One drill that all infielders need to practice, as it can involve all of your outfielders is the rundown. It’s an easy out, and if your players understand the concept behind what the runner is trying to do, they should be able to execute no problem with a little practice.
The Rundown Drill
Anytime you’re in a rundown situation, the runner is in a pickle, and you want to make that panic they’ll eventually start to feel work against them.
Once you do that, you’re able to make it more difficult for the runner to change directions. Two, you’ve got to make sure that your line, your throw to your receiving infielder, is a clear line and you’re not going to cross over the line of the base runner. Three, you’ve got to make sure that when you throw, you allow the receiving infielder enough time to receive your ball.
It’s a short, dart-like throw. You don’t have to take a full wind-up; you don’t have a lot of time. But you’ve got to get some good velocity on it so you can get that ball to your partner in time to make the tag.
So get that runner going as quickly as possible. Don’t cross the line of the runner on the throw. And a short, quick, dart-like throw to the receiving infielder. Those are the keys to the rundown. Remember, it’s a game of throw and catch. Get that runner going as quickly as possible. In a perfect world, you want to get that runner out in one to two throws. That’s the key.
What happens many times, the infielders don’t do a good job of running as quickly as possible. Remember when we’re talking about the rundown, if the defender with the ball’s not running fast, then the person caught in the pickle doesn’t have to run as fast. So get them on a sprint.
In most defensive setups in the rundown have the runner with the ball, once she tosses it she follows her throw. Then she’ll be in position to receive the rundown throw in case they end up going back in the other direction.
Learning how to properly work the infield is a long road, but with enough practice, you’re players will eventually be throwing down double plays in their sleep! If you need more great softball tips and drills, make sure to have a look at our facebook page, where you can find daily updates!