Try these softball hitting drills with your team. They work best with players generally age 9 – 16. The Candy Bar drill rewards all players, but “winners” get first choice as incentive to improve. It helps them develop the skill of being able to toss up ball properly, develop a quick swing, and hit hard grounders to specific locations.
Tremendous fun for all involved and it adds a quick closing element of competition as a final drill of the day.
Candy Bar Drill
Players get 3 softballs and their bat to take with them to home plate.
Coaches play four infield positions (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and shortstop).
Player must toss-up ball properly and use a proper quick swing to hit grounders in rapid fire sequence in an attempt to hit the ball past a coach. Foul balls, swing & miss, or fly balls count as one swing; each player is allowed only 3 swings.
If a player hits a ball by the coach, they are among the first to get “first choice” from a “grab-bag” of assorted goodies or novelty items (use your imagination!) — This is a big deal to most players!
Any player who cannot hit the ball past a coach still gets a choice from the bag for good effort and willingness to improve.
As a variation, this can be played in teams of four, hitting to players instead (but might not be as much fun as hitting the ball past a coach!)
Players also learn that hard hits get through more that just merely putting the ball in play. They often learn to concentrate efforts on their favorite coach, before she can recover from the last batted ball!
Yearly returning players, especially as they grow and mature, beg for this drill several times a season just to show you how they’ve learned to do this. (It’s much tougher than it sounds, even for many players who are “good hitters” of pitched balls.)
Teaches players that coaches will make mistakes too, and that’s okay!