When coaching softball and teaching the basics of the game to young players, you face many challenges. You have to make your lessons easy to understand and you also need to subtract the intimidation factor from the equation. The better players will be enthusiastic and try everything but you have to get all players to practice and take part in drills, even if they struggle with what you are showing them. The best drills can be played like a game so they will be fun for all players.
Demonstrate and explain the drills before you have your players take part. If you are teaching them how to bunt, show them how to do it properly and explain the need. Many things may seem obvious when dealing with experienced players, but young players need an explanation that they can understand. By showing them what to do and explaining it clearly and concisely, your players will get more out of a drill.
Explain the strategy behind each drill even if you have to repeat yourself. In addition to teaching your players how to perform in the game of softball, you have to teach them to think the game of softball. You want them to understand the strategy you will use and you want them to be able to think along with the opposition. This will give you a better chance to win when you get into competition.
Teach players to get the ball away quickly when you do the 1-2-3 drill. In this exercise you will hit three ground balls to each infielder. The infielder will pick up the first grounder and throw it to first base. She will pick up the second ground ball and throw it to second in order to get the force play. She will pick up the third ground ball and throw it home as if to get the runner at the plate. You are doing this drill so the players know what to do with the ball when they get it. Players who stand around and hold the ball do because they don't understand where the play is. This drill teaches them to make a play once they have the ball. Each player who makes the pickup and throws the ball accurately gets two points. The infielder withe most points wins the drill.
Give each player a chance to pitch by playing a game of knockout. In this game, the pitcher tries to throw a strike. If he does, he moves to the back of the line. If he doesn't, he moves to the hot seat. He can be knocked out if the next pitcher throws a strike. If that pitcher does not throw a strike, the first pitcher moves to the back of the line and the second pitcher goes to the hot seat. Continue in this manner until the last pitcher is left standing and all the others have been knocked out. This will be an enjoyable way to develop competitive pitchers.