defensive drills

In today’s blog post, we are covering 2 very effective softball indoor defensive drills that work on good communication, as well as making great throws.  Try these defensive drills with your players, and watch them improve in both practice and during game play!

defensive drill communicationThe Communication Drill

In softball, good gommunication is key. Our goal is to avoid collisions, first of all, so we avoid injury; second of all, so that all the plays are made. It is imperative that your defensive players trust one another. We don’t want them looking at each other, we want them looking at the ball.

  • Start the communication drill with a line of infielders and a line of outfielders.
  • When you throw out a ball, infielders will say “I’ve got it,” and outfielders will say, “Mine,” so that, as teammates, they know who’s calling the ball. If an outfielder calls an infielder off, it’s her ball and the infielder will know it’s an outfielder calling her off because she will say, “Mine.”
  • Add another infield line and have two infielders and an outfielder going for the ball at the same time.
  • The key is to communicate, to trust each other so the play is made, nobody gets hurt, and everybody knows where everyone else is on the field.
  • The outfielder needs to keep coming in to back it up even if the infielder calls it. Also, if an outfielder does catch the ball, she needs to get it to the infielder and not throw it all the way in. This will develop a trust between your fielders so they’ll go hard to the ball until they’re called off.
  • Next, divide the infielders into two lines. You want to designate positions because it’s important on the field communication-wise that if two people call a ball, we know whose ball it is – again, to avoid collision, to avoid injury, and to make sure the play is made.
  • Whenever an outfielder calls an infielder off, it’s her ball. If the shortstop and the second baseman both call a ball, it’s the shortstop’s ball. Again, this develops that trust that’s necessary to avoid injury, make the play, and have everyone go after the ball hard.

Four Corners Drill

The Four Corners drill works on making good throws and teamwork.

  • Divide your team into four corners.
  • Start the ball in one corner, and then begin throwing clockwise. So player 1 is going to throw the ball to player 2, and then player 1 is going to follow the throw and get in back of that line. Player 2 is going to throw to player 3, and then get in the back of that line. Continuous movement.
  • If a ball is thrown poorly or not handled, everybody is going to drop their gloves, run around the square once, pick up their glove and start the whole thing again.
  • This drill works on achieving good throws, handling the ball, and is a great conditioning drill.
  • We normally do this for a set amount of time. Once they have completed that amount of time, then we’re done.

defensive drill communication

 

If you enjoyed these defensive drills, be sure to check out my Softball Drills and Practice Plans series, complete with video demonstrations!  And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will share more great defensive drills that will lead to team success!

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