Here is my contribution to the coaches for [tag]slowpitch softball drills[/tag] and “drills to improve skills”.   One of the most difficult areas to teach infielders and outfielders is on how to dropstep and catch the ball over their left or right shoulder. This [tag]softball[/tag] [tag]drill[/tag] is simple and easily referred to as the “over the shoulder football catch”.Slowpitch Softball Drills
 
Start the drill usually on a foul line, doesn’t matter which one; if the line is chaulked they have a refernce line to use so the can run straight. Have them start the drill slowly moving backwards facing the [tag]coach[/tag].  You need to first teach the players how to drop backwards their lead foot first (going either to the left or right).  Second, instruct how to throw their elbow backwards in the same direction and then to snap their head in the direction they are going to go.  It is easiest at first to use a football and the coach then directs them left or right, which will give them direction going backwards.  After they hear the direction left or right, the coach throws the ball over their outside shoulder so they have to extend and make the catch going away.
 
The key to this is that the players catch the ball with “pinkeys together”.  We want them to catch the ball going away over their shoulders.  This drill simulates infielders going back on that flair hit between the outfielders and the infield.  Once the players understand the positioning of the hands correctly the coach can then use a softie, still with no glove being used.  You want the players to understand the correct way to catch/cradle the ball.  Many times players want to turn their hands back towards the ball which is incorrect.  After a few reps in progression you can have the players use their gloves as well and practice the same thing.
 
Make it fun and throw the football to them with their gloves on, this will reinforce “pinkeys together” because they won’t be able to handle the ball catching the ball the with glove facing the ball. Lastly, take this drill to infield/outfield practice and hit “flair balls” they need to go back on.  Like every other drill out there, it will only be as good as the amount of time worked on and the reps. that are put in. I hope this assists in you search.

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