How often do we set up hitting stations for the practice? Every hitting practice seems to include soft toss hitting drills. We even include them in the pre game warm up along with other hitting, fielding and throwing drills. But how often are the drills done correctly. We have seen many times how when the players are soft tossing, the hitter is trying to reach the ball or tightening up so they can hit it without allowing the ball to hit them. There is actually a skill to this drill. We need to teach players to toss the ball so that the batter is able to hit it as if it were placed by the pitcher.
Watch Mike Candrea show you how an effective soft toss is done. Notice especially is the angle and the distance from the batter he is. What happens a lot is the tosser actually positions right beside the hitter and essentially tosses the ball at the batter from the side. The 45 degree angle that he talks about is to give the batter the most realistic view of the ball without anyone getting hurt.
Soft Toss Softball Hitting Drills
Practice The Skill
This skill is not something that comes easily. It is one that actually takes practice. Have the players take 5 minutes in a practice and talk to them about the importance of the angle and the location of the contact point for the batter. I like the idea of using wiffle balls or softies when the players are learning because it will not only lessen the potential for the batter to get hurt but also alleviate some of the fear of the tosser. The distance away from the batter will also have an impact. By being too close, the hitter can not get her timing down and the tosser is at risk of getting hit.
It is not a bad idea for a tosser to wear a helmet if she is afraid of the drill. If the tosser is going to become the batter after then if she is wearing a helmet, she does not need to go find it to make the switch.