Little-League Softball Drills
This game is played with two teams. One team is at bat with a tee or soft-toss, the other team has one fielder on third base and one on first base. The batter hits the ball off the tee or from a soft-toss as hard as she can and runs as many bases as she can until BOTH fielders have touched the ball.
Keep score by counting bases reached before the ball is touched. After all of the batters have batted, switch sides.
Rotate fielders by bringing in a new girl at first, and the girl at first moving to third, and the girl at third sitting out.
Modification: Have a coach hit the ball (towards the center-field) and the players (at 1st & 3rd) have to run to the ball. The 1st player to touch the ball gets a point. This encourages the girls to run to the ball rather than waiting for the ball to come to them.
-colored masking tape
-access to a fence or a wall.
On a wall or fence mark off three or four squares with blue painter's tape, 15 inches by 8 inches. The squares should be about 4 to 6 feet apart from each other. Within the large blue squares mark off smaller squares with white tape. Mark a line on the ground in front of each square. The distance between the line and the box depends on the age and skill level of the players. Divide the team into as many groups as there are large squares or the fence or wall. Give each player 3 to 5 balls. The first player in each line throws the ball against the fence. Award one point for throwing the ball within the blue square and two points for hitting one of the smaller white squares.
My 3rd and 4th-grade girls had problems with throwing the bat during games. It wasn't intentional, but something needed to change. This drill helped them get in the habit of proper bat placement after hitting the ball. It also is great batting practice as well.
This is like a scrimmage. Divide players into two teams. Fielders and batters. Fielders play as usual. Batters hit off of a tee. Put a hula hoop in the desired area for a bat to be placed after the ball is hit.
If the player misses the ball or knocks the tee over that is a strike. Three strikes and it’s an out. Automatic out if the bat is not placed into the hula hoop. Fielders can get outs as usual. After three outs switch the teams into batting and fielding.
1. Depending on the number of players, set up four to six cones about 50 feet apart from one another.
2. Divide the team into three groups. Each group throws toward its own cone.
3. Station one coach or parent with each group.
4. Each team's goal is to knock down its cone with the fewest throws possible.
5. The first person in each group throws the ball at the cone. The ball is left where it lands.
6. The second player in each group throws at the cone.
7. As in a foursome in a golf game, the player whose ball is farthest from the cone after the first throw is the first to make the second attempt from where his first throw tended.
8. Again as in golf, each player keeps track of the number of throws it takes to knock over the cone.
9. After each group is finished, the players rotate to the next cone (or hole).
10. Each cone gets further and further apart.
We played this almost every practice directly after the girls finished warming up.
Girls will be in pairs of two. We usually had them stick with their warmup partner, which was different every day, and randomized by coaches.
Each pair will have one ball. After the coach says start, the girls will start playing catch. The girl that's throw is successfully caught will take one step backward. When her partner throws a successful throw, she(her partner) will step back. One girl will step back per throw.
The ball cannot be dropped, and as soon as it is, the team sits on the ground. Girls can only move one foot to catch the ball. If the throw is more than a step away, the team sits on the ground. The last team still standing wins!
This is a great drill to get the arms going! We've had girls from home plate to the fence before. It can get to be a long game, but it is great for girls to work on long-distance throwing and accuracy.
Steal The Bacon
This drill is to help girls learn how to tag, and the motions involved with tagging.
Divide the team into two groups, line them up across from each other, and number the players in each group from one to six. The coach puts a ball between the lines and yells out a number. Both players with this number run toward the ball and try to grab it, or steal the bacon. When one of the players picks up the ball, the other tries to tag her with their glove. The player who picks up the ball tries to run back to the line without getting tagged. Award one team a point if its player gets back to the line without being tagged. Award the other team a point if its player makes the tag before the runner reaches the line.
No points are awarded if a player drops the ball during the drill
Hit Your Coach!
This drill teaches throwing accuracy. Players form a line facing the coach each player holding a foam ball.
When the coach says begin, the players all try to hit her with a ball, at the same time, while the coach avoids being hit. Girls can run and grab their ball after they have thrown, but they need to throw from the initial starting line.
After the coach has been hit x amount of times the players can make them do something silly.
Ball Shall Not Pass
This is a drill specifically designed to force the girls to run to the ball and to do anything in her power to not let it get past her. A lot of times that's diving and using their bodies.
Set up two cones 8 to 15 feet apart depending on the age and ability of players. One player stands between the cones. Another player serves as a backup. The coach throws grounders between the cones, and the player tries to stop the ball with her glove before it gets behind her, just as a hockey goalie would sweep away a puck.
Award a point for every ball the player stops. Coaches can practice this drill with either a predetermined number of throws to each player or with a time limit. Once done, the fielder moves to the back of the line, the backup becomes the fielder, and the next person in line becomes the backup. This is one of the few drills that teach players to stop the ball rather than catch it.
Kick the Bucket
Set up two empty ball buckets on top of one another on first base.
Have the girls line up at any infield position. Short-stop or third for added difficulty.
Have a coach hit grounders. After the ball is fielded, the player will make a throw to first like they would in a game. The goal is for the bucket to be knocked over.
At younger ages, we gave awards if it was even hit. If the bucket was just hit, the player would receive a small prize, such as a sucker. If the bucket was knocked over they would receive a larger prize like a Gatorade or Powerade.
For older girls, you could set a time limit and see how many times the buckets are knocked over in that time limit. If they don't reach a certain amount have them run.
Race To Home
This is a fun drill that we would play at the end of practice.
Set up an infield with no pitcher.
Your base runner tosses the ball to herself and hits a ground ball. She then takes off around the bases as fast as she can, going from first to second to third to home. The infield also circles the bases with their throws, trying to get the ball to home plate before the runner gets there. If it's an inexperienced team, it should be about even. More advanced teams have to take the ball back to first each time – that means, field it, go to first, go to second, back to first, go to third, back to first, and then home.
Every base runner that makes it home before the ball gets a point. Make it a contest to see who can get the most points.