Softball Practice Drills – Infield-Outfield

September 11, 2011 at 2:15 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Learn a basic pre-game infield-outfield routine. Being properly warmed-up is important before starting a game. You may add this softball hitting warm-up drills. 

Procedure: You will be using balls, bases, fungoes and gloves. Try to work in a lO-minute frame.
Part I: Start with the outfielders throwing twice to each base. First second base, then third, and finally home. Use cutoff people. Pitchers can field comebackers and work on throwing to 1st base. Catchers can be fielding bunts and throwing to first base as well.

Part II: Infielders should start by throwing the ball twice around the infield to each person. Then field a series of grounders. Get on the grass, and throw to home plate. Then throw twice to first base (first basemen throw to third). Work in the catchers at each stop. Next is “One and Cover” where the catcher throws to each base (make tags). Then perform two double plays each. Try a long throw from
deep in your position (use the backhand). Conclude it with a bare-handed toss and the catcher pop-up.

Daring Part II: Outfielders should catch fly balls as a group in center field. The instructor should stand in foul territory with a bucket of balls. Just keep hitting them one after another. Don’t use a cutoff man. After catching each variety (routine balls left and right, over the head, line drive, and shallow pop-up), toss the ball to an open area which is in front of and away from the group.

Part III: During the final infield scenario, line everyone up down the foul line on your dugout side. Exchange glove slaps. During the entire routine, hustle and talk it up. Throw the ball hard. Hit the cutoffperson- Use newer balls for a touch of class.

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Youth Softball Drills – Make a Rag Ball

September 4, 2011 at 10:13 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To provide an alternative to using a hardball for some drills. Modifying equipment can help in coaching youth softball to build confidence.

Procedure: Prepare a box of rags, rolls of masking tape. Distribute the rags among the players, keeping one rag to use for demonstration, Tie a large knot in tie center of the rag. Wrap or crumple tie loose ends around the center knot to give the rag ball shape. Wrap the masking tape around the rag. Make sure to cover all exposed parts of the rag. This ball can be used over and over again and is a great alternative to spending large amounts of money on equipment. The masking tape should not be applied too tight. If it’s too tight the rag ball will have too much bounce. Coaches can use these rag balls in many drills, including the Racquetball Drill and the Toss Drill Over the course of the season, the rag ball will get worn out. Instead of throwing it out, simply apply more layers of tape on top of the existing layers. Some coaches may want to use old newspaper as an allernative to rags. This works well however, additional masking tape is necessary to give the ball its needed weight.

Free Softball Practice Drills – 444 Game (4vs4vs4)

September 4, 2011 at 10:10 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To play an actual game with only 12 players. Having scrimmages is a good way to practice when tournament is about to start, this is a good softball coaching tip.

Procedure: Preapre a regular playing field, balls, bats, gloves Divide players into three teams of four players. Each tearn has at least one pitcher and catcher.One team is at bat. The other two take the field. Only two players play the outfield. One of the coaches can play an outfield position. Play a normal game. After the first team makes three outs, the next team is up. After they make three outs, the final team is up. Simulating real game situations is the best way to prepare for competition, the 444 game is a great way to do so. One coach calls balls and strikes behind the pitcher. Each team should have a catcher. If not, stealing might have to be suspended, To keep the game moving at a fast pace, limit each team to one time through its lineup four at-bats. To familiarize players with starting behind the count, start each player off with two strikes (0-2). This game is a great opportunity to try players at different positions.

Softball Practice Drills – Scream Drill

August 17, 2011 at 3:23 am | Posted in fielding, Outfield | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To practice calling off another fielder on a fly ball. Communication is a good softball fielding tip  to follow to increase “outs”and lessen injuries.

Procedure: Have bucket of balls and gloves for this drill. Place two lines of three players in the outfield, one line in right center and the other in left center, 20 to 30 feet
from each other. Divide the rest of the team into two lines 10 to 15 feet from each other in the infield: one at second base and the other at shortstop position. One coach
stands five feet behind second base facing the outfield. Another coach stands five feet behind home plate facing the infield. Each coach tells the first two in each of his
line to step up. The coach throws the ball between the two fielders, and the player who is the closest to the ball must scream three times, “I got it” or “Mine.” After
catching the ball, the player throws it back to the coach. After each player has had a turn, the infield lines and out field lines should switch with one another.

This drill includes a lot of player movement and noise (communication) , distractions that players must leam to play with. When two players go after a fly ball, a hierarchy
determines which position can call off the other. At the youth level, this must be simplified. Differenl methods work for different teams. Coaches should make sure that
when fielders are finished, they run all the way to the outside of the drill area. The player who is closest to the ball usually has priority.

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 Infield Drills – Defend Bunt with Man on Third

August 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop defensive strategies against a runner on third trying to score on a bunt. Practicing bunt situations with man on third is a good softball defense drill.

Procedure: You will need one softball, a bat, and gloves. The pitcher throws the softball, and the batter bunts toward third. The third baseman fields the ball. The base runner anticipates the throw to first and begins to run home. The third baseman fields the ball pivots and immediately throws it to the shortstop covering third base. The shortstop applies the tag to the base runner who is trying to scramble back to third. Timing in this drill is important. As the base runner bounces off the base, the shortstop sneaks over to cover third. To remind the shortstop to cover third, the coach yells out a signal, such as, “Green,” as the third baseman charges to field the bunt. Upon hearing the coach yell, “Green,” the third baseman quickly turns and throws to the shortstop covering third base, The left fielder backs up the shortstop in case the ball is overthrown. If the player backs up correctly, a run can be saved.

Softball Hitting Drills – Broom Handle Bunt

August 16, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Bunting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop bunting techniques. Emphasizing the bunt during practices is always a part of softball coaching.

Procedure: One broom handle, a bucket of rag balls or tennis balls A player stands in the batters box and the coach stands approximately halfway between the pitcher’s mound and home plate.The coach throws or tosses a rag ball underhand to the batter.The batter squares around and bunts the ball. Bunting is a difficult, yet crucial, skill to master and is an important strategy in almost every level of youth softball. Emphasize that it is not necessary to bunt the rag ball to a particular side of the infield but that making contact with the broom handle is most important. Timing is important when bunting. In this drill, the objective for the batter is to make contact with the ball therefore, the batter can start in the bunting position. To keep more players actively involved, perform this drill with two or three players. A broom handle is much narrower then a bat, which makes hitting the ball more challenging. When bunting, the batter should not push the bat (or broom handle) into the ball but instead let the ball meet the bat. Batters can imagine that there is a pane of glass right In front at the bat, and if they push the bat forward to bunt the ball they will break the glass. The bat (or broom handle) should be level when in the bunting position. However the fat end of the bat can be tilted up at a slight angle. If the fat end of the bat is lower than the rest of the bat the ball will pop up.

 

Fun Softball Drills – Vamos

August 2, 2011 at 9:43 am | Posted in Base Running | Leave a comment
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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.



Softball Hitting Drills – Donut

August 2, 2011 at 5:14 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: ln honor of the Mariners Edgar Martinez, this activity teaches bat speed in accordance with the “sweet spot.” softball hitting techniques. should be sound to be a good hitter

Procedure: This drill will need a Bat, donut or Bratt’s Bat, and balls. Slide the donut onto the bat. Now use soft toss, the goal is to make solid contact on the “sweet spot,” The donut serves as a guide while building up strength in the hands and wrists. It’s also a great challenge. You can also try this with the Bratt’s Bat (youth length/weight) and tennis balls. Instead of hitting with the donut younger hitters can tape over the “sweet spot” on a regular bat, so they know where to properly hit the ball.

 

Indoor Softball Drills – Action Ball

August 2, 2011 at 5:12 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: Stress line drives, being aggressive on a two-strike count, and putting the ball in play. Never watch a called third strike. This indoor game encompasses quick at-bats with balls flying off  the floors, walls and ceilings. Knowing all fielding situations and practicing them is a good softball fielding tip for infielders.

Procedure: Prepare a bat and paper ball wrapped in athletic/duct tape. A diamond can be setup with short distances between each base if base runners are desired. The pitcher throws the paper ball slowly and over-hand from about 30 feet away. There are no home runs; only singles,doubles and triples. The instructor must keep track of “runner” location, number of outs, and score of the game. Ground, rules are set up and play begins. Singles can only score a runner from third base. The hitter has a 2-and-2 count. Ball four results in a new count. Outs Include: (1) swings-and-misses, (2) foul balls, and (3) any ball fielded cleanly off of the wall, ceiling or floor. There are no force outs or tag outs. Batters hit and then must sit down in the dugout. Bench people must sit down against a wall in the assigned batting order. Everyone plays defense.

 

 

 

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