Looking for at-home softball drills? Here are our top 5, with a focus on hitting and fielding fundamentals.
Each one can be done in your back yard or even indoors, solo or with a partner
For a complete workout, perform three sets of each drill for 30 seconds each – 15 sets in total. Start slow, then speed up once you’ve mastered the mechanics.
#5. Step Drill
Prevents batter from stepping out during her swing.
How it Works
- Batter stands in normal batting stance.
- Place a towel or something else soft where the batter is stepping out.
- Batter gets into normal stance.
- Bat parachute or towel or other item is placed on the ground where step out occurs.
- Batting practice is thrown – either by coach or pitching machine.
- Batter knows by feel and coach by sight if batter steps out during swing.
- In this drill, it’s better to use something soft like a bat parachute or towel instead of something hard and potentially dangerous like a bucket or a ladder. You just want the batter to be aware of what they are doing.
- Batter should be taking a nice, small stride right toward the pitcher.
#4. Towel Bat Drill
Increase bat speed through underloaded training. This also makes a great warm-up drill.
How it Works
- Take an old or cracked bat. Saw it off just above the trademark and attach a hand towel to the end with a screw.
- Take warm-up swings with the towel bat.
- Try to snap the towel through the zone.
- Swinging a light towel bat gets the fast-twitch muscle fibers to fire – you need these muscle fibers for maximum bat speed
- Hitter should be “popping” her hands as she swings.
- You can use a weighted bat first to loosen up the body, then switch to the towel bat to really engage those fast-twitch muscle fibers.
#3. Flat Bat Drill
Teaches player to hit through the softball.
How it Works
- Place a tee in front of a net.
- Take a bat and shave it down on two sides to create flat surfaces.
- Then wrap tape around the barrel to prevent it from splintering.
- Place ball on tee.
- Take a swing and attempt to hit the ball with the flat or shaved down side of the bat.
- The aim of this drill is to hit the ball off the flat surface of the bat.
- If a batter rolls over on her swing she should feel it in her hands.
- This is a great drill for teaching the batter to hit “three softballs” – this means she should be swinging along the plane of the ball for a distance of three softballs. She should not be upper-cutting (pop up) or rolling over on the ball (ground ball).
- If a batter over-strides on her swing put a rubber band tubing from one ankle to the other to shorten the stride.
#2. Blind Drill for Fielding
This drill helps fielders quickly locate a fly ball ball in the air and get a good jump on it. Stresses good communication among the outfielders.
How it Works
- Player and coach stand roughly 20 yards apart in an open space. The player has her back to the coach.
- On “Go”, the ball is tossed in the air.
- The fielder turns and turn and finds the ball in the air, then runs to catch it before it hits the ground.
- If you are running this drill with two players, they should first communicate with each other as to who is going to catch it. The outfielder who is not catching the ball should assume a backup position.
- Outfielder catches the ball and throws it back to the coach.
- Outfielders should be calling loudly for the ball – “ball, ball, ball” or “mine, mine, mine” or “I got it, I got it, I got it” or something similar. –
- The centerfielder is “the king of the outfielders” and overrules the other two.
- Outfielders should be catching the ball with glove foot forward so they are positioned to make a good strong throw.
#1. Load Hitting Drill
This drill reminds the batter to keep her load short and hands in the hitting position when loading.
How it Work
- Player stands at home plate or another area on the field. Coach stands behind player.
- Player gets into batting stance.
- Coach says, “Load.”
- Player moves body back into load position.
- Coach has her hand against player’s rib cage and offers light resistance to remind player to remain short when loading.
- Go back to normal batting stance and repeat.
- Batter’s hands should be back behind the shoulder.
- Back knee should be inside the back foot.
- Back side of batter should not fall back. It should remain firm and press against the coach’s hand.
Need More At-Home Softball Drills?
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