While [tag]coaching softball[/tag] youth teams, occasionally you’ll find your players are really flat or distracted after a busy school day.  Recently, we were warming up, throwing & missed balls were rolling everywhere.

On the spur of the moment we created a competition using Starburst & Lifesaver candies to make most repetitive catches a competition.  The girls perked up, and started focusing on the [tag]softball drill[/tag] they were doing just to get the small reward.  Save the reward system for when they really need it, but on a day with distractions or a lack of self-motivation, we were happy to get in a good workout.  Besides, if the [tag]softball coach[/tag]es work hard, they get candy, too!

This next idea is in a similar vein that we use at our indoor practice facility. We have a hitting cage (net) where we hang a “blizzard bucket”–an empty 5-gallon plastic bucket with a bungie cord on the netting on the back of the net.

We use it as target practice to hit the “hole”, hitting to a spot, hitting line drives and such.  Then the first girl to hit the bucket on the fly, we buy them a Dairy Queen Blizzard treat.  Conveniently there is a Dairy Queen ice cream shop right next to our facility.  You can’t believe how motivated the girls are to hit that line drive and to hit the “blizzard bucket”.  (You can substitute any treat that will be easy for you and that the players really like.)

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