The following softball drills teach the basics -- hitting, running, throwing, and catching -- in fun, simple ways that beginners will understand and enjoy.
This hitting drill emphasizes making contact with the ball and correct placement of the bat once the batter has hit the ball. You will need a tee, a ball, a bat, gloves for each player, and a hula hoop.
Divide the team into two sides. Fielders will play as usual. Batters take turns hitting from the tee, focusing on making solid contact with the ball. Once they have hit the ball, they must toss their bat into the hula hoop on the ground next to home base before they can run to first. If the player misses the ball or knocks the tee over, it's a strike. After three strikes, the player is out. The player is also out if they don't place their bat in the hula hoop before running to first.
Red Light/Green Light
This drill helps beginners get used to running with a glove and ball in their hands. Each player will need a glove with a ball in it. Have the players form a line facing the coach, who is about 60 to 90 feet away.
The drill begins when the coach turns away from the players and yells "green light." The kids run toward him/her as fast as they can, making sure to hold on to their balls. Periodically the coach will yell "red light" and spin around. If the coach sees any of the players moving after he/she has called "red light," those players are out. The first player to get close and tag the coach out wins.
Hit the Coach
This is a fun beginning softball drill to teach throwing accuracy. The kids form a line facing the coach, each one holding a small foam ball or other type of soft ball.
When the coach says to begin, the kids all try to hit him/her with their balls while the coach tries to avoid getting hit. The kids can run to retrieve their balls after they have thrown them, but they must throw from the starting line. Once the coach has been hit three times, the kids get to make him/her do something silly, like a dance or animal noise.
This softball drill for kids teaches beginning players to catch fly balls in the outfield. When first learning softball, many kids are afraid of looking up to catch the ball. This drill will ease them into feeling comfortable catching from below.
This drill requires small foam balls and as many tall people (coaches, assistants, or parents) as possible to stand next to the kids and drop the balls over their heads. The kids look up with their hands raised and try to catch the balls. At first they should use both hands and no glove to get used to catching with both hands. Eventually they can move on to using gloves.
Check out the Softball Spot to see more drills like these demonstrated on video with step by step instructions and coaching tips.