Michael in Dallas wrote to ask if I could suggest any ideas for teaching kids [tag]how to throw a softball[/tag]. Here’s a drill sent in by Joe.
In coaching 6 year olds, getting kids to throw a [tag]softball[/tag] accurately is one of the biggest challenges. Reinforcing the mechanics of the motion with a game was one way I “attempted” to accomplish that. We call this [tag]drill[/tag]–Hit the Target.
– Cut out 2 large cardboard cutouts about 2-2 1/2 feet wide by about 4 feet tall (about as tall as the biggest kid to his upper chest).
– Put the cutouts against the backstop (other coaches held them in place behind the screen if it was windy).
– The kids were split evenly into 2 teams and the front of each line was moved about 15 feet back from the target (this distance can vary based on progress/skill)
– To keep it simple at this age, I had them focus on 2 things. 1) To turn their body toward the target, emphasizing the shoulder and hip should point to the target and 2) to ensure they extended their arm back when they threw.
– Each kid was given a ball in each line. This first kid in each line stepped up and had to wait for me to say go (again to prevent chaos from ensuing). Prior to letting them throw, I made sure each kid was properly turned towards the target.
– After saying go, each kid threw and the team received a point if they hit any part of the target on a fly.
– Each kid picks up their ball and goes to the back of their respective lines. The game was to 10 (trying to get through each line 2 to 3 times).