Speed and agility: these are two skills that every successful softball player should have. The following softball practice drills are ideal for improving your players’ speed and agility and getting them ready to hit the field at full-speed on game day.
Carioca Softball Practice Drill
This carioca drill works on your player’s full range of motion. Be sure to tell your players to start out slow to ensure that they’re getting the full range of motion. The drill goes as follows: take the behind step, lift, and rotate. Your players should focus on controlling the feet by rotating the hip and the knee across the body. This will give great body control, balance, and agility.Â Work this drill for ten yards. Down and back is one repetition–do three sets of three to five repetitions.
Here are some tips for your players to remember during this drill:
- Stay on the front part of the foot
- Bounce as you go
- Don’t bend over at the waist
- Stabilize that core
- Keep the head up
Drop Skip Softball Practice Drill
With this drill, you want to work on loosening and opening up the hips. Bring the knee up and out as you step down and back, always maintaining a stable core. Down and back is one repetition.Â Do three sets of three repetitions.
Good loosening on the hips is ideal for greater ability and speed, and these drop skip drills are also great for agility and balance. Remind your players to pull the toe up toward the shin so they stay on the front part of the foot as they step down to the ground and to keep a stable core by sucking in the belly button and tucking in the back.
Linear and Lateral Run and Slide Softball Practice Drill
This drill starts with a forward to backward motion. We’re going to run forward and stick and hold our position, stopping the body’s motion. Have your players do it with the right, turn around, go back, and stick and hold with the left. This will teach the muscles to do what you want them to do.
Now your players should go straight into a linear run, plant, and backpedal, then do the same run, plant, and backpedal motion with the other leg. This will help your players get used to stopping the body and changing direction.
After going forward to backward, have your players go backward to forward. Start with a backpedal, stick and hold.Â Then turn around and do the other leg. We want to teach the body how to stop its momentum so that we can change direction for greater skill and ability.
After going front and back, go side to side to work on lateral motion. Have your players work on a lateral slide, stick, and then hold the position. Be sure to work both directions equally. Down and back is one repetition–do three sets of three repetitions.
Three-Yard Star Softball Practice Drill
This is a basic drill using cones, which should be set up three yards apart. Your player will start with a sprint forward, then go lateral side to side, and finish with a backpedal.Â Remind your players to stay on the front part of the foot and push away from the direction she wants to go. This drill is a simple way to work on being quick by pushing away with quick feet, pushing the hips, and keeping the core solid.
Do you think these softball drills will help to make your practices as productive as possible?