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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 4d ago
Purpose

Isolates upper body mechanics so hitters can work on the proper bat path and timing

Set Up
  • For younger teams, assign a coach or parent helper to each player, who will act as the tosser.
  • Older players can partner up and toss to each other.
  • The tosser kneels at a 45° angle from the hitter 8-10 feet away.
  • The hitter sets up at a plate with her helmet and bat.
Partner soft-tosses to hitter on one knee Instructions
  1. The hitter drops into a kneeling position, with her back knee down and front leg extended to the front with a slight bend.
  2. The tosser lobs the ball into the strike zone.
  3. The hitter swings, trying to drive the ball into the net or field.
Coaching Tips
  • If you’re doing this drill in the dirt, throw down a base, pad or towel under the hitter’s knee for comfort.
  • Make it harder: Draw a number on each ball. Ask the hitter to focus on the ball as it approaches, then call out the number on it as she swings.
  • Make it easier: Younger players may have difficulty generating much power from this position. Feel free to suggest a lighter bat, or have them choke up 2-3 inches.

The post One Knee Soft Toss Drill appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 4d ago
Purpose

To help hitters visualize the contact points for pitches in various locations

Set Up
  • Set up three batting tees at the plate – One directly over the plate. One off the front inside corner. And one off the back outside corner.
  • The batter sets up in her normal stance
Batter opens her eyes, then hits the ball off one of 3 tees Instructions
  1. Once the hitter is ready, she closes her eyes
  2. The coach places a ball on one of the tees, then counts down “3, 2, 1”
  3. At “1” the batter loads her swing and takes her stride
  4. The coach yells “Go!”
  5. The batter immediately opens her eyes, identifies which tee the ball is on, swings, and drives the ball in the correct direction
Coaching Tips
  • A ball on the middle tee should be hit straight back up the middle
  • A ball on the outside tee should be driven to the opposite field
  • A ball on the inside tee should be hit to the pull side
  • Make it harder: Adjust the ball position andsheight of the tee while the batter’s eyes are closed
  • Make it easier: Start by doing the drill with eyes open. Teach hitters the proper contact points for different pitch locations. Then progress to the blind version.

The post Blind Tee Drill appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 2w ago
Purpose

To practice catching balls near stationary objects such as fences or dugouts

Set Up
  • Players form a single file line in foul territory 10 feet from a fence with their gloves on as shown.
  • Coach has a bucket of balls and stands about 30 feet in front of line.

Instructions
  1. Coach begins the drill by throwing a high arching ball designed to land between the fence and the player line.
  2. The first player in line needs to catch the ball up against the fence, and then run the ball back to the coaches bucket before sprinting back to the end of the line.
  3. As soon as the ball is returned to the coaches bucket, the coach begins the drill with the next player in line as to keep the drill running at a fast pace.
Coaching Tips
  • Many players are afraid to catch pop flies near fences because they worry about running into the fence and getting hurt.
  • Teach the kids to extend their arm toward the fence while they keep their eye on the ball. Their arm will alert them before they crash.
  • Make it harder: Hit live batted balls instead of throwing fly balls.
  • Make it easier: If you have a player who is very uncomfortable with this drill, have them begin touching the fence instead of moving toward it.

The post Fence Fly appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 3w ago
Purpose

Develops quickness and agility out of the batter’s box

Set Up
  • You can run this drill in the infield, or set up a home plate and first base in the outfield the appropriate distance apart.
  • Place an empty tee on home plate.
  • Players line up at home plate.
  • Coach stands 10 feet up the first base line holding a tennis ball.

Instructions
  1. The first player in line steps up to the plate with a bat and helmet
  2. She swings and hits the top of the tee (no ball is needed)
  3. At the moment of contact, Coach bounces the tennis ball into the ground
  4. The player explodes out of the box, drops her bat and sprints to catch the tennis ball before it reaches the ground
  5. After catching the ball, she sprints through first base, then gives the tennis ball back to the coach
  6. Complete one round with every player. Then gradually increase the distance to make it more of a challenge
Baserunners explode out of the box to catch the tennis ball before it bounces Coaching Tips
  • If the ball won’t bounce properly, try placing a home plate or other hard, flat surface on the ground to bounce the ball onto
  • You can also do this drill running from first to second, second to third, or third to home
  • Make it harder: Move the ball drop location closer to first base.  Have a contest to see who can make the catch the furthest up the first baseline.
  • Make it easier: Use a larger ball and toss it softly into the air first. The player has to touch it before it bounces twice.

The post Tennis Ball Catch appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 1M ago
Purpose

Helps players learn to get out of the box quickly, emphasizing the acceleration phase of the sprint to first

Set Up
  • You can run this drill in the infield, or set up a home plate and first base in the outfield the appropriate distance apart.
  • Players line up at home plate with a bat and helmet.

Instructions
  1. The first player in line steps up to the plate and gets in her normal batting stance.
  2. He simulates a full, game-like swing, drops the bat, then explodes to first base with three powerful strides.
  3. He sprints hard through first base, then breaks down to slow into an athletic position.
  4. Repeat with the next player in line.
Coaching Tips
  • During the acceleration phase, the baserunner’s strides should be short and powerful. As she picks up speed, the stride should lengthen
  • Try to touch the front part of the bag with your foot – it’s the closest to home and will save a fraction of a second
  • Coaches can time the sprint from home to first and keep track of progress throughout the year
  • Make it harder: Take three powerful strides, then take a quick peek into the field to locate the ball.  In a live situation, this would influence their decision to run straight for first or start taking a turn for a potential double.  After touching first base and breaking down, take another peek into the infield and locate the ball again.
  • Make it easier: Skip the swing and just have players sprint from home to first. Then introduce the bat and the swing after they get the hang of it.

The post Swing and Sprint appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 1M ago
Purpose

To improve bat speed, hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Set Up
  • For younger teams, assign a coach or parent to each player, who will act as the tosser.  Older players can partner up and toss to each other.
  • The tosser kneels at a 45 degree angle and 8-10 feet from the hitter, holding one ball in her throwing hand and four balls close by.
  • The hitter sets up at a plate in her normal batting stance.
Instructions
  1. The tosser lobs the first ball into the strike zone.
  2. As soon as the hitter has made contact and begun to reload her swing, the tosser lobs in the second ball.
  3. Continue until all five balls have been used.
Partner quickly soft-tosses 5 balls to the hitter in rapid fire fashion Coaching Tips
  • The hitter should quickly realize that the fastest path to the ball and into her load position is as close to the body as possible.
    The more the hands extend out over the plate, the slower the swing.
  • Increase the difficulty of this drill be changing the location and speed of the pitches – high, low, inside, outside, fast, slow
  • Make it harder: Mix up the speed of the pitch to test the hitter’s reaction time
  • Make it easier: Start by tossing from 6-8 feet in front of the hitter.  Then take a step back after each successful hit.

The post Rapid Fire Soft Toss appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 1M ago
Purpose

Teaches players how to execute a safe bent-leg slide with proper technique, starting with the basics.

Set Up
  • You can do this drill in the infield or set up in any grassy area.
Players learn how to safely execute a bent-leg slide Instructions
  1. Start by having all players sit on the ground and extend one leg out while tucking bottom leg under their knee, forming a figure four. extend their arms overhead and lift their legs slightly off the ground to feel the correct body position and weight distribution. Try extending either leg to see what’s more comfortable.
  2. Players stand up and spread their arms out wide. They imagine kicking an imaginary soccer ball with the lead foot, then bend the opposite leg and sit down on the ground, extending the hands up over the head.
  3. Set a cardboard box, slip-and-slide, plastic tarp or other smooth surface on the ground. Players run half-speed, then break down and slide across the surface.
  4. Finally, players a live slide into a base in the infield or outfield.
Coaching Tips
  • Ask players to wear sliding shorts or other protective clothing
  • Use an unanchored base.
  • Loosen the dirt in the sliding area to reduce friction.
  • Make it harder: Have players hold a softball, water cup or other small object in each hand to avoid bringing their hands to the ground.
  • Make it easier: Coaches can hold the slider’s hands and help lower her down if necessary.

The post Learn To Slide appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 1M ago
Purpose

To help improve throwing strength

Set Up
  • Group your players into pairs based on similar throwing/catching abilities.
  • All players should have a glove, and one player in the pair should have a ball.
  • Make two lines, with pairs facing each other about 15 feet apart (the distance can be adjusted based on age/ability of players).
Set up a series of golf holes to practice throwing on different parts of the field. Instructions
  1. Assign each foursome to a different softball golf hole.
  2. To begin, all four players in each group stand at the tee box and take turns throwing toward the hole.  If they do not put the ball in the hole, they walk over to the ball position and continue throwing until they do.
  3. Play continues until all four players have each put their ball in the hole.
  4. The winner of each hole is whoever put their ball in the hole with the fewest number of throws.
  5. After one hole is finished, have the groups rotate to the next hole to begin again.
Coaching Tips
  • Encourage your players to use different types of throws to cover different stances.  The first throw (or “tee” shot) should be a long throw.  The shorter throws (closer to the hole) should be dart throws or underhand flips.
  • Make it harder: Use cones to create penalty areas near the hole.  If the ball lands inside, it’s a one throw penalty.
  • Make it easier: Start with very simple holes that are reachable in one or two throws.  Then progress to longer holes that require more throwing distance.

The post Softball Golf appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Purpose

A fun drill for younger kids. helps them drive the ball hard up the middle

Set Up
  • Coach puts on full protective catcher gear and sits on a chair 15-20 feet from home plate.
  • She has a bucket of soft sponge balls.
  • The hitter sets up at the plate in her normal batting stance.

Instructions
  1. The coach will soft toss the sponge balls to the batter.
  2. The batter will try to make line drive contact and knock the coach off the chair.
  3. Have fun with this drill by exaggerating the force of the hit and dramatically falling off the chair. Young kids love to see their coaches get silly.
Coaching Tips
  • You can also work on bat speed by making this a rapid fire drill. Throw 5 balls in a row – each time the batter takesher swing then immediately whips the bat back to the load position.

The post “Coach Knockout” Hitting Drill appeared first on Softball Spot.

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Softball Spot by Anna Fergison - 2M ago
Purpose

To help improve throwing accuracy and ability to get a ball from outfield to the infield.

Set Up
  • Divide players into two teams.
  • Position one team in a line in right center and another team in left center.
  • One player from each team should take a position in the infield (as shown).
  • Place a coach near each team with a bucket of balls to begin the drill.
  • At home plate, position an empty trash can on it’s side so kids can throw a ball inside (this is the target).
  • All players should have gloves.
Teams compete to relay the ball from the outfield to the infield, then make an accurate throw to the target at home. Instructions
  1. Teams take turns executing this drill. One coach begins the drill throwing a ball high and behind their outfield line. The first player in the outfield line must field the ball and throw it to the infielder.
  2. The infielder should them pivot to their glove side and throw the ball toward the open trash can.
  3. Team gets a point when ball hits the trash can.
  4. After one team is done, the other coach immediately begins same drill with the other team. They alternate back and forth.
  5. Players rotate positions, infielder goes to back of outfield line, outfielder moves to infield, and next player in line becomes outfielder.
Coaching Tips
  • Infielder must prepare to receive outfields throw by creating a good target with arms extended at shoulder height.
  • Outfielders should use a crow hop or shuffle step to build momentum for the throw.
  • Make it harder: Have the outfield line start all the way on the warning track.
  • Make it easier: Start with just the throw from the infield to the outfield. Then practice the throw from the outfield to the infield cutoff. Then progress to the complete drill including the relay and the throw to home.

The post Trash Can Relay appeared first on Softball Spot.

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