One of my readers, Jim, suggested this idea using his [tag]softball coaching philosophy[/tag] for a better batting [tag]drill[/tag]. I’ve included it for you below.
I got tired of the same old [tag]softball[/tag] [tag]batting[/tag] practice, you know the one where the fielders get bored. So this is what I did:
I put just the infield on the diamond, front toss to the hitters (25 balls), the infielders must make the play to first (there is a bucket by the first baseman). If a pitch is swung on and missed the catcher snap throws it to the first baseman, same thing with a strike that has been taken by the batter. Balls not in the strike zone get thrown back to the pitcher. The fielders try to get as many balls in the bucket as possible. BOBBLES AND BAD THROWS DO NOT COUNT! They get thrown against the fence.
The batter tries to hit one through or to the outfield, balls hit into the protective screen also count for the batter, because that is what you want hard hit balls through the middle.
We play 10U softball and other than the strikeout the play to first is most common.
The players rotate every batter, but we also have 3 stations, flips, golf wiffle front toss and bunt. To account for the twelve players…Balls get shagged when they rotate. The pitching bucket and 1st base bucket are exchanged. Everyone is busy.
The limited number of balls also helps eliminate the struggling player taking twenty minutes of practice time. The “point system” makes it pretty competitive. I also record pop times from shortstop during this “drill”. We can send a struggling batter to the hitting coach back at the stations.
NOTE: Make sure all balls are out of the way of the fielders.