You have probably heard the saying, “practice makes perfect” so many times that it could send you insane! However, if you want to master the skill of playing softball, the reality is that you will need to practice.
I believe there is better sportsman out there than many of the famous athletes we see today; however, they failed to get the recognition they deserved because they did not practice. Discipline is essential to your success, there are days when you are not going to feel like doing any of these drills, but without discipline, you will never get anywhere.
Practice is an activity that you repeat often. Whether you realise it or not, you are always practicing, even when you are not making a conscious decision to do something, your brain is learning and absorbing. If you are still learning even when you are not doing anything, imagine what you can achieve when you take the time to practice.
All the top athletes practice their sport at least 6 days per week, they take one day off to recover, and then get right back to it the following day. If you are not planning on becoming a professional athlete, there is no need to practice six times a week, but you should at least make sure you are practicing several times throughout the week to ensure that you are well prepared when its game time.
Here Are The Ten Softball Drills You Can Practice at Home
Drill 1: Cutting
This is one of the simpler drills you can do at home, all you will need is a bat and a mirror. The player stands in front of the mirror and takes full cuts and at the same time, they are able to see how their swing and their stance appears.
Although it seems like a normal drill, it is essential to developing a consistent swing. It is recommended that the person doing this drill takes approximately 15-20 swings each time three times per day.
Drill 2: Hands and Arm Strength
An important part of being a good softball player is having a strong arm and a soft hand. All you will need for this drill is a wall or a net. To get soft hands, keep throwing the ball of the wall or net, this is a good way of practicing different short hops, ground balls, etc.
To increase the strength of your arms, use the wall or the net to practice throwing, with the main aim being to work on motion.
Drill 3: Strike Zone Poster board
You can do this drill with several different things, but I recommend using a poster board. Get some tape and stick a strike zone to the board, then position it about one foot above the ground. Once you have stationed your strike zone, grab yourself a few pairs of socks and roll them up to turn them into softballs.
The final thing you will need is a camera. Place it behind your pitching area and set it to record. Start practicing and then replay the footage so that you can observe where you are going wrong and make the necessary changes to improve.
Drill 4: One – Handed Batting
Batters are required to practice batting using only one hand. It requires a lot of coordination and strength to bat with one hand, which means that players must have excellent control and aim. You can practice this drill with a one-handed bat as well as a normal-sized bat as a way of practicing the drill at different difficulty levels.
Drill 5: Pitching Machine Hitting
This drill is not for everyone because some people might not be able to afford it. However, a pitching machine is a great way of practicing indoor softball drills because they can deliver the ball at different speeds within a limited distance.
Drill 6: Tee Hitting
You will need a batting tee, balls, and bats for this drill. This drill is a great way of helping you to nail the proper form and to focus on those minor details of your swing; these include:
- Keeping the head in a downwards position
- Taking the strike all the way through the zone and ball
- Planting the back foot at the same time as using the front foot to step through the swing
Drill 7: Right-Left Tap Tap
During a game, when you are fielding a ground ball, there is a specific form you need to use during the fielding process which will allow you to give the best execution. The technique involves using your right foot to step, and then stepping with your left foot into a ready position to catch the ball, then use your right leg to step through and taking it across with your left foot.
Then using a sideways stride to bring your right foot from behind at the same time as building momentum into your throw. These steps are if you play with your right hand; if you play with your left hand, start with your left foot and then follow with your right foot.
It is also important that your glove hangs down between your legs and a little towards the leg on your glove side when you are catching the ball.
Drill 8: Fielding
Act as if someone is hitting you grounders. Practice your catching/fielding footwork and throwing motion without a ball. Whenever you can, step to the ball using your glove hand so that the transition into your throw is shortened. Pretend as if you are actually throwing the ball, and take the full motion, as well as your follow through.
Getting the technical aspects of these movements right can really help your performance when you get back to the game
Drill 9: Hitting
Create enough space so that you can take a full swing and use some type of training aid as a bat. A training aid is not as big as a bat, so you won’t need that much space to practice. For this drill, all you need to do is keep swinging until you are tired.
Drill 10: Situational Awareness
This drill is not physical but it’s practical, and a much-needed skill for softball. You will need to download a free app called Softball BasIQs. It helps you make the right decisions when it comes to certain plays. You start by choosing your position, and once it has loaded up, you are placed in certain situations in the game and you’ve got to decide what to do.
The app will let you know whether you have made the right decision or not. It will also tell you why you made the right decision, and why you made the wrong decision.
Who is your hero in the sport? Any sportsman or woman who has achieved success in their sport did so because they spent time practicing. You can’t expect to join the big leagues if you are not prepared to put the work in. Make sure you are practicing these drills daily if you are serious about mastering your craft.