Softball is a fun game for young players, but the regular and traditional practice routines can be boring for them. Hitting the ball and playing in the field will become monotonous at some point and this can make some players loose interest in the sport. And so as a coach you have to come up with drills that are not only fun but will also help improve the performance of your young players. Drills will also add an element of competition to your practice sessions, and you should try and introduce a new one regularly before sticking with the ones that your players love.
The Fist Drill
Young players may find this drill funny or a waste of time, but it is vital in helping them understand the upper body movement when swinging the bat and also master hand acceleration. To do this drill, the player should start by getting in the right batting stance but without a bat. She should then drop her hands and practice to rotate her shoulder and hips as she tries to hit an imaginary softball. You should make the player repeat this motion as many times as possible and try to make it imitate a real swing.
This drill is very fun, and you can be sure that all youth players will love it, and it is meant to help them learn how to run with their glove on hand. To do this drill, one player should stand on one side and the rest on the other. The single player should face away from the others and shout “green light” for the others to start running with gloves on hands. After a few seconds, the caller should turn and yell “red light” at this point the other players should stop, and anyone that continues moving should go back to the starting line and start again. This drill should continue until one player gets close and tags the caller.
Hit Off A Tee
Most young players will think that they are way past the T-ball training stage, and so they may not be willing to do it. However, it is always important to remind them that even professionals still have to do this beneficial drill. To do this drill, you will need to set up a ball on the tee and then have the players make a level swing through the zone with the goal of having each hit resulting in a line drive. You can also make it competitive by having players take about ten swings each while recording the line drives and naming a winner afterward.
Spray Hitting Drill
In this drill there should be three fielders standing two feet from each other and about 22 feet away from the batter. The batter should try hitting the ball to the first fielder or whomever the coach chooses, and this should be without a pitch. After this, the batter should then try to hit it to the others, and the goal of this drill should be accuracy. The players should rotate so that each one gets the chance to field and also hit the balls.
Multiple Ball Hitting Drill
To perform this drill, the coach should have two balls with each having a different color. A batter should be in a position that each ball will hit the fence. The coach should then throw the two balls and then shout the color that he wants the batter to hit. Here quick eye hand coordination is vital to hit the correct ball color. Do this ten times before the next batter comes up. This drill will teach how to concentrate hard on the ball and also hand eye coordination.
Run To First Base
You can do the Run to First Base drills in two main ways. For the first one, if the ball is hit infield have each player run to the first base and make sure that she is sprinting without stopping until she touches the bag with a foot and turns to face the foul line. You should encourage hard-charging steps while the arms are pumping on the sides and not across the body. Also, make sure that there is no lunging at the end. The other way of doing this drill involves hitting the ball to the outfield and each player should make a slight arch as she is sprinting towards the first base line.
There are many other drills that you can use to improve the performance of young players. However, the most useful ones are the ones that are fun to do and also those that all players can participate in together or in turns.