This idea for [tag]fastpitch softball indoor drills[/tag] comes courtesy of Julie, one of my subscribers. She sent this coaching tip and I’ve included it here for you. Give it a try for fastpitch or slow pitch!
Here is a [tag]softball coaching tip[/tag] I’d like to share:
It’s not so much a “[tag]softball drill[/tag]” as it is a helpful piece of equipment–a tennis ball machine. If you’re able to purchase one (I got a used one from a local tennis club), you can customize it to work on several different areas. For example, you can use the machine to “shoot” tennis balls at catchers to work on blocking drills. It’s a nice way to help catchers work on moving to the ball and blocking several balls in repetition, without having them risk getting hurt by a hard softball, or a real ball shot out of a regular batting machine. Plus, the catcher can set up the machine in a corner and work on her own (no partner required to feed; the machine shoots balls out automatically).
You can also use the machine to help outfielders track balls, and it’s a great tool for hitting. One thing I like to use it for is bunting practice. Since the balls are smaller and can easily bounce off the bat, it helps the team really focus on having “soft hands” and “receving the ball” with the bat (instead of pushing the bat out or trying to “hit” a bunt). In other words, if you can bunt a tennis ball fair (and not pop it up), chances are you’ll really be prepared when it’s time for the real [tag]softball[/tag].
Another bonus for the tennis ball machine is for [tag]softball coach[/tag]es/teams who find themselves practicing indoors a lot. As a coach in the Northeast, I often find that our team is practicing indoors for the majority of our pre-season. Tennis balls are a lot safer to use indoors, they won’t scuff or damage the floor or walls, and there is no need to set up a net or screen when using them.