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A fixture in many grade school physical education classes, kickball provides good exercise while also teaching teamwork and communication. Kickball's rules are almost identical to baseball's, except players kick a rolled rubber ball instead of hitting a pitched ball with a bat. Kickball players can keep their skills sharp with a few simple practice drills.
If you’re all by your lonesome, you can still have an effective practice with just a kickball and a wall. Stand about 20 feet away and kick the ball at the wall. The ball will bounce off and roll back, simulating a pitch. Kick the ball again without stopping it. Continue kicking the ball into the wall for 10 consecutive kicks. If you have a practice partner, you can compete against each other, alternating kicks into the wall and scoring 1 point for each time your opponent misses the ball. Remember to try to contact the ball on your shoelaces and to swing through the ball, driving it with power.
One of the easiest ways to practice catching is to work with a partner. Pair up with a teammate and simply kick or throw the ball to each other to practice your catching technique. Vary the tosses, from high, lofting flies to harder, more direct throws and kicks. When catching a high fly ball, hold your arms out in front of you like a basket with your elbows about four inches apart. Practice wrapping your arms around the ball once it lands on the insides of your elbows. Even on line drives, try to smother the ball and pin it to your body rather than attempting to catch it with your hands.
If you have a partner, practice throwing the ball back and forth. Stand about 10 feet apart and throw the ball to each other with a one-armed underhand motion to practice quick flips near bases. Change it up by stepping back five paces and practice two-handed chest throws -- this is useful drill for quick infield plays. To simulate throwing from the outfield, practice throwing to a partner 30 feet away from you. Throw with a strong overhand or sidearm release, stepping into the throw to generate power.
You can increase your pitching accuracy by practicing rolling pitches into a designated strike zone. To practice pitching on your own, create a box on a wall using tape or chalk to simulate the strike zone. Try to roll 10 consecutive strikes before taking a break. For greater difficulty, try rolling strikes while practicing your curve ball. If you're right-handed, rotating your arm around the outside of the ball at the time of release will make the ball curve left. Rotating your arm around the inside, so your little finger points up on release, will make the ball curve to the right.
William Lynch has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years, working for various web sites and publications. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. He hopes to one day become a mystery novelist.