I’ve gotten a whole bunch of requests for [tag]youth softball drills[/tag] over the past few days. Here’s an idea sent in by John that I use regularly.
Here is a [tag]drill[/tag] that I run to expand the players lateral range and overcome their fear for [tag]diving[/tag] for a ball:
I put a player about 5 feet in front of a fence or net.
To their left and right I put 3 cones each at the 12ft, 14ft, and 16ft range away from the player
I have 2 other players (1 on the left and 1 on the right at a 45 degree angle to be a target once the player catches the ball to come up and throw to the target.
I either use a batting machine or I will hit grounders to the players left and right gradually increasing the distance to help them become quicker to the ball
They will ultimately need to dive for the ball and come up and make a strong, accurate throw to the target.
Each player will catch and make 10 throws as we rotate between fielding and targets.
The players don’t know where the ball is going so they must react quickly.
This [tag]softball[/tag] drill should be done on the grass to a softer landing and then can be moved to the infield as their confidence grows. You can break the players into teams and make a competition out of it to see which team makes the most plays. You need to keep them moving and spend about 10 minutes on the drill.