With any sport, running various drills during practice is a sure way to improve skills and hone in on individual strengths. It’s important to develop the skills of each single-player, while also focusing on cohesive teamwork and functionality. For a softball team, the different types of practice drills can seem almost endless. In this series, we’re going to focus on various softball drills broken down by player position (i.e., pitching, fielding, catching, etc.). To begin, here are a few softball drills that are perfect for players in the field.
A player in the field should always focus on their reaction time, and how they can improve it. Reaction time is essential when playing the field. Games can move quickly, and players in the infield and outfield need to be prepared to react quickly.
Set up four cones in a square shape about 15-feet apart from each other. The coach stands in the middle of the circle, while the fielders line up behind one of the cones. Players behind the cone must be facing away from the coach. The coach will then take turns throwing the ball to each player while yelling, “Go.” Once the player hears “Go,” they are to react by turning around and catching the ball quickly. Once the ball is caught, the fielder drops it and runs to the next cone before another is thrown. This continues on a rotation with each fielder.
Ground balls are a standard part of a softball game, but can sometimes be a challenge to master from the field. The Grounder drill is a great way to help fielders learn how to quickly and effectively stop a ground ball.
Use cones to create a “goal.” Set up one player in between the cones as a goalie, with another player behind as back up. The coach will stand in front of the goal and players, and throw ground balls toward the fielder in between the cones. The goalie should stop each ball by getting directly in front with their glove to the ground for a quick catch.
Double Play Drill
A double play is exciting during game-time; however, it’s not always the easiest task to accomplish. Completing a double play takes cohesive teamwork, quick reaction time, and a lot of diligent practice.
Place players in groups of 3-5 while setting one player up on the opposite side of the others. Place a ball at the front of the line where the individual player is. The player with the ball throws it to the player on the opposite side and then immediately runs to the other side, while the receiver catches with two hands and continues the rotation.