Looking for a youth softball practice plan? You’ve come to the right place!
Below, you’ll find a detailed practice template which is designed for 8-12 year olds. We’ll start out with a warmup block to get the girls focused and ready to play. After that, we’ll split the team up into stations and work on some situational baserunning drills. Finally, we’ll play a fun game-like drill called Roll the Ball.
Please note – the plan is designed for a 90 minute practice, but you can easily adjust it by changing the duration of each individual drill. Or adding your own drills to create a longer session.
Let’s do this!
Phase 1: Warmup (15 mins)
Dynamic Warmup (5 mins)
Jog & Skip Forward & Backward, High Knee Runs, Carioca, Walking Lunge
Shuffle & Throw (5 mins)
- Then take a step back.
- She will then step forward, field the ball, and continue to move forward, taking a few shuffle steps towards the target so as to get her body into a good throwing position while building momentum. 3
- She will then step and throw to her partner, who will catch, and repeat the same thing going back the other way.
The players focus should be getting her lead shoulder and hip pointing towards the receiver at the end of her shuffle steps.
If players are throwing wild, have them make sure they`ve got their back foot lined up perpendicular to their target before they go into the throwing motion.
4-3-2-1 (5 mins)
- The first player in line will take off for first base. The player next in line will take off as the first runner is about halfway to 1st.
- After each run, the player jogs back to the starting position at home plate.
- to 1st – 4 times
- to 2nd – 3 times
- to 3rd – 2 times
- to home – once
For advanced level players, if a player slows down or misses the base while running the drill – the whole team has to start the drill over!
Phase 2: Stations (60 Mins)
For the next stage of this softball practice plan, we'll split the team up into two groups, then rotate them through two stations for 20 minutes each.
Tennis Ball Drop (20 Mins - Outfield)
You can do this drill in the infield, or set up 2 cones to mimic 1st base, second base, and the pitcher`s mound. One player will stand at the pitcher`s mound with a tennis ball in hand, with the rest of the players in line at 1st base.
- The baserunner at 1st base will start in a balanced athletic position. Her back foot is on the bag, front foot is forward, and arms are set in a running position.
- The pitcher will go through her full motion, then drop the tennis ball on the ground, simulating the pitch.
- As soon as the ball leaves the pitchers hands the baserunner will take off for 2nd.
- Repeat with the next player in line
You don`t need a 2nd base – the focus here is just on exploding off the bag, so this is a great drill to use when you are crunched for space.
Rounding (20 Mins - Outfield)
- The baserunner will sprint from 1st, keeping her eyes on the 3rd base coach as she approaches 2nd base.
- The 3rd base coach will say one of the three following things:
- (1) ’On the bag’ – Get to base and stay there
- (2)‘Round and Hold’ – Go a couple steps past 2nd, looking for a bad throw
- (3) ‘Get Here!’ – Keep running hard through 2nd and go for the 3rd
The coach should also use the accompanying hand signals in the diagram along with the verbal cue.
Tag Up and Score (20 Mins - Infield)
- The coach will hit fly balls out to left field. The runner at 3rd will take a couple steps towards home while the ball is in the air.
- If the fielder catches the ball, the runner will tag up at 3rd and sprint for home. If the ball isn’t caught, the runner will just take off for home.
- In either scenario, the fielder will secure the ball as quickly as possible and make the throw to try and get the runner out at home.
The outfielder can use the 3rd baseman as the cutoff or throw directly to the catche.
Figure out who’s your tagging up champ and keep track of runs scored! And to keep the game interesting for outfielders, keep track of outs made as well!
Phase 3: Game Preparation (30 Minutes)
For the last 30 minutes of this youth softball practice plan, we'll work on a fun drill that will help your kids prepare for the intensity and competition of a real game!
Roll the Ball (30 Mins)
- The drill will begin on the coach’s signal. The baserunner will take off, trying to leg out the double, while the 3rd baseman sprints over to the 1st ball.
- The 3rd baseman will then proceed to pickup and throw each of the 3 softballs as quickly and accurately as she can.
- If the fielder can throw all 3 balls to 2nd, on target, before the baserunner gets there – she wins!
As players get more comfortable with the drill, feel free to move the balls further and further away from 3rd!
If you're looking for more youth softball practice plans, you can check out our free 60 minute softball practice plan (for beginners). Or, if you need something more advanced try our 120 minute high school softball practice plan.
Or, if you're ready to get on the fast track, check out our Softball Super Stations product below!