Softball is a fun sport, one that most enjoy. However, practice drills that simply involves players taking turns hitting and playing the field will get boring pretty quickly. Also, softball practice drills are a great way to teach valuable skills and also make training more competitive. When it comes to beginner softball drills, it is essential that you add a new drill with each passing practice. Lastly, when certain types of softball drills are popular among teammates, you can retain those.
Types of practice drills include hitting drills, running drills, pitching/ throwing drills, fielding drills and such.
Here are 5 softball practice drills you can incorporate into your training:
Softball Practice Drills- Hitting Drills
Hitting drills are very important, as they hone an essential part of their softball skills. Two drills that can be done to improve hitting are hitting off a tree and batting with a pitching machine especially when it comes to indoor softball drills. A live pitcher is also essential.
1) Hitting From a Tee
When it comes to hitting off the tee, it is important to remind players that they are never too old for ‘hitting from the tee’ drills. Many of the older players will likely think back to when they were six or so and played tee ball. It is necessary to remind them that even the best baseball and softball players use tees to practice. However once the players realize the importance of ‘hitting off a tee’, they will see its advantages and practice without hesitation.
When it comes to hitting off the tee practices, you need to ensure the players concentrate their stances and the positions of their hands and arms. Subsequently, the players need to make sure they step forward with the front foot, while keeping the back foot firmly planted. Keep in mind that when striking the ball, the player should do so well, i.e. all the way through the ball. You should ensure the players focus on swinging the bat smoothly through the strike zone. Each hit should result in a line drive. Each player should have about 10 swings. You can make this drill more interesting by keeping track of all line drives and rewarding players based on their line drives.
This drill is one of the best way you as a coach can study the hitter. The coach can watch the player swing, then correct, and better areas that need improvement.
2) Fist Drill
This is another great hitting drill. This drill is meant to show the players how hand acceleration and upper body movement work during a swing. This drill is done without a bat.
First, the player starts by getting into a correct batting stance. Next, have the player drop the hand that is nearer to the pitch depending on her stance. Next, she will try punching an imaginary ball in the strike zone with the other hand, which is farther from the pitcher. The player should practice rotating the hips and shoulders as she turns to hit the imaginary ball.
This way the player can concentrate on all the possible movements her body goes through as she swings.
Next we will move on to the next softball practice drills.
Softball Practice Drills- Running Drills
Running drills are essential, since being a strong runner is a desirable attribute both in softball and in baseball. Here are some great running drills to practice with the players.
3) Green Light, Red Light
With this drill, the player learns to run with a glove on.
The players stand on one side of the field with the coach/ trainer on the other side of the outfield facing away from the players. When the coach yells “green light”, the players run towards the coach; and when the coach yells “red light”, the layers that moves have to return to the starting point and then run from there once the coach says “green light” again. This is one of the more fun softball drills. The drill ends when a player manages to tag the coach or trainer. The coach can then decide to repeat the drill.
Softball Practice Drills- Pitching / Fielding Drills
Pitching is an important part of both the baseball and softball game. Drills that improve pitching in novice players are essential.
4) Four Corner
Four corners is a great beginner softball drills. with this drill, four players stand at each corner of a gym or field. The first player throws the ball to the second player diagonally. The second player catches and throws the ball to a player on the same side of the gym. The third player catches and throws the ball diagonally to the fourth player who catches and throws the ball back to the first player.
5) Fielding Without Gloves
With this fun softball drill, the players form two lines facing each other. The first player will slow the ball out to the player opposite her, and then run to join the end of the opposite line where the ball is yet to reach. The player with ball rolls the ball to the player opposite her in the opposite line, and then runs to join the end of that line.
The coach or trainer should ensure the players end their knees properly, cradle the ball into their bodies and ensure they are square with the ball. While watching, the coach or trainer has to study the players and make corrections to their fielding techniques.
The above are the 5 softball practice drills which will not only makes the training fun but also effective. While training hard, let’s not forgot that each softball training comes with a risk of injuring yourself like any other sports. Do continue reading to find out how you can reduce the risk factor of injuries as well as increase muscle strength.
Importance of Using J Bands
Although J bands will not directly make you throw or swing harder, it will help strengthen your muscles at the back of the shoulder. This will, in turn, reduce the risk of injury. Your body is not designed to injure itself, so your body will allow you to throw as hard as possible while resisting in the opposite direction so your shoulder would not come out of its socket. You can then throw as hard as you possibility can without getting injured.
Specialized band exercises are designed to increase the back shoulder muscle, increase joint stability, and integrity. This will enable you to use as much lower body strength and movement needed to swing and pitch at maximum velocity while reducing the risk of injury.
There are several resistance band exercises you can do such as Band Pull-Aparts, Face Pulls and Face Pulls. It is essential that you incorporate J band exercises in your softball practice drills routine 3 times a week, if possible.
Free feel to let us know about your favorite softball drills in the comment section~