Girls softball players need to understand the importance of hitting drills. To score runs and give your team a chance to win, they have to be able to make solid contact and move baserunners around the diamond. And to be able to solid contact they have to have lots of practice.
The old saying you play like you practice is extremely true. It’s also important to keep players motivated during practice. Changing up your drills sometimes will help in this area.
Here are 2 proven youth softball hitting drills that help develop bat speed and ball-tracking skills.
Spray Hitting Drill
• There are three fielders who stand two feet apart or so and are 22 feet away from the batter. • The batter first tries to hit the ball to the first fielder (whomever the coach chooses) without a pitch. • The batter then tries to hit the ball to the other to fielders. • The key to the hitter is accuracy. Not to make the fielders have to move far to retrieve the hit ball. • Rotate players and have them all get a chance at hitting and fielding.
Tips: This drill is designed to develop a short, quick swing. It also helps tremendously with bat control. To add some fielding to the drill you can have the fielders, after fielding the ball, throw to first and then have the first baseman throw it home for the batter.
Multi-Ball Hitting Drill
• The coach has two balls that are different colors. • The batter is position where he or she is facing the fence so that the hit ball will hit the fence. • The coach throws both colored balls out to the batter and upon release calls the color of the ball he wants the batter to hit. • The batter has to have quick eye hand coordination and reflexes to hit the correctly colored ball. • This is done 10 times then the next batter comes up for the drill.
Tips: This drill teaches the hitter to concentrate hard on the right ball to hit. It also teaches the hitter to keep their weight back. This drill can be carried out from different locations. Instead of hitting the fence, you can involve other players and have the batter hit the ball into the field and be fielded. It will also give a heads up to the catcher to know which ball they are going to catch based on the color of the ball the batter is going to hit.
The coach should switch between tossing high balls and low balls. This will help develop the batters concentration and correct body movement when batting. Also to help younger players the coach may say in advance of throwing the balls, whether or not they are going to be high or low.
Softball hitting drills are critical in developing player’s ability to develop correct batting stances and follow through when hitting the ball. They also develop teamwork which is so critical in team sports. If you’d like to see more softball hitting drills explained and demonstrated on video, check out Sue Enquist’s Hitting Progression for Youth Softball – a great, step by step roadmap for hitting mechanics, designed specifically for girls 7-14.