Softball Practice Drills- First and Third Offensive Situation

August 18, 2010 at 12:46 am | Posted in defense, fielding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop defensive strategies against a first and third steal situation. Practicing game situations is important in coaching softball.

Procedure: For this drill, prepare one softball, a bat and gloves. Set up infielders. Station base runners on first and third. The pitcher pitches the ball, and when the ball crosses the plate, the runner on first runs to second. Depending on how the defense is set up, what the score is, and what inning it is, the runner at third will either stay or run home.

The batter should take the pitch so that the runners can move up. The runner at first base must slide at second whether the catcher throws the ball or not. Sliding creates a bigger diversion for the fielders than going in standing up. The runner at third base should lead off the base toward home plate and constantly look at the catcher. If the catcher fakes a throw down, the base runner on third should stay on the base. Although the third-base runner doesn’t advance, at least one base runner moves up and no one is thrown out. If the catcher throws the ball to second base, the base runner on third must watch the flight of the ball. Sometimes the catcher throws hard back to the pitcher to make it look like he is throwing it all the way to second base. In this case, the pitcher can throw to third and catch the base runner too far off the base.

Other times, the catcher may make it look like he’s throwing to second base, but he will throw it to a drawn – in shortstop or second baseman. If the shortstop or second baseman catches the ball, the base runner must go back to third base. If the ball goes all the way to second base, then the base runner at third can take off and slide into home plate.

If the coach determines that the fielding team has excellent skills, the base runner on first can stop between first ard second.  A rundown will ensue, which might allow enough time for the runner on third base to score.

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Softball Baserunning Drills – Three-base sliding

March 9, 2010 at 7:14 am | Posted in Base Running, Sliding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop proper sliding techniques. Teaching sliding basics is essential to coaching youth softball.

Procedure: Prepare three loose bases. Place three bases spaced at least 10 feet apart in a grassy area out in foul territory. Divide players into three lines, one line 45 to 60 feet behind each base. Players should not wear cleats for this drill. (This is a safety precaution.} On the coach’s command, the first player in each line runs and slides into the base. After sliding, the player returns to the end of the line, and the next person in line slides.

When players slide, they must not start the slide too early or too late- depending on their age and size, players should begin the slide when they are about three to five feet from the base.

Players should lift their hands over their heads when sliding to prevent hand injuries.

On the slide, the trail leg bends dramatically 45 degrees or even more while the lead leg bends slightly.

Variations:

Use large sliding mats for indoor practices. Put down a plastic or vinyl tarp on the outfield grass, water it thoroughly, and let the kids take off their shoes and slide on it. These steps reduce the chances of injury, Players slide a long way so that coaches can get a good look at technique, and the players have a great time.

Softball Baserunning Drills – Home To Second

February 19, 2010 at 8:09 am | Posted in Base Running, Sliding | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop baserunning techniques for going from home plate to second base on an extra base hit. Practicing baserunning scenarios is important in coaching softball.

Procedure: This drill will need softballs and gloves. The players line up at home plate. The coach throws a ball, into the outfield between two fielders, simulating an extra base hit. As a fielder is about to field the ball, the coach yells, “Go.” The first player in line at home plate runs to first base, rounds the bag, and turns to second base while the fielder gets the ball and throws it to second base. The next player in line enters the drill. After reaching second base, the player returns home without getting in the way of the drill and returns to the end of the line.

It is important for players to experience as many baserunning scenarios as possible. This increases overall knowledge and appreciation of the game. Players running to first base should pay attention to the first-base coach. When approaching first base on a hit to the outfield, runners should take a gradual loop into foul territory 6 to 10 feet before approaching the base. Runners should touch the inner corner of first base when rounding the bag. This should not be difficult if the player takes the loop into foul territory. A player can be tagged out if he over runs second base. Players should get used to sliding most of the time.

Fastpitch Softball Drills – Read The Sign

December 15, 2009 at 2:33 am | Posted in Base Running, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To practice giving and receiving coaching signs. It teaches the baserunning signs, and it lets players get used to timing their jumps on the base path. Baserunning and reading signs should be part of coaching softball.

Procedure: You will need a softball, two sets of bases,  and gloves. Place two bags at each base approximately three feet from each other around the diamond. This allows twice as many players to participate in the drill. A coach stands in the third-base coaching box. The first two players stand on the two parallel first bases. The coach relays a signal to the players. The pitcher pitches the ball to the catcher, and the base runners execute the baserunning skill the third-base coach indicates. The first two runners end up at second base. Two new runners begin at first base.

The signs recommended in this drill are as follows:
A) big lead upon release of pitcher and hold then run to next base
B) steal the next base as soon as the pitcher releases the ball

*The pair of base runners stealing home should be careful to avoid collisions with catcher. Slow down or stop before reaching home plate.


Softball Baserunning Drills – Lead and Run

December 1, 2009 at 4:19 am | Posted in Base Running | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To develop aggressive baserunning tactics. It is important to practice baserunning when coaching softball.

Procedure:  This drill will need a couple of softballs, and gloves. Place a first baseman, shortstop, and third baseman around the infield. A player stands on second base, and the rest of the players line up on the outfield side of ths base behind her. A coach stands between home plate and first base, closer to home plate than to first. The coach throws a ground ball to either shortstop or third base. The player on second base leads off the base, and when the fielder throws the ball to first base, runs to third. The next in line enters the drill. The runner now at third base does the same thing she did at seond base, but this time runs to home after the fielder throws to first. After running home, the player goes to the end of the line at second base.

Teams can scratch out as many as two extra runs a game with aggressive base running. However, this aggressiveness must first be practiced. Therefore, you should schedule this drill for every practice. In this drill, there is no force-out at any base, there is either a runner at second base or third base or both with fewer than two outs.   <p><br>If the grounder is thrown to the shortstop, the runner’s lead at second base should not be as large as it would be if the grounder were thrown, to third. The runner at third base, however, should lead farther off the base if the grounder goes to shortstop and stay closer to the base if the ball is thrown to third. Coaches should randomly alternate throwing grounders to the shortstop and the third baseman.


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