Softball Practice Drills – Name That Play

June 28, 2010 at 6:00 am | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: If a hitter expects to execute in a game, one needs to practice those plays before hand. Being aggressive and being prepared offensively will help in making things happen during games.

Procedure: You will need a pitching machine, batting cage, bats, balls and helmets. Simulate the many offensive strategies while batting against a pitching machine. Each discipline may call for a different batting grip, body alignment, position at the batter’s box, and strength of swing. Use the following strategy. Progress in numerical order.

1. Sacrifice Bunt: Bunt a strike away from the pitcher,

2. Drag Sunt: Bunt a strike close to the foul line.

3. Squeeze Bunt: Bunt any pitch on the ground.

4. Hit-ar.d-Run: Swing down at any pitch, and hit it on the ground.

5. Move the Runner to the Next Base: Hit a strike to the right side.

6. Sacrifice Fly: Loft a ball to the outfield.

7. Line Drive: Rip a strike up the middle.

Try this game (older players) with a verbal command (particular play) just as the ball is shot out from between the pitching machine wheels. The batter must be quiet and decisive just as in a regular game. If a batter is unsuccessful in executing a play, the next person hits. You can also perform “Name That Play” against a live pitcher. With hitting groups in the cage, have three stations; 1) live batting with the above scenario, 2) deciphering offensive signals from a coach (say what was called), and 3) standing in against a pitcher throwing on the side (no swinging).

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Softball Practice Drills – Bunt-Drill Batting Practice

March 13, 2010 at 8:28 am | Posted in Bunting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This drill is an excellent motivator for perfecting bunting skills and it should usually precede batting practice. Bunting drills are important softball practice drills.

Procedure: This drill will need a softball, bat, and put an object such as a cone, extra glove, or bucket five to six feet from the foul line, The batters should assume their regular stance and square to bunt just as the pitcher’s front foot is about to hit the ground.The pivot bunt is preferred for younger players. They should pivot on the front of their feet as they square to bunt. The barrel of the bat should be even with or higher than the handle. The hitter should bunt the ball onto the dirt right in front of home plate so that the ball “dies” exactly between the catcher and third baseman. The coach can widen the cones depending on the age of the players or the team’s skill, Positive reinforcement is important in this drill.

Variation:

The coach pitches to the hitter, who tries to “drag bunt” the ball between the foul line and the object. Five points if the player is successful; deduct five points if the ball reaches the mound. If the ball goes foul, no points are subtracted or added. This encourages the batter to bunt the ball either perfectly or foul.

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.


Softball Throwing Drills – Heave-Ho

October 16, 2009 at 12:06 am | Posted in Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: This game emphasizes softball throwing drills to different spots in the diamond.

Procedure: Anything used for a real game (no bats).Rules.- IVlake two teams. Treat this as a regular game except the batter catches the ball from the pitcher (use gloves). The batter then throws the ball anywhere into the field of play. A foul ball is an out. A batter is also out if he/she misses or drops the pitch (must be a strike for this to occur). Batters have three seconds in which to throw. No burning.

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 Throwing Drills – Flick Drill

October 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To practice good wrist action.To observe good rotation of the softball.

Procedure: Players set up with a partner or a target at a distance of 7 to 10 feet, with one softball. Apply a proper four-seam grip to the ball. Your glove will support your throwing elbow at dual height. Your elbow will be bent 90 degrees, Cock your wrist so the ball faces the sky. The ball should be in a position above eye level. From this starting position,flick the ball to the target using only your wrist.This softball throwing drill is also effective for pitchers as they develop new pitches such as the curve ball or circle change.

Softball Drills – Reaction Drill

June 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Base Running | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To learn awareness and proper base running mechanics when running from home plate to first base.

Procedure: A player stands at home plate, bat in hand. Other players line up behind her. A coach is in the infield grass between third base and shortstop. The player swings, crosses over out of the box, and heads down the line toward first base. On her third step, she glances at the coach. If the coach is holding up one arm, the player runs through the base. If the coach holds up two arms, she veers out because the ball went through the infield.

Softball Hitting Drills – Long Tee Drill

June 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Posted in Hitting | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To learn how to drive through the ball, and consistently hit line drives when softball hitting. By hitting off the tee three to four feet from the net you don’t always get a clear picture of how to hit the ball. With this drill, players learn how to consistently hit line drives.

Procedure: Set a ball on a tee about 30 feet in front of the net and then place a home plate behind the tee so you can adjust your stance in relation to the plate. Hit line drives into the back of the net.

softball hitting 4

Softball Pitching Drills – Pitcher’s Lateral Movement Drill

May 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Posted in fielding, Pitching, Throwing | Leave a comment
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Purpose: To improve the ability of softball pitchers to react and move laterally in fielding a ground ball and to practice throwing to first base.

Procedure: Pitcher 1 is at the defensive position, while pitcher 2 is behind the pitching area. The catcher and first baseman are at their defensive positions. The head coach serves as the hitter and is at home plate. Pitcher 1 pitches a ball. As the ball gets to the catcher, the head coach hits another balls to the right or left of pitcher 1, who fields the ball and throws it to first base. The pitchers rotate positions, and the drill sequence is repeated. The drill continues for as long as desired.

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