steps and then sliding. Focus on technique rather than speed. Fourth, take a full sprint towards the instructor some distance away. After a sprint, simply turn around and face the other direction. Start off in the stealing position. Fifth,have a sliding contest. Award a prize for the best slide or give a round of applause to the dirtiest person. On that hot summer day, hose down the water slide mat to practice head first dives.

Softball Hitting Drills – Peas

April 3, 2012 at 4:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This is a rapid-fire bunting drill designed to get a lot done in a short period of time.  Bunting is a skill each player in a team should know how to do, coaching softball should have bunting in their practice sessions

Procedure: Prepare a batting cage, pitching machine, jug balls, helmet and thunderstick bat. Use the thunderstick bat for purpose of hand-eye coordination and confidence. Put the balls into the pitching machine one after another. Stay in the bunting stance for each pitch. Focus on the “peas” shooting out from the machine. Bunt left. Bunt right. Lay down the sacrifice bunt drag and squeeze. Go through an entire bucket of balls. Don’t worry about a pop-up. Get ready for the next pitch because there’s no time to dwell on the negative. 

 

 

 

 

Softball Baserunning Drills – Run at Base Runner

March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To familiarize fielders with the “two players on one base” game situation. One softball fielding tip is to give game situation drills to help players develop instincts on the field.
Procedure: This drill will be needing a softball and gloves All infielders play in their usual positions except the shortstop. The shortstop plays 15 feet in front of the usual position.
Two base runners stand between second and third base, approximately 10 feet from one another.
Without the shortstop looking (she shouldn’t turn around, the two base runners should locate themselves in an odd, yet common,softball. situation such as (1) the one mentioned above or (2) two players on one base. Youth players tend to make all kinds of base running errors that are so unusual that fielders are not sure what to do. This drill teaches the fielders to pursue the lead runner. The coach stands in front of the shortstop and directs both runners. He can direct both back toward second or both toward third. He can tell the lead runner to go to third and the trail runner to go to second. He can also keep base runners where they are.
The coach gives the ball to the shortstop and tells him to go after the lead runner. On the “go” command, the shortstop turns around. The base runners break (or stay still) according to the direction given.
The shortstop runs at the lead runner and/or throws to the lead base, depending on how close he is to the base runner and how close the base runner is to the lead base. If the shortstop is close enough to the runner to run him down and tag him, he should do so. However, if the shortstop is unable to catch the runner, then he should throw to the lead base.
In the drill, the two base runners serve as a distraction as the fielder faces the “two players on one base” situation.
1. The fielders must always run at the lead runner.
2. Once the lead runner commits to a base, the fielder should try to run him down.
3. If the fielder cannot catch the runner, he should throw to the lead base.
4. Give each infielder a chance to perform this drill as a runner and as a fielder.
5. Teach outfielders to move in when they sse this situation so they can serve as a backup.

Variation
This drill has many variations: two players on the same base, two play between first and second, two- players between second and third, and two players between third and home.

Softball Infield Drills – WORM AND TURN DRILL

January 24, 2012 at 5:49 am | Posted in defense, fielding, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Purpose: Teach the second baseman the footwork needed for turning a double play when the ball is hit deep in the hole to the shortstop.  Coaching softball entails teaching everything there is to know on the field and it is important to take time to practice learned skill.
Procedure: this drill is located in the infield around second base. prepare a crate of softballs, a base. Coach hits the ball in the hole between the shortstop and second base using a fungo bat. The shortstop should move to field the batted ball and make the throw to second base . The second baseman should move to cover second base, timing her arrival at second base so that she gets to the base at the same moment the ball arrives on the throw from the shortstop. The second baseman should turn the double play using the proper sequence of the footwork. Her left foot touches the bag, her right foot steps backward in the dirt, her left foot is on the dirt on the rightfield side of second base. The second baseman should hold her hands open at chest level, forming an angle with his palms facing the ball and his fingers pointing to the sky. The second baseman should receive the throw at the back point of the base. After receiving the throw from the shortstop, the second baseman should then simulate the throw to first base and hop over an imaginary player who is sliding to second base.

The second baseman should exhibit “happv feet” (i.e., feet continually moving in place in a short choppy manner), as she receives the throw and completes the double play. When the balI hits his glove, the second baseman should use the middle finger of her glove hand to push the ball out of her glove. This step results in the ball quickly popping out to the throwing hand. The second baseman’s throwing hand should always be held in a position to catch the ball once it is forced out of the glove. When completing the footwork of the double play the second baseman should point her left foot toward first to set open her hips.

 

Softball Hitting Drills – Hitter’s Challenge

September 20, 2010 at 3:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Hitters are challenged to see the ball and hit it hard. How hard they hit the ball, and where, dictates the points they receive. After learning the basics, softball hitting techniques should be developed.
Procedure: This drill will be needing bats, balls, helmets and gloves. This game can be played either inside or outdoors while using a pitching machine or live arm. The hitter should aim to hit ground balls and/or line drives. Only fair balls count. Issue 7 to 10 swings each.
Hitter Scoring Includes:
10 points: Line drive up the middle. 5 points: Line drive anywhere else. 3 points: Hard hit ground ball. 2 points: Slowly hit ground ball, 1 point: Pop-up/fly ball. Another variation of this game, arrange a fielder at each position (no catcher) and rotate people after each hitter. Both hitters and fielders can now earn points on virtually every swing. Establish priority on subsequent grounders and fly balls. Try to maintain equal at-bats and fielding attempts it the different positions for each of the players. Include both of the scoring systems.
Fielder Scoring Includes:
10 points: Difficult catch of a line drive. 3 points: Difficult catch of a ground ball. 2 points: Routine catch of a ground ball. 1 point: Routine catch of a pop-Up/fly ball.

Youth Softball Drills – Racquetball Drill

April 13, 2010 at 1:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To leam to read a fly ball. Developing an outfielder at a young age is a good softball fielding tip.

Procedure: You will need a racquetball racket, approximately 10 soft-covered sponge-type balls, and gloves. All of the players, who have been assigned numbers, and one of the coaches go to right field. A coach or an assistant coach goes to home plate with a racket and a bucket of soft-covered balls. The coach supervising in the outfield calls out a number. The coach at home plate hits the ball into right field as high as he or she can. The player whose numberis called tries to catch the ball.

Repeat the drill until each player’s number is called.

Youth players have a very hard time catching fly balls. This drill if followed correctly, improves a player’s ability to catch fly balls. When catching a fly ball, a fielder’s first step is usually back.The fielder must be able to anticipate where the ball will land. The fielder should catch the ball with two hands. Soft-covered balls are difficult to catch because they tend to pop out of players’ gloves. Therefore, players should not be discouraged if early in the drill they have trouble squeezing the ball into the glove.

Softball Throwing Drills – Line Throw

April 6, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Purpose:To develop proper throwing technique, specifically accuracy. This drill will help 1st basemen on softball fielding as well.

Procedure: You will be needing one bucket, 20 to 30 softball and gloves. Players assemble in two lines, one at the third-base position and the other at the shortstop position. Setup a row of softballs in front of each line of players. Send two players to first base with an empty bucket. One player is the first baseman and the other is the backup first baseman. On the “go command, the first person in line at third base runs to the closest ball, picks it up, and throws it to first base. After the throw, the player goes to the end of the shortstop line. The coach gives the go  command to the first person in the shortstop line, who runs to the closest ball, throws it to first base, then goes to the end of the third-base line.

This drill can be done more quickly if the coach gives the “go” command to the next player as soon as the previous player throws the ball. The first baseman receives the throws from the third-base and shortstop positions and places the balls in the bucket.

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