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Softball & Baseball Practice Drills
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PITCHING: 17 Indoor Drills and Tips

17 Indoor Drills and Tips

Defensive Indoor Drills

Three Player Weave (conditioning, eye on the ball, coordination, soft hands) Sart on an endline of the basketball gym floor with three across. Explain that this drill takes a lot of coordination and teamwork. Using a safety softball (no gloves) each player is to run the floor weaving in and out soft tossing the ball to one another during the weave. The weave is like doing monkey rolls on the ground only the weave is done while running. Players in threes should be at both ends of the gym. If the ball is dropped you must go back and start again. Each group of three should go three times.

Yours/Mine (Outfield/Infield) Two players, get plenty of space in the gym, one player throws the ball up while the other calls "mine" or "yours". A ball that is dropped or mis-played both players run outside the basketball lines back to their position and continue the drill.

Texas Leaguer (Outfield) Two players, get about 10 yards in between one another. One player has the ball and tosses short where the other player must hustle to catch it about 6 inches off the ground. The player who catches the ball then runs back to the spot and does the same for their partner.

Blindman (woman) Two players, using a gym wall, one player is about 20 feet from the wall (back to the wall) the other player with the ball is about 10 feet from the wall facing it. The player with the ball throws the ball against the wall and shouts "now' when the ball hits the wall. Their partner turns anD finds the ball in the air and must catch it while in the air. 5 reps then switch positions.

Lightning We have groups of 3 start on the freethrow line, facing the wall and the 1st girl throws into the wall. 2nd girl fields properly and comes up throwing for the 3rd girl. 3 or 4 times thru to work on fundamentals then it gets fun. Girls continue but spread it out alittle on their throws and they are forced to use backhands and footwork, add in some line drives or short pop-ups and you've got a great game for all. If they miss then their out play till the last one is standing or error free. Use your own imagination.

Shuttle Run

Keeping teams evenly balanced, make four teams with six players on each. With these four teams, create two large groups, keeping the players within their own groups, in a single file line. Set a ball and glove about 50 feet in front of line 1. Set an empty glove about 50 feet in front of line 2. A coach or manager stands near Group A and B, keeping time. When the coach yells, "Go," the first player in line 1 from both groups runs to the first glove, picks up the ball and runs to the second, placing the ball in the glove. Sprinting to line 2, she tags the first player and runs to the back of the line. The tagged player runs to the glove and repeats the same process, sprinting to the end of line 1. When every player has a turn, action stops and the times are recorded and announced. To add to competition, tell the players they must improve their times with each round. Repeat five times.

Push-Up 'n At-Em

Divide into four equal groups, in single-file lines, approximately 30 feet apart. Set a ball in a glove about a 100 feet in front of each line. When the coach yells "Go," the first player in each line sprints to the glove, does five push-ups, picks up the ball, runs back to the line, and does five more push-ups. After the last push-up, the runner hands the ball to the next player, and the first player goes to the end of the line. The circuit continues until each player has gone through three times. The first team to finish, wins.

Run Around

Set up an indoor baseball diamond with rubber bases 90 feet apart. Players line up near home plate. The coach, holding a timer, stands near home plate. Action begins when a player brings a bat to home plate. She takes her normal batting stance. On "Go," the player swings the bat and runs the bases. The records the time for each player on a chart. Keep the chart posted on the gym wall. Advise athletes to improve their technique by practicing proper base running techniques. Note: Show players how to circle the bases. Have them trot around the bases 2 or 3 times prior to the drill.

Hitting Indoor Drills

We use the Hitting station concept during our indoor practices. We will set up specific stations to work on specific areas of hitting. Variety on a day to day basis keeps it interesting for players and they don't get bored. Make your players always wear a helmet while hitting.

3 Plates (3 tees, 3 Safety Nets, Helmets, Hitting Station) One station uses 3 plates. Tees are set at various heights, a player must go through the rotation of hitting the ball at various heights in 25 seconds. This develops a sound stance. And we watch where the bat head extends yet maintain the technique of the swing. Bat head location is paramount any large body movement to adjust is immediately dealt with on an individual basis.

Dow Rods & Golf Balls (Safety Nets) If you want to improve hand eye coordination get some dow rods and whiffle golf balls, do all the soft-toss drills you can think of and you will notice better hand/eye coordination.

Indoor Hitting Drills

We have developed a indoor program with stations for our hitters. This project took some time and energy and was only developed because we couldn't get our batting cage put up until March and we didn't want the girls to wait until spring to begin swinging. We even tried to rent an inside swing facility but at 150.00 an hour it was a little steep. We turned a negative into a positive and are holding two clinics a week. One for varsity and the other for middle school and J.V. swingers. This all takes place in a elementary gym, which is 35 feet by 55 feet. We were pretty imaginitive and use space wisely. We have 5 stations in the gym and 2 stations in the hallway. The girls keep coming back and they are already swinging like its mid-season. We are currently working on a short compact swing. I can help you in the developing of these stations and you can apply your own batting styles. These stations are thrown together with some things we got in the training closet and some things we had laying aroundthe house. The total cost was about 25.00 for 5 stations. We used some old balls, bungy cords, milk jugs, mini-tramps, woodendowels and some old hitting tees.

#1. Step and wait: This drill uses partners and soft toss. As a high school coach, I have a problem with girls striding early and transferring their weight to their front foot before they swing. The feeder says "step" and the hitter strides and keeps her weight back. after a short pause the feeder tosses the ball and the hitter swings. This separates the stride and the swing and allows a girl to understand that her weight can stay back when she strides. The hitter is allowed to shift her weight to her front foot with the swing.

#2. Fake out This is the same as the step and wait except the feeder says nothing. The feeder fakes the toss to make sure the hitter is not transferring weight too early. After a couple of fakes, she feeds the ball. It is the feeder's responsibility to coach the hitter about keeping her weight back. This gets to be a contest with the girls.

1) Conditioning: This is a variation of the right to left shuffle, instead of 1 player standing and doing all the rolling while the other shuffles, both players, standing 10-15 feet apart shuffle clockwise in a circular pattern maintaining the 10-15' diameter. Roll a ball to the other, leading them slightly. Can use 1 or 2 balls at a time. Can use bare hands, a fielders board or glove. Reverse directions after 30 sec or so. This drill conditions the legs and practices ground ball fundamentals.

Fun and games: 2 teams lined up 50' apart and 50-60' from coach hitting grounders using 7-10 balls. Each team has their own coach hitting grounders with same # of balls. 5 gal bucket set half way between coach and players about 20' off to side. Hit grounder, player return ball to bucket, then goes to end of line. If you boot the ball, must run it down, this is a race. When all balls are used by coach, hustle to dump the balls back at coaches feet and return bucket to spot. Go through several buckets. Whichever team finishes the prescribed # of buckets first, and returns last empty bucket to the spot, wins! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hit The Bouncing Ball: Last weekend, I went to a coaches clinic and heard Ralph Weekly, Head Coach at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and Assistant Olympic Coach say that he and Mike Candrea, University of Arizona Head Coach, agree that this is their favorite hitting drill: Bounce Toss - The tosser bounces a tennis ball to the specific contact point and the hitter hits it into the net. When the tosser releases the ball, the batter does the loading (i.e., slight inward turn of front shoulder and front knee) as they would when the pitcher begins her windup.

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