To kick of the 2016 season the European Softball Federation (ESF) held a “My Favorite Defensive Softball Drill” video contest. The ESF shared some of their favorites with us for this week’s Training Day. All drills can be used to practice defense in both softball and baseball.
Before running any drills, it’s important to work on the fundamentals. The Fastpitch School provided this Fielding Fundamentals drill for the contest. The video has instructions written inside so have your pens ready.
Speaking of fundamentals former Czech Republic national team member Karin Stefkova sent in a video to help practice catches in front of the face. This is a tough skill to learn but this drill gives some great progressive steps to build up a player’s confidence level.
Next up it’s time to keep the catcher on their toes. This drill comes to you from Eva Rendlova of the SK Joudrs Praha softball team in the Czech Republic. It’s self-explanatory so hit play.
Coach Antonín Chaloupka, also from SK Joudrs, submitted a drill that looks like a heck of a lot of fun. Meant to aid in proper diving technique while minimalizing fear, this drill requires nothing more than a glove and a large sandpit. Mats or inflated surfaces could be used to obtain similar results. The point is to increase confidence and improve form by removing the likelihood of an uncomfortable, or unfortunate, landing. Nobody “sticks the landing” on the first try after all.
The final drill comes from Chichester Falcons Softball Club located in the UK. Created by the club and dubbed the 5-point Blowout Throw Out Drill, this is an infield exercise that gets the whole team involved. Designed to help defensive players with tag outs it is also a good base running exercise. Directions are included in the video so crack open your notebook and have a look.
There you have it. Five drills to practice your team’s defensive skills provided by the European Softball Federation’s PhotoFest video contest.