Focus is something that we tell our players to do all the time but do not generally spend a lot of time giving them a chance to practice it. Softball practice focusing does just that. It allows them to build up the mental stamina that will carry them through games when there is so much going on.
Softball Practice Focusing
Take a portion of the practice and require that no one talks at all during the segment. Nothing is to be said to anyone and the only focus is on the ball or the task at hand. This may be difficult depending on the age and level of your team. Be sure to let the team know that this is a focus drill and is not necessarily what needs to happen during games because communication is absolutely necessary.
It can be done with a simple drill such as fielding or hitting or a throwing drill. The players only need to react and execute. The rest of the time that they are not active will be spend on their focusing skills and what the will be doing next. For the team to be able to do this for an entire practice is not necessarily practical unless there are no drills that require communication. If you are able to set it up, use the water breaks for the players to talk about how they are focusing and how they are getting through the drills. Is it hard and what strategies are they using or what are they thinking about or doing while they are not active.
You can also use it to create a sense of what I like to call quiet confidence. Where the players consider their great abilities and are simply going to execute like it is something that they do every day. If you can instill this during practices, it is an amazing feeling as a coach to see the team set during a game and knowing that they are confident and ready to play. Let them know that this is what they are striving for. Work your way up to a full practice and see how it goes. You might be surprised.