Softball is a game much like others in that the basic skills learned at an early age are the same skills that get honed later in life when seeking to improve the level of play. Catching, hitting and throwing the ball are some of the basics. By practicing these fundamentals, kids can become better softball players.
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One of the problems that batters of all age groups face is having a level swing. One drill for helping kids develop a level swing is to get a number of cardboard boxes that vary slightly in height. Wood slats can also be placed under the box to vary the height. By placing plastic bottles on the box, kids can swing away and clear the top of the box of plastic bottles. This drill can be made more enjoyable by pretending to have a table and placing a pretend supper on the box. A level swing will clear the top of the box, although the box itself should not be hit. This drill is useful also for determining if a player tends to swing downward or upward instead of level.
Catching and Throwing Drill
This drill is played on a baseball field with all of the players except one in the outfield. The other player stands near home plate. The coach or parent bats the ball into the outfield, and the player at home plate begins running the bases. The base runner can keep running until the ball is thrown to each player in the outfield so that everyone has an opportunity to catch and throw the ball. The last player in the outfield to touch the ball throws the ball to the parent or coach at home plate. Players can take turns running the bases and keep count of runs scored so that a competition develops. This drill also teaches teamwork in the outfield.
This drill not only helps to develop throwing skills, it also develops coordination and speed. A trash can or laundry bin is placed on a fold-out chair at first base. The players line up at one spot in the infield. This spot can vary as the drill proceeds. The coach or parent throws a ball out in front of the first player in line. The player must wait until the ball comes to a complete stop. After the ball stops, the player must run to the ball, pick it up and throw it into the trash can or laundry bin. This drill also teaches the importance of planting the back foot when throwing in order to gain control of the throw and have velocity on the ball.