We need to do our part during a game and that is the individual part of this team game. If you think of playing tennis the player is the only one on the team. But what if they did not go for every ball. There is no one else to get it for them. Softball is similar. If we do not do our job on the team, there is no one else to do it for us. If I am supposed to catch a ball, I have to catch the ball, if I am supposed to steal a base I have to steal a base as aggressively as I can because that is my job on the team. This practice is about how to elevate your softball game through drills.
Elevate your Softball Game
4:00 – 4:15 Team Discussion
Discuss with the team the importance of individual play in this awesome team sport. Often when there is a play to be made, it is difficult to decide who is going to make the play. That is why the order of priority is so important and being loud and vocal is super important, so that your teammates know you are making the play. This is a team sport but unfortunately unless it’s communicated, your teammates do not know what play you are going to make or if you are going to make one.
It’s hard to think of it as an individual sport when we are always told so often that it is a team sport. It is true. There is no “I” in team but there is a “Me”. And with out the “Me” there is no team. There is only an “at” and you can’t do anything with that. True story LOL.
So, Initiate, Communicate, and Elevate your game. I.C.E
Ask them what those terms mean and then post the I.C.E. acronym in your dug out.
Always remember to have fun 🙂
4:00 – 4:10 Dynamic Warm-Up
- arm circles 10 – 15 sec. (1 in each direction)
- straight leg kicks 30′ X 2
- leg swings 10 – 15 sec. (each leg)
- high knee walk – 30′ X 2 (touch ankles)
- butt kickers – 30′ X 2
- lunge walk – forward / backward
- 25% for 60′
- 50% for 60′
- 75% for 60′
- 100% for 60′
4:10 – 4:20 Throwing Warm – Up
- start closer together gradually moving farther away
- focus on gradually warming up the arm
- do not rush throwing hard
- feel the shoulder warming up
4:20 – 4:30 Toss Behind Run Ahead
Divide the team into groups of 5. Drill starts by the team standing in a line behind each other with the player in the front of the line holding a ball. They start with a very slow jog and the player at the front tosses the ball softly up behind them. As the player behind them sees the ball coming, they say their name, not yelling too loud because the other player is right in front of them and catches the ball. They then toss it softly up behind them and the player behind them does the same thing. When the ball gets to the last person in the line they say their name before catching the ball and run to the front of the line while the whole line cheers them on as loud as they can like they are in a race
The player goes further ahead of the line than she was and the line separates by another few feet. Continue until the line is separated enough that the team has to yell their name for the player in front to hear it. If the person in front cannot hear the person behind they say “who?” :).
4:30 – 4:50 Priority Drill
Divide the team into infielders and outfielders so that they can play as their position. Using the order of priority rules, have a coach or parent toss the ball within the group and have them catch the ball based on priority. Not who thinks they can get the ball but based on priority. If the ball is in between 2 players it depends on their position who fields it. Do not allow them to deviate from the rules of priority.
The rules are as follows:
- centre fielder over both outfielders
- outfielders over infielders
- middle infielders over corners and pitcher
- corners over pitcher and catcher
4:50 – 5:15 Beat the ball drill
Set up the team on the field and toss the balls to the places where they need to make the decisions on who is going to catch the fly ball. It is important that you do not allow them to deviate from the priority rules. Toss the ball in the places where they most commonly freeze and look at each other not knowing who gets it. Do not encourage middle infielders to run out to the outfield unless the outfielder calls help. They should still call their name when fielding the ball but if they do not the infielder should still know they are going to catch it unless they call for help.
At the end of the practice remember to commend them on their commitment to the process. In your next game refer them to this practice and the I.C.E. acronym for your team.
I – Initiate
C – Communicate
E – Elevate your softball game