How to Conduct Tryouts for Fast Pitch Softball Teams
Players have one chance to impress coaches during fast pitch softball tryouts. Organization of the tryouts is important to give the player a chance to perform at their personal best, which provides the coaches a fair evaluation of the players' skills and talents. The organizer of the tryouts is responsible for setting up the drills the players will complete, scheduling when each activity takes place and making sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.
Secure a location for the tryouts to take place. Obtain permission to use a softball field to hold the tryout outdoors, weather permitting. Most softball league and schools will already have a field ready to use. School gyms are an alternative to use for indoor tryouts.
Create a schedule for the different drills that will take place during the tryouts and provide this to the coaches. For example, a schedule may include running, hitting, infield, outfield and pitchers as a sequence of events.
Provide a number to each player in the order they will try out. Give the coaches a list of the players with numbers for all participants. This is helpful to coaches who may or may not be familiar with the names of the players. Have someone announce the number and name of the player prior to the player completing a drill.
Allow the players the chance to warm up prior to completing any drill. For example, the players should stretch before running or hit off a tee before completing a hitting drill. This will prevent injuries and will allow the player to give their best performance.
Set up the drills around the field or have the equipment ready to transition between drills readily available. For example, if running is followed by hitting, the pitcher throwing batting practice should be warming up or setting up a pitching machine as the players complete the running drill.
Create a drill for foot speed. One drill is to have the players run from home plate and round all the bases, returning to home plate. This tests both the speed of the player and if the player knows how to touch the bases properly.
Pitch to the players for hitting drills. Use live pitching or a pitching machine. Give each player 10 to 15 swings for their round during the tryout.
Hit ground balls to all players trying out for infield positions. Have the players stand at the shortstop position with either players trying out for first base or a volunteer catching the players throws. This shows both the ability of the player to field ground balls and also their arm strength and accuracy. Allow each player to have 5 to 7 repetitions before moving onto the next player.
Hit fly balls to players trying out for outfield positions. This will show how well the player can track and catch a fly ball along with arm strength as the player throws the ball back into the coach hitting the fly balls. Hit 5 to 7 fly balls to each player.
Try out pitchers and catchers after all other tryouts have been completed. Pitching is one of the most important aspects of the game and the coaches need to be able to focus their full attention on this portion of the tryout. Allow each pitcher to throw 15 to 20 pitches to a catcher.
Adjust the drills to the size of the tryout area. For instance, instead of running the bases, indoor tryouts may ask the player to run the length of the gym floor twice.
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