Here are a couple of softball coaching techniques that I have used successfully with 8U softball players. These are not earth shattering but they work well and address common problems that we as coaches encounter with most younger players.
Fear of the ball: Helping the girls to learn how to catch the ball without being afraid of it. I line 3 or 4 girls up, all facing me and about 3 feet apart. I then hit tennis balls from a large bucket with a racquetball racket at them with instructions of the object of the drill is to have the tennis balls hit the webbing of the glove and not to catch the tennis balls. This drill has greatly improved their reaction times and glove positioning tremendously. The speed is increased as their skills develop and has become a team favorite fun drill.
Batting Stance: I use the word “trigger” with the girls to put them in the proper position at the plate. I am amazed that after working so hard on having the proper initial stance at the plate how during games the girls will step into the batter box as though we never practiced proper stance. I am further amazed at how hearing the simple word ”trigger” they immediately go to their proper stance.
This simple word really improved our hitting during games this year. During practice I get them into proper position at the plate and tell them this is their “trigger”. During the games I simply yell at them to show me their trigger. It works!