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 Infield Drills- Infield Square Drills

September 15, 2010 at 11:28 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To put a lot of ground ball repetitions in a short period of time. To promote good fielding mechanics. Repetition in training is a good softball fielding tip

Procedure: You will need four people to hit ground balls and four people to catch. Also, each hitter will need a good supply of balls. All infielders and outfielders should be positioned at the four infield spots. Catchers can also go to an infield position unless needed to catch or hit.

At the younger levels, try to get other coaches or parents to hit and catch in order to ittpre of your players available to field ground balls. At the older levels, It is important to observe the mechanics and reinforce good habits. You may want to have a reward system for consistent good plays and/or accurate throws, this may help improve focus and concentration throughout the drill.

Free Softball Drills – Dive-Ball Drill

August 17, 2010 at 8:38 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop the confidence to leave the feet, or dive, when finding a hard-hit ball on the ground. One good softball tip is just to “choose now”

Procedure: Prepare a bucket of softballs, and have some gloves. Divide the team into two or three groups, depending on the number of available coaches. The coach calls out the first player, who stands 10 to 20 feet from the coach, facing him.The coach takes a ball from the bucket, then yells, “Left.”  The player moves toward the left, and the coach leads him with the ball so that the player must dive for it. If the player catches the ball, he rolls it back to the coach. Knocking down the ball or stopping it with his body is as good as a catch. The player should kick aside any balls in the active “diving” area. The coach then yells, “Right” The player moves to his right. The coach leads the player with the ball so that he must dive to catch or stop the ball. Each player gets three or four turns before the next player’s turn.

The player’s main objective is to stop the ball and keep it in front of her instead of worrying about making a spectacular catch. Players should start off in the ready position Teach players to keep their gloves open as they run to make a backhanded catch. Teach players to run toward the ball to make a catch rather than reaching outward diving for it. A dive should always be a player’s last resort. As the players progress, add a player at first base, and instruct the fielders to throw to first after making a diving stop.

Begin this drill with the players kneeling, diving for the ball from their knees. This variation trains players how to dive even if they aren’t in the ready position.

Softball Infield Drills-Prevent Advance On The Ground

June 21, 2010 at 2:57 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop strategies for keeping a runner on first base from advancing to third on a ground ball after getting the batter out at first. Practicing strategies and game situations should be practiced when coaching softball.

Procedure:  You will need one softball, a bat, gloves. Place a runner on first base and a batter in the batter’s box. The coach throws a ground ball to an infielder. The infielder, instead of trying to make the out at second base [the runner is too fast), throws to first base for the sure out. The first baseman catches the ball and runs toward third base to prevent the runner at second from advancing. If the runner tries to advance to third, the first baseman stops, plants his foot, and throws to third. If the runner does not try to advance, the first baseman keeps his eye on the base runner and hands the softball to the pitcher while the pitcher’s foot is still on the pitcher’s circles.

Although this drill is primarily for the first baseman, it’s important for the entire team to understand this play.

1. The First baseman must not take his foot off the bag too quickly.

2 The first baseman should go in front of the pitcher’s circles when running to third.

Softball Drills – Short Hop Drill

April 9, 2010 at 8:33 am | Posted in fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose:To develop proper technique for fielding short hops. Repetition of training will help master a certain skill. Building confidence through perfecting a skill will help in mental training as well

Procedure: You will need one softball per player, gloves, and caps. Divide the team into pairs. Players form two lines 10 to 20 feet apart with pairs positioned across from each other. Everyone kneels on two knees. There should be at least five feet between each player in line.When the coach yells, “Throw.” the players bounce their balls to their partners, who field them on one hop.Repeat the drill until the predetermined time is up. Next, each player puts his cap approximately three feet in front of her. On the “go” command the players try to hit their partners’ caps with the balls. The ball should arrive after one hop.

Fielding short hops is one of the most difficult concepts for youth players to master. This drill accustoms players to the short hop. Practicing in the kneeling position forces players to focus on the bouncing ball. In the traditional upright set position, players tend to turn their heads before the ball reaches the glove. Players should keep their eyes on the ball just as they would when practicing catching fly balls short-Hop drill. The players must ‘look the ball” into their gloves.

Variation

Two players stand facing each other and take turns throwing short hops to one another. Players earn points for throwing beyond the receiver’s reach or for missing the ball. The first player to reach five points loses the game.


Softball Practice Drills – Pitcher Holding a Runner

December 22, 2009 at 1:31 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To teach the pitcher to hold an unforced runner when fielding the ball. Additional softball fielding tip is to make your pitcher practice fielding batted balls.

Procedure: This drill will need two softballs, a bat, and gloves.  Place a runner on third base and a batter with a bat in the batter’s box. Other players take their positions in the field. The pitcher pitches the ball. To speed up the drill the batter does not swing, but instead as the ball is pitched, the coach throws a grounder to the pitcher, simulating a batted ball.  The batter runs to first. The pitcher fields the ball and before throwing the batter out at first, “looks back” at the base runner on third to make sure he does not advance of the base too far. The pitcher throws the ball to first base to make the out.

This drill should be done during practice the day before a game. The pitcher should wait for the base runner to take a step back toward third base before throwing the ball to first. The pitcher can take a step toward third to “press” the base runner to commit quickly. This drill can also be done with a runner at second base with no force-out.  Players should practice what to do when the base runner leads of the base too far. In this situation, the pitcher should run toward the third-base runner and get him into a rundown.


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