Here is one of my favorite [tag]softball drills[/tag] for conditioning, quick release, accurate throws, correct position for receiving the ball, and competition, all in one drill: the competition relay drill.

Competition Relay Drill

1           2           3                     4                   5             6

I separate the girls into two teams, with up to 6 players on a team. One team stretches from the 3b side of home plate all the way to the left field foul pole. The other team stretches from the 1b side of home plate all the way to the right field foul pole.

The ball starts in Player 1’s glove. At the whistle, each team starts.
Player 1 throws the [tag]softball[/tag] to player 2. Player 2 receives the ball correctly and throws to Player 3. After Player 1 throws the ball, she quickly moves to Player 2’s position. After receiving and throwing the ball to Player 3, Player 2 moves quickly to Player 3’s position, and so on. When Player 6 receives the ball, she sprints back to the original starting position. Here is the order of players from right to left after one complete cycle: 6,1,2,3,4,5. After two cycles, it would be 5,6,1,2,3,4, etc.

If the ball is dropped, or it is a bad throw, the ball is retrieved and thrown back to the last player who received the ball correctly, not from where the ball is picked up or dropped.

This is a competition and relay is over when Player 1 comes all the way back to her original position (1,2,3,4,5,6). When Player 1 sprints all the way back to home plate, all of her teammates sit down. The first team to finish completely and correctly, is the winner.

In our case, the losing team does push-ups, crunches, etc. or the winning team does not have to do the end of [tag]softball practice[/tag] conditioning, so there are repercussions for losing.

I have done this [tag]softball drill[/tag] with tennis balls and no gloves, softhands and softballs, and any other way I can adjust it to change it up a bit. You can decrease the number of players and keep the length the same and you can do this drill indoors if you are in the gym area. I also do it more than once with the losing team’s captain picking a player (except that team’s captain) from the winning team and the winning team’s captain picking a player (except for the captain and the recently “traded” player) from the losing team.