Teaching Softball Drills to Youth Teams

Teaching softball drills to youth is among the coach’s most important responsibilities during practices. When teaching softball drills make sure that correct form is emphasized to add to the overall usefulness of the drill, and to reduce the risk of injury. Also, make sure to vary the drills from time to time to keep things fresh and exciting, and to keep players motivated with the concentration levels high.

Make No Mistakes with Softball Drills

Softball drills are the most useful way to improve players’ skills while reinforcing the fundamentals of the sport. Once a player has a firmer grasp of the fundamentals of the game, they’ll begin to spot an improvement in their performance come game time.

Teaching softball drills correctly is one of the coach’s main functions during practice. When teaching softball drills to youth, always fully explain and demonstrate each drill before allowing the players to attempt. Not only will this cut down on the risk of injury, it will also help to ensure players are performing the drills correctly.

Proper form should always be stressed when executing softball drills, since the repetition of the act becomes familiar to the muscle, a concept known as muscle memory. If the muscles learn to do actions incorrectly and perform these improper motions time and time again, it can be very difficult to recondition the body into performing the actions the right way.

Be an Example

After initially teaching softball drills to the players, the coach should demonstrate the actions to the players, either by assuming the role of the player or using players as examples. This can be a great opportunity for some of the older, more experienced members of the team to step in and help the inexperienced players improve their skills. This way, the coach can supervise and circulate, helping each pair individually.

Once all players have a firm understanding of the correct way to perform the drill, proceed with the drill while observing each member of the team to see how they could improve their performance. Always offer constructive criticism when possible, and remember to reward positive performances as often as pointing out the errors. Sometimes, a little motivation can go a long way.

Softball coaching aids for youth softball

Keeping it Fresh and Exciting

The trick in selecting softball drills for practice is in keeping it fresh and interesting. If players are performing the same 5 drills day in and day out, their minds will wander, and as such they won’t receive the full benefit of the drill. By choosing new drills to compliment some of the old standards, players will be forced to pay attention, helping boost concentration levels which will transfer over to a game setting.

Another tactic many softball coaches use to keep players interested in drills is to implement some form of competition within the drill. At a young age, it’s best to have players compete with their own personal bests as opposed to with each other. But, as players become a little older, there’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition amongst teammates, as it helps to develop a certain deal of aggressiveness that can be useful come game time and allows players to analyze their teammates’ styles of playing for strengths and weaknesses.

When selecting new softball drills for the team, look for areas where members of the team may be struggling. General conditioning drills are also important to maintain athletic form as well as to improve stamina and concentration.

fun softball drills

Need More Indoor Softball Drills?

Becky Wittenburg has been coaching softball for well over a decade. You can get instant access to her softball practice plans by visiting her website: Softball Drills and Coaching Tips For a limited time, all coaches who visit Becky’s site will also get a free copy of her special report: "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Softball Coaches Make". Go get your free copy today!

By Becky Wittenburg
Published: 1/21/2008

 

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