Today, we’re going to talk about some softball practice drills that will help to improve your players’ speed, getting them to be more explosive out on the field.
Jump Rope Softball Practice Drill
Jumping rope is great for teaching the quickness and athleticism that we need.
Start with two foot jumps. Pull the toes up toward the shins and spring off the ground. Remind your players to not stab the ground with the toes and to keep the core tight and stable. Your players should suck in the belly button and tuck in the back.
Next, have your players do one foot hops. These are unmatched for developing balance in each of the body.
Now have your players go to a running rhythm as they jump rope. They should pull the knee up, heel up, toe up as they run in place. Remind your girls to get the synchronization of the arms and the feet to work together.
Next, challenge the neuromuscular system by asking your players skip rope. This forces the rhythmic action of the arms and the legs to work together, and it sends messages from the brain to the muscles at a faster rate of speed. This is super for teaching quickness! Remind your girls to step down to the ground with the toe pulled up toward the shin. This keeps the ankle cocked and loaded, ready to explode off the ground.
Quick Skips Softball Practice Drill
Now let’s take our larger basic agility movements and bring those down into a quick skipping action. Tell your players to skip as quickly as they can going straight ahead. They should be bouncing off the front part of the foot.
Down and back is one repetition; do three sets of three to five repetitions.
Lateral Skip Softball Practice Drill
This skip moves sideways, and remind your players that they don’t want to cross the feet. They should get their skipping rhythm and push away from the direction they want to go. Push to the right to go left. Push to the left to go right. All the while, your players should stay on the front part of the feet while keeping the core solid and locked in.
Down and back to the right and left is one repetition; do three sets of three repetitions.
Skip and Crossover Softball Practice Drill
With this drill, your players will use the knee and the hip as fast as they can. The feet will follow the hips. The faster they rotate the hips, the faster the crossover. Remind your players not to reach with the heels and the feet, as that will put them out of position. They want to stay in a power position by stepping down with the front of the foot.
Drop Skip Softball Practice Drill
Coming backward, instruct your players to turn the knees out and step down quickly. Again, the faster they move the hips, the faster the feet will go.
That’s where quickness comes from. Your players should put the foot back on the ground as quickly as possible, keeping the toes pulled up toward the shins so it’s cocked and loaded, ready to push off.
Down and back is one repetition; do three sets of three repetitions.
These are simple. Have your players find the line and then do these drills. They should put both feet together so they’re working at the same time.
First, have your players do side-to-side jumps. Over and back is one repetition. Have your team do 10 as quickly as possible, keeping the toes pulled up toward the shins so they can respond to the ground as quickly as possible.
Next, they should do one foot hops, simply starting on one foot, hopping over the line. Over and back is one; have your players do 10. Three sets of 10 on each foot is great for increasing speed and quickness.
Next are ski jumps. With both feet together, your players should move forward as they go side to side across the line. This helps with good quickness off the ground and body control.
This set of drills will help your players work on balance and speed during softball practice. Which of these drills are you looking forward to having your team work on?