Base Drill: The runner is on
the base in her ready position (ready for her lead off).
Another player or coach is a short distance from her, in the
basepath from 1st to 2nd base. The coach holds a tennis ball
at eye height. As the ball is dropped on a piece of flat
wood, the runner leaves the base and attempts to catch the
ball before it bounces off the wood a second time. The
distance for this drill is determined by the skill level of
the runners, but start out close so that she can easily catch
the ball and slowly move back to challenge her.
Out of the Box Drill: This
drill is similar to the base drill, but this time the runner
is a batter. The dropper is lined up a short distance from
home plate in the basepath to 1st base. Have the batter take
a normal swing with a "bat" (use a fake bat, or top
of a batting tee). As the "bat" enters the impact
or contact zone, drop the tennis ball and have the batter run
out of the batters box and catch the ball before it bounces
on the wood a second time. Once again, start out at a short
distance and increase the distance to challenge the batters.
NOTE: Make sure batters weight is balanced and not leaning
forward or backward or she will take unnecessary steps to
regain her balance before running for the ball. Also, watch
the right arm and elbow (right handed batters). The proper
movement is to drive the elbow back and outside the hip to
initiate the running sequence. Finally, watch the
"bat" to make sure she does not "whip"
the bat back to the right side and then run. The
"bat" should be dropped by the left hand after the
right hand has released it.
This drill teaches two things.
The first is to get out of the batters box quickly and with
the least amount of steps and wasted movement. The second
thing it teaches is to hit the ball and run. Not to HIT THE
BALL, ADMIRE YOUR HIT AND THEN SAUNTER TO FIRST BASE.
Equipment required: A belt and a short length of rope
(about 10-12 feet long)
Put the belt around the waist
of a runner and tie the rope to the back of the belt. Have
another player grasp the rope and stand behind the runner
with the rope taut. Have the runner lean forward while the
other player holds the rope to keep her from falling. The
proper running position is at about a 5-10 degree angle off
vertical with her feet pointing forward, the back foot about
6 inches behind and 6 inches to the right (or left) of the
lead foot. With the help of the rope holder, have the runner
get into her running position and when she is, say
"GO". The runner runs about 10 yards with the rope
holder applying resistance. You do not want too much
resistance, just enough to keep the runner in the proper
running position. Do this 2 times then have the runner
"free" sprint over the same distance while the rope
holder is putting on the belt. Then switch positions.
Vertical Leap Drills:
Equipment required: 2 lengths of rope(about 15-20 feet long)
1. Static Jump: Have two
players hope the rope LOOSELY in their hands at a height of
the jumper's knees. From a stationary position facing the
rope, have the jumper, jump over the rope using her hands and
legs to propel her over it. If she does hit the rope,
instruct the holders to drop it. Next raise the rope to half
way through the thigh. Then to the top of the thigh. Do this
2. One Step Jump: Have the
holders hold the rope at knee height and have the jumper take
a step and jump over the rope with both feet (jump rope
style). Raise the rope to half way through the thigh and to
the top of the thigh.
3. Two Rope Jump: Have two
sets of players hold two ropes. The first one is at the
jumpers knees. The second rope is at mid thigh. Have the
jumper stand inbetween the ropes and stretch out her arms.
This is the distance between the two ropes. The jumper faces
the first rope and takes a step and jumps over the first rope
and immediately upon landing, she jumps over the second rope
without taking a step. Do this twice. This drill improves
vertical leap which is directly related to speed and
4. Lines on The Field:
Equipment Required: Strips of cloth, small pieces of wood or
chalk to make marks on the field (outfield). Have an area of
about 60 feet to run in. Make lines (like hash marks) on the
field indicating where players feet should be hitting as they
leave the base or batters box. The first 10 feet should be
short, but getting longer as they build up speed. Place a
marker at about the halfway point and tell the players that
when they reach the marker to focus on pumping their arms
faster. This drill will teach the proper way of defeating
inertia by taking short steps at first and then pumping their
arms to reach optimum speed. NOTE: Watch for the proper arm
position of 90 degree bend in the elbows. The hands go from
chest to pocket. KEEP THE HANDS OUTSIDE THE EYES. Also ,
there is a direct correlation to the speed of the arms ans
the speed of the feet. As an instructional demonstration,
have the players try to run slowly while pumping their arms
as fast as they can. It doesn't work!!!
There are a ton of footwork
drills using a cloth ladder, but that is for another page,
THESE ARE GAMES WE USE AT THE
END OF PRACTICE.
3-2-1: Place three balls equal
distance apart about three fourths of the way from third to
home. Have a runner (team 1) and have a fielder on third base
and one one 2nd base (team2). When you say "go",
the runner must reach 2nd base before the fielder fields and
throws the balls to the fielder at second base. All throws
must be accurate. If the fielders get all balls to second
base before the runner gets there, the fielders get 1 point.
If the runner gets there first, they get 1 point. Lots of
THUNDER BALL: Have a fielder
on first base and one on third base (team 1). Place a ball on
a tee or soft toss it to a hitter (team 2). The hitter hits
the ball and runs to as many bases as she can reach before
both fielders have touched the ball. For each base she
reaches before the fielders touch the ball, her team gets 1
point. They all like this one!!