The Best Drills to Teach Youth Softball PlayersJul 26, 2022
Keeping younger players engaged during a lesson while teaching them valuable game skills can be difficult. Coach Duke Baxter has some of the best drills to teach youth softball players that are working on fielding.
The first drill is when a cone is hanging on a net and the goal is to knock the cone down with an accurate throw. Before throwing, the player must understand the basic positioning of the shuffle, palms down or "scarecrow" position, then the throw. For younger players, key words like scarecrow or "turn off the light switch" help them to remember to keep their palms down and follow through with their wrist during technical movements. After the player begins to understand the basic movements of this drill, an addition is to shuffle backwards, then forwards, then throw. This works on footwork and can make a repetitive drill seem different and more challenging while working on the same general skills. During this portion, adding cones on the ground in two straight lines toward the target in a runway position can help the softball player to stay straight when focusing on fast footwork.
The next drill works on the fielding triangle. To show the positioning, Coach Duke puts a hurdle in between the legs of the player to ensure the wide, athletic stance. He rolls the player ground balls and emphasizes the "building of a ramp" using the proper glove angle in a way the young player would understand. To keep the drill fun, he throws in some fly balls to keep the mental game of glove positioning challenging.
Finally, to put all the skills together and into a game-like scenario, Coach Duke hits the ball to the player requiring them to field the ground ball, shuffle, and throw at a target. Constant reminders are necessary for young players in order to work on a variety of aspects at one time.
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