19 June, 2010
Softball Drills for 8-Year-Olds
Eight-year-olds are at the beginning of their career as softball players. Young girls may not be ready for full game action without some well-spent time working on drills for the game. Many different drills can be used for softball players, but it is important to remember that eight is very young so the drills should be simple. Most important is that the drills should be fun.
Softball-spot.com has a number of easy-to-learn drills that are ideal for very young players. One of the more popular ones is to have a group of five players line up, and then the coach hits the ball and calls out a number between one and five. Whichever child has that number is the one who has to field the ball. This drill helps the children pay attention to where the ball is going and stay attuned to the action of the game.
Another drill is to have girls paired up and stand on each side of the baseline, where they will practice fielding the ball with their partner. The coach can help the players focus on the proper way to hold the glove to field the ball.
Throwing the Ball
Learning to throw the ball properly can also be addressed in a drill. The simple shifting of weight from the back leg to the front leg during the throw is an important skill that needs to be practiced. PlaySportsTV has video of this drill and several others available on its website.
Young players need to learn how to release the ball and throw it where they want it to go. Target drills work well for this skill and are fun as well. A tire suspended from a tree works well as the players can attempt to throw the ball through the hole in the tire from a variety of distances.
Hitting is probably the most fun part of softball, but it takes a lot of practice. The numbered ball hitting drill is a great way for young players to focus on all of the things they need to do to be ready to hit the ball. The coach will have several balls with clear large numbers written on them. The player gets into her proper stance, bat up, weight back and ready for the pitch. The ball is then pitched to her. She does not hit the ball, but follows it with her eyes and then tells the coach what the number on the ball was. This drill teaches the player to keep her eyes on the ball and wait for it.