Bedford Girls Softball League, Bedford NH USA

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HIT THE BALL!

 

This drill is especially important for 12u minors. Since it's all player pitch at that level, the girls figure out pretty quickly that if they just stand there, they will draw a walk. 

If you like watching grass grow, this is fine. 

But we want them to swing the bat.  This drill is a great way to get them to do that - make them swing at everything, whether it's a ball or a strike - if they can reach the ball, HIT THE BALL! 

Two or three girls start the batting - 1 at the plate, 2 on deck. The remaining girls take the field, filling the infield positions first. One coach pitches, another behind the plate to retrieve balls Each batter gets 4 pitches. If they don't swing, it's a strike (so pitching coach has to be fairly accurate) Batter tries to hit each ball, fielders throw to first. On the fourth pitch, batter runs. After the batter gets to first, everyone shifts fielding positions - batter goes to right, right to center, center to left, left to first, first to second, and so on, third comes in to be the second on-deck hitter. The object of this game is to keep the girls moving, and keep the batter swinging. 

 

Key to this game - make it FAST. Just enough time to let them get settled before the next pitch comes in. 4 pitches in ten seconds or so is probably a good pace - get the girls moving. 

 

Stickball

The most fun my team ever had at a practice was when we put everything down,  took some throwdown bases up to the playground at Selvoski, picked two captains, had them pick teams (the old fashioned way, last hand on the stickball bat picks first) and had them play a game of stickball. We invited some girls who were at the playground to join it, and had a blast. Made up rules as we went along, like you could get a runner out by hitting them with a ball (we were using wiffle balls) - 

 

Without know it, they are working on catching the ball with two hands, and swinging a smaller bat at a smaller ball.  Coach pitching is key, it keeps the game moving along.

 

Cutting the Bases

 

Good baserunning is VERY important, and not practiced enough.  This is a good drill to practice technique, and a good way to end a practice.

Line the girls up at home plate, have coaches standing on first, second and third bases leaving just the corners facing the pitching rubber exposed. Have the girls run the bases once or twice, teaching them to hit the corner of the base, which shortens the distance a bit and makes for more efficient baserunning.

 

If you have a stopwatch you can make a game of it, separate into 4 groups or so and have semi-finals to pick a winning team.