Softball Practice Drills
Getting Your Players into Position

Every pitch in a softball game represents a different game situation. Softball practice drills will teach your players where to be in different basic game situations.



Part of every practice should be dedicated to teaching your team where you expect player to be in a given situation. As you progress through games and you notice players seemingly confused, write down the situation and develop drills to address that situation during your next practice. Every player should be moving on every play. You want to make sure they are moving where you want them to move and that they do not have to think but simply react.

Here are six basic game situations that you can use as softball practice drills. Notice that every base is covered on every play. As you add base runners into the situation, it is a matter of teaching your players where you want them to throw the ball to get the out.

Situation 1: Ground Ball to Shortstop

Ground Ball to Shortstop When the ball is hit, the first baseman covers first base. Realizing she cannot reach the ball, the third baseman covers third. The second baseman covers second base. Your right fielder must react and back up first base should there be an errant throw. The center and left fielder move to back up short stop should the ball get through.




Situation 2: Ground Ball to Second Base

Ground Ball to Second Base When the ball is hit, and the first baseman realizes she cannot field the ball, she covers first base. The third baseman covers third. The shortstop covers second base. Your right fielder must react and first determine if the ball will get through, if not she must back up first base should there be an errant throw. The center fielder moves toward the ball in case it gets past the second baseman and left fielder move to back up second should there be an error at first and there is a play at second.




Situation 3: Hit to Leftfield/Centerfield

Hit to Leftfield/Centerfield When the ball is hit, the first baseman covers first base. The third baseman covers third. The second baseman covers second base. The shortstop moves out to short leftfield to be the cut off. Your second baseman aligns her between the outfielder fielding the ball and the second base bag by shouting left or right. Your right fielder lines herself up to back up a throw to second in short right field. The center and left fielder move to field the ball communicating who has it.




Situation 4: Hit to Right Field

Hit to Right Field When the ball is hit, and the first baseman covers first base. The third baseman covers third. The shortstop covers second base. The second baseman is the cutoff moving to short right field. Your shortstop aligns her between the outfielder fielding the ball and the second base bag by shouting left or right. Your left fielder moves towards shot left field to backup an errant throw to second. The right fielder moves to field the ball while the centerfielder moves to back up the right fielder. Note that the rightfielder may have a play at first base, so the first baseman must cover.




Situation 5: Bunt Play with No Base Runners

Bunt Play with No Base Runners When the ball is bunted, the first baseman, third baseman, catcher and pitcher move to field the ball communicating who has it. Primary is third down the third baseline and first baseman down first baseline unless directly at the pitcher or right in front of the plate where the catcher can get it easily. The second baseman covers first base. The shortstop covers second. The leftfielder covers third. She must get to third in case there is an errant throw. The right fielder moves up the right filed line to back up the throw to first. Centerfielder backs up second.




Situation 6: Bunt Play with Runner at First

Bunt Play with Runner at First When the ball is bunted, the first baseman, third baseman, catcher and pitcher move to field the ball communicating who has it. Primary is third baseman down the third baseline and first baseman down first baseline unless directly at the pitcher or right in front of the plate where the catcher can get it easily. The second baseman covers first base. The shortstop covers second. The leftfielder covers third. She must get to third so the runner at first does not advance to third because no one is covering third base. The right fielder moves up the right filed line to back up the throw to first. The centerfielder backs up second base should there be a throw to second.




I haven't even scratched the surface of where players should be with base runners on as this is handled on the Softball Tips page and additional bunt coverage formations covered on the bunt defense page. If you have a few situational softball practice drills you would like to add, please enter them below. Your fellow coaches will appreciate your contributions. If you would handle any of the situations above differently, please also join in below. Finally, if you have questions on these or any other softball practice drills, feel free to ask.

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