Fastpitch Softball Drills
Practice Setup & Team Drills

Good practice set-up and selection of the appropriate fastpitch softball drills will enable your team to achieve its optimal playing capability. Allen Iverson pretty much says it all:

... It's easy to sum it up if you're just talking about practice. We're sitting here, and I'm supposed to be the franchise player, and we're talking about practice. I mean listen, we're sitting here talking about practice, not a game, not a game, not a game, but we're talking about practice...

Ok, so maybe I am taking him out of context, but without optimizing the time your players spend honing specific skills, you can expect that your team will never reach their true potential. You generally have about two hours per session for practice, so make sure you are using all of that time!

Fasptpitch softball pregame warm up

Another one of my favorite quotes says it even better:

Practice doesn’t make perfect.
Perfect Practice makes perfect

One often overlooked aspect of the practice regimen is the conditioning program, particularly for travel teams. Believe it or not, how well conditioned your team is versus the other team will likely determine the outcome of the game. Think about it. If your team is now playing its fifth or sixth game of the weekend tournament, and they are in poor shape, what is the likelihood they will operate at their peak performance? Not very, correct? Make sure a good conditioning program both during and outside of your standard practice is part of your coaching program.

Before every practice and game, it is important that your players stretch properly. Players who have not properly stretched are far more susceptible to injuries. As a matter of fact,this should be the first thing the players do before picking up a bat or ball. I came across this great e-manual from that employs its Dynamic Warm-Up for Softball. I can't tell you how many times my players tried to skimp on this very important session within the practice. Make it dynamic so the players enjoy doing it and avoid those needless injuries.

Your fastpitch softball drills should also simulate game situations with no base runners and how to handle the situation with baserunners. Bunt coverage formations should also be practiced and are covered on the bunt defense page. If you drill this during practice, your players will react to plays rather than stop and think about what they are doing. Reacting versus thinking will provide your team that split second advantage to get the needed out.

Infield and outfield fastpitch softball drills are standard in any practice schedule. Make sure you have a selection of different drills that you rotate through so that you keep your player’s interest. You may be working on a single skill, but you should have different drills that achieve that goal for you.

Throwing drills, focused on both accuracy and strength of throw, as well as, specific outfield throwing drills should be worked into your program. A good versus poor throw could determine the outcome of the game.

And let’s not forget base running drills, including take off from the base, proper touching of the bases, and picking up the coaches which generally separates the good from the very good teams. This is also another means to build conditioning into your practice schedule while teaching a particular fastpitch skill.

Baserunner getting ready for the next pitch in fastpitch softball

One last group of fastpitch softball drills are probably more unique to some of the more cold weather winter climates, and that is indoor training. Note that indoor training is a travel, high school and college team experience and not a recreational team event. This is no less important for the preparation of your team than the outdoor practice, because if you wait until the Spring thaw before you begin practice, you will be so far behind that your team will likely never catch up. In addition, it is usually a very small enclosed space, so maximizing the space with specific "small space" drills will be key.

Please note that batting and pitching drills have intentionally been left out of this section and are handled in a different section of

For additional information on the various topics of fastpitch softball coaching, check out our Coach's Aids section. You will find books and DVDs that cover coaching, pitching, catching, hitting and fielding.

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