By Becky Wittenburg
In many of the northern states softball practice has to begin before the weather outside is nice enough for practice. So, the first few practices have to be held indoors in a gymnasium. That’s okay because there are plenty of indoor softball drills that players can practice in order to get ready for the softball season.
It’s impossible to get players any real batting practice against a live pitcher during indoor softball drills. However, players can begin to get themselves back into the hitting mode by hitting off a tee and taking batting practice off a pitching machine.
Hitting from a Tee
Many older players think it’s a waste of time to hit a softball off a tee. All the players can think about is when they were 6 years old and playing tee ball. Once the role of this drill is explained to the players, they see the usefulness of it and are willing do it.
While hitting off a tee a player should be concentrating on her stance and the position of her hands and arms. Then the player needs to make sure she steps forward with her front foot, keeps her back foot planted, and swings the bat well all the way through the ball. She also needs to be sure to keep her head down on the ball.
A coach can actually help a player be a better hitter by watching her swing while hitting off a tee and then correcting any areas that need correcting.
Hitting off a Machine
Pitching machines are a great tool for indoor softball drills. The speed can be set precisely so a player can get into a rhythm hitting the ball. During these hitting drills a player should try to hit the ball right back at the pitching machine.
Also, hitting off a pitching machine is a perfect opportunity for players to practice bunting. This is a lost art with most of today’s players. However, if they start practicing bunting indoors then they should be able to do it well enough in the games.
Fielding and Throwing
There is almost an unlimited amount of indoor softball drills players can do that involve fielding and throwing. These drills will help the players get into shape to play softball and the drills will also help a coach evaluate his players.
Fielding without Gloves
This drill requires players to field the ball in their bare hands without a glove. Players line-up in two lines facing each other. Then the first player in one of the lines rolls the ball to the first player in the other line. The player who rolled the ball runs to the back of the opposite line. Then the other player fields the ball and rolls it to the next player.
During this drill players should concentrate at getting square with the ball, bending with their knees, and cradling the ball into their bodies. It’s important that players not roll the ball too slowly or too fast. So a coach needs to monitor the drill to make sure the rolling is acceptable. A coach should also watch the drill to make adjustments to players’ fielding techniques.
This indoor drill requires players to stand at each corner of the gym. One player begins the drill by throwing the ball to the player at the diagonal corner of the gym. That player catches the ball and then throws to the player on the same side of the gym. Then the next throw goes diagonally again so that all four players have caught and thrown the ball.
Players should work on their “crow hop” while throwing the ball. They should also catch the ball with two hands and get the ball out of their glove quickly. This drill should be very crisp when it is practiced well.
The Benefits of Indoor Softball Drills
Indoor softball drills can pretty much simulate anything that a real game will throw a player’s way. In fact, many coaches like to begin the season practicing inside because it allows for more structure and it also helps the players to get closer because they are in a confined space. There are many great indoor softball drills that players can practice.
Coach Becky has been coaching softball for well over a decade. She's constantly on the lookout for new softball-spot.com indoor softball drills You can get instant access to a sample of her softball practice plans by visiting her website:
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