Even the most experienced coaches can use some help getting organized. That’s why we posted this free softball practice plan.
It’s all broken down into three phases. We’ll start with a Warmup block, which focuses on baserunning and throwing. Next, we’ll split the team into two groups and work on some fielding skills. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a competitive, game-like drill called Countdown.
Please note – the plan is designed for a 60 minute practice, but you can easily adjust it by changing the duration of each individual drill. Or adding your own drills to create a longer session.
Let’s do this!
Phase 1: Warmup (15 mins)
Dynamic Warmup (5 mins)
Jog & Skip Forward & Backward, High Knee Runs, Carioca, Walking Lunge
Contact to 1st (5 mins)
- The 1st player in line will stand in the batter`s box, and swing as if they were hitting a pitch.
- As soon as the bat crosses the plate the coach starts her stop watch.
- Hitter will then drop the bat and get to 1st as fast as they can, with the coach stopping the stopwatch when the player taps the bag.
The hitter should be focusing on exploding out of her stance with a good 2-3 steps out of the batter`s box before they glance inside to see whether the ball went through the infield.
We also want the runner to aim for the front of the base, making it easier to leg out their stride without any unnatural stutter steps or lunges.
Catch & Toss (5 mins)
- The player with the ball will loft it up several feet in the air, then in one motion, catch, step, and throw it to her teammate.
- Her teammate will catch the ball and repeat the same motion.
- As players get comfortable with the drill, have them take a couple steps back.
See which team can go the most throws in a row without a drop or bad throw!
Phase 2: Stations (20 Mins)
For the next stage of this softball practice plan, we'll split the team up into two groups, then rotate them through two stations for 10 minutes each.
Force Out (10 Mins - Outfield)
This drill can be done in the infield, or with cones set up 60 feet apart like in the diagram to replicate the bases. Split the team into 3 groups – one lined up to play shortstop, one to play 2nd, and one to be the baserunner at 1st. The coach will line up at home plate with a bat and some balls.
- The coach will hit a ground ball to either fielder. The runner will take off for 2nd on the hit.
- The fielder will go get the ball while her teammate goes to cover 2nd.
- The fielder will throw to the man on 2nd and get the runner out.
- Rotate fielders from shortstop to 2nd. After every baserunner has gone twice flip the teams.
The fielder on 2nd needs to focus on making the catch safely away from the runner coming into 2nd.
This is a great baserunning drill as well – and works well as a game! See who pulls out the `W`, the baserunners or the fielders!
Highlight Drill (10 Mins - Infield)
Have the players form a line at shortstop, with one player at first and a coach at home with a bat and a ball.
- The coach will hit a ball to the shortstop, who will field the ball using the triangle technique, and make the throw on target to first.
- If the player successfully fields and makes the throw, they stay on for a chance at the ‘highlight’ – otherwise they go to the back of the line.
- If the player does get the 2nd turn, have the player point where they want the next ball hit.
- The player can then try for the highlight, by attempting a bare hand catch and throw to first or a diving backhand and throw to first off the ground.
When a player completes a highlight, for fun, you can have the coaches rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, with the top score being your highlight of the night!
Phase 3: Game Preparation (15 Minutes)
For the last 15 minutes of this practice, we'll work on a fun drill that will help your kids prepare for the intensity and competition of a real game!
Countdown (15 Mins)
Split the team into two groups – baserunners, and fielders. Have one fielder at 2nd base, with the rest in line at 3rd. The baserunner will begin at home. You will also need to place 3 softballs along the 3rd base line – they should all be on the ground between 3rd and the midway point to home.
- The drill will begin on the coach’s signal. The baserunner will take off, trying to leg out the double, while the 3rd baseman sprints over to the 1st ball.
- The 3rd baseman will then proceed to pickup and throw each of the 3 softballs as quickly and accurately as she can.
- If the fielder can throw all 3 balls to 2nd, on target, before the baserunner gets there – she wins!
As players get more comfortable with the drill, feel free to move the balls further and further away from 3rd!
Or, if you're ready to get on the fast track, check out our Softball Super Stations product below!