Here are some of my favorite softball drills and coaching tips. The drill is a classic and all players can learn from it. The coaching tips are essential to building mutual respect and understanding of the team and the individual players.
The softball drill I like to run with my girls is the “Pickle Drill.” The field is full of fielders and there’s a runner at any base. Once the pitch is thrown, the runner takes off, the catcher throws the ball to the base the runner is advancing. The runner is caught in a pickle, which should get the whole infield moving toward the appropriate base as backups. I like this softball drill because the girls get some running in, the have to have accurate throws in order to get the runner out and they get to work on their sliding.
Here are my favorite softball coaching tips.
1. When talking to the whole team, bend down to look at the players in the eyes so you are literally at their level. This helps build rapport and a positive relationship
2. At the beginning of the year with the first few practices, work on building a sense of “team” by showing what the players have in common…what is you favorite ice-cream flavor? The commonality is both the ice-cream and the flavor.
3. Also with building a sense of team, reinforce over the first few gatherings the names of the players…who is standing next to you, what is their name?