26 July, 2010
Fastpitch Softball Tryout Drills
The tryout scramble is a fast-paced drill that tests players' footwork, speed and hustle. One coach and a catcher stand at home plate. A player stands at first base, with a backup first baseman behind her. The rest of the players line up single-file behind third base. The coach hits a hard grounder to the first player in line on third base. That player fields the ball and throws to the catcher. The catcher then rolls the ball toward the third baseman, like a bunt, and the third baseman charges the ball and throws to first. She keeps running and replaces the backup first baseman. When the first baseman catches the ball from the third baseman, she runs to the back of the line at third base. The backup first baseman takes over the base and the drill begins again. There will be pauses for mistakes and to replace the catcher, but good players will be able to get through this drill quickly.
This hitting drill allows the coach to see the players' swings for a variety of different pitches. The coach stands a few yards away and tosses the softball underhand to the player, who hits it. The coach can toss some high, some low and some in the middle. The point is to judge whether a player can handle hitting a ball that is still a strike but is not perfect.
A good pitcher is key in fastpitch softball because that player can control how many hits the other team gets. That's why it is important that your team have an excellent pitcher. Gather the pitchers trying out for your team. One by one, have them take the mound. Each player gets 10 pitches, with a coach telling them where to place the ball. Another coach will measure the ball's speed after the player throws it. Score each pitch from all the players. Tally up the scores and use them to help you decide which pitchers to choose.
- softball image by Steve Brase from Fotolia.com