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Dreary weather in the off-season, pre-season, and early season doesn’t mean you can’t have players practice. Being indoors might limit some activities, but it can certainly be a fun environment. Use the following drills to brighten the coldest or wettest day.
Defensive Indoor Drills
The Three Player Relay Weave starts with players in groups of three on the end lines of a basketball gym floor. Each player runs the floor, weaving in and out of pylons as she tosses a safe softball before passing it off to the next player. A player who drops a ball must go back and start again. Have each group of three go three times.
One of the more popular indoor softball drills is Yours/Mine (Outfield/Infield). Players play in pairs. One player throws the ball up while the other calls “mine” or “yours”. A dropped or misplayed ball condemns both players to running a lap outside the basketball lines.
Clutch fielding drills
Indoor softball drills should include clutch drills to keep everyone sharp until opening day. One of these drills is Catching Blind. Players are in pairs, with one about 20 feet from the gym wall facing away from it. The other player faces the wall about 10 feet from it. This player throws a tennis ball against the wall, shouting “now’ when the ball hits the wall. The other player turns, finds the ball, and must catch it. Players can switch positions periodically.
Hitting Indoor Drills
Strange as it seems, you can run indoor softball drills to improve hitting. Set up Hitting Stations around the gym. Each station uses three plates. Set tees at various heights, and have players hit as many safety softballs as possible in 20 seconds. Monitor and comment on stance and swing.
Coaches have built Hitting Stations bungee cords, milk jugs, mini-tramps, wooden dowels and some old hitting tees. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention!