Here is an idea for softball training aids that is easy, inexpensive and best of all– IT WORKS! We use the following prop to teach our players how to properly field a ground ball out in front of their body. We have had tremendous success with this prop teaching proper body mechanics for fielding grounders.
Softball Training Aids – THE PROP
The prop consists of two 4 ft lengths of wood (cut from fence posts) and three 2″ x 8″ x 4′ planks.
From any infield position, place the two 4 ft lengths (cut from fence post) vertically on the ground facing home plate. On top of the 4 ft lengths, horizontally place the wood planks. You now have a platform about 4″ off of the ground. The prop is very portable and can used for inside and outside practice sessions.
1. Have the player position him/herself on the platform facing home plate in the ready position.
2. Roll or hit the ball from home plate towards the player.
3. When the player steps off the platform towards the ball, the slight step downward from the platform automatically places the player in a forward moving position to field the ball (glove and leg on the glove side moving forward to field the ball)
4. During this drill the coach can fine tune the details of proper stance and glove position for each player.
5. Repeating this drill over and over will create proper muscle memory and proper execution of fielding ground balls.
At the beginning of infield practice, I place a platform on each side of the field moving the platform back and forth from first to second base position and shortstop to third base position. This gives each position player a chance to work off of the platforms from their respective positions.
After about thirty minutes, I remove the platforms and continue with the rest of my infield practice. You will be pleasantly surprised how quickly the fielding skills of your infielders improve.
The platforms can also be utilized for your outfielders teaching the same skills of fielding ground balls hit in front of them. The platforms can used in all kinds of fielding and throwing drills.