Tip of the Month

Tip of the Month

  • Strategy: Softball Terminology We often use words in softball that mean something to those of us using them all the time, but that are almost impossible to find in any rulebook or dictionary. So here’s what a few softball terms mean: Fungo: This is what they call it when you toss the ball up to yourself and then hit …
  • Catcher – Foul Balls Have you ever stood in the dugout excited that your pitcher was able to get their best hitter to pop up a ball foul, behind home plate, only to watch your catcher turn the wrong way, do a few circles and then watch the ball drop to the ground? Well if this sounds familiar here's …
  • TEAM CHEMISTRY – DEALING WITH FEAR Here’s an exercise that’s great to help your players see that everyone has fears, that being afraid or nervous about a big game is something that’s common. But, more importantly we’re able to acknowledge these fears and get rid of all of them. Get an old coffee can (3 gallon size), some matches, and a piece …
  • Pitching: Drop Ball To help make sure that the Drop ball really does drop, a pitcher needs to make sure her body is over her front foot at release. To help make this much easier, try this – have your pitcher bring her back knee either UP or FORWARD at the release point to help your pitcher get …
  • Hitting – Seeing the MIDDLE If you’re tired of telling your hitters to keep their eye’s on the ball, you aren’t alone. But, while that won’t help you, this might – have your players think about seeing the MIDDLE of the ball, and then hitting the middle of the ball. Doing this helps your hitters use their eyes more specifically …
  • Defensive Strategy: Fielding Tip Teach your Left and Right fielders that anytime a ball is hit between where they're playing and the foul line, that the ball is going to keep moving toward the line. Too often outfielders chase a ball like this and then quit on it thinking the ball is going to fall into their glove as …
  • Rundowns Rundowns occur at different times throughout the season and our teams could really benefit from being better at them. Here are a few tips on how to improve your Rundows: Always follow your throw (instead of backpeddling to where you came from) Make rundowns easier by having the 1st person with the ball SPRINT at the runner …
  • Pitching – Lawnmower If your pitcher throws a Peel Drop (Instead of a Rollover Drop) then have her think about starting a lawnmower with her hand as she releases the ball. This powerful pullback motion will help the pitcher force the ball to spin forward more powerfully causing the ball to drop more instead of it first looping …
  • Catching – Throwing Footwork When making a throw down to 2nd base, your catcher will probably need different footwork on an inside pitch than when she catches an outside pitch. Whenever a catcher receives the ball away from her throwing hand she can’t take time to bring the ball back to her body but instead needs to move her …
  • Pitching – Change Ups On the change up, if you’re trying to help your pitchers motion look more like the motion on her fastball then try this: have your pitcher throw her changeup using the walk-through motion she no doubt uses during warmups. The walk-through is when the pitcher takes a few explosive steps prior to pitching to help …
  • Defensive Strategy – Bases & Spaces The entire goal of your defensive strategy should be to cover as many Bases and Spaces as you possibly can using the 6 infielders you have (pitcher, catcher, 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base and Shortstop). You need to cover them in order of urgency which means you don’t ever want to give up a …
  • Coaching – Leadership “If we had good kings, we all would still be monarchists.” ~ Lincoln Steffen As a coach you’re a leader, so be a good leader. The above quote speaks to that exact issue – if all the kings in this world, over the course of time, would have been good ones then we’d still be ruled …
  • Communication – Smartphones To help your players have a clearer picture of what you need them to do or to help them actually see what they’re currently doing try using your smart phone. Instead of trying another set of words to help a frustrated player, whip out your smartphone and either show her a picture of the skill …
  • Pitching – Screwball To help your pitcher’s make their screwballs go IN instead of up have them focus on tilting their back shoulder down slightly and turning their chest toward their release point instead of forward toward home plate. This will allow them to complete the release outward instead of forcing their hand to twist up.
  • Hitting – Batting Stance To help your hitters get into the proper Stance with their feet, have them put the bat down and pretend like they’re getting ready to field a ground ball. No doubt they’ll immediately bend their knees more and shift their weight onto the front part of their feet by tilting their chest slightly forward…the ideal …
  • Catching – Throwing Catchers spend most of their time throwing to players that are on the move hustling to cover a base in time to catch the ball and make the tag. To help your catchers with this idea of throwing to a spot (instead of a person) have them make more throws to fielders that are moving. …
  • Fielding – Funneling Funneling or giving with the hands doesn’t happen until the ball hits the glove. And the ball hits the glove out in front of the eyes.
  • Pitching – Technique I’ve just discovered that a lot of young pitchers (12-17 yr olds) leap as a result of leaning their chest or head too far forward too far into their stride. While all pitchers need some amount of lean to start the pitch, once the stride foot drives forward the pitcher straightens up her posture in …
  • The Running Slap – Tip for Hitting the Ball To help your slappers keep from hitting the ball with the bat almost behind them, have them move their hands forward when they bring their back foot forward. They should think about keeping their hands in front of their front foot when they make contact to prevent outrunning their hands.
  • Pitching: Stride & Target Location Stride Need a Longer Stride? – try having your pitcher pitch from a baseball mound. If one isn’t available then build a slightly raised platform that’s about 4-8 inches high on one end and that goes to ground level on the other. Having your pitcher pitch from a raised and angled platform forces her body to …
  • Outfield: Judging Fly Balls Having trouble teaching your outfielders which balls will go over their head to go back on and which ones will land in front of them to move in on? If so, then here’s a quick way to help your outfielders judge whether outfield balls are hit short or long: Have your outfielders wear visors (or hats) …
  • Advice for Handling Rumors Players love to talk and unfortunately many will talk about other players or about friends they all know. As adults we know that rumors aren’t things we want to encourage as they can be damaging to people. Fortunately we can help our players handle rumors correctly by something called the Test of Three. Before …
  • Bunting: Proper Position in the Box When You’re Bunting – Should You Be in the Back or Front of the Box? Each position in the batter’s box has different benefits for the bunter, so let’s check them out: Front of the Box – gives your bunter more fair territory which can be very important for younger aged bunters, or for higher skilled bunters …
  • Hitting & Pitching Posture If your body was a stick, keep the stick straight up and down when you’re hitting – or when you’re releasing the ball as a pitcher. This concept of a player’s body actually being a stick helps them visualize how to have the right posture at contact or release which is important to speed and …
  • TEAM CHEMISTRY: NERVOUSNESS To help your players handle their nerves during games help them understand how to control their focus in practice. When players are nervous their focus gets too big – meaning, they’re thinking about big things like “we’ve got to win”, “that team’s really good”, “what happens if we lose”, “If I don’t hit good I …
  • Fielding: Count the Bounces If you have a player that is struggling to field groundballs cleanly then try this simple tip – have them count the bounces! It’s very common for infielders, even expert fielding infielders, to suddenly become fumble-hands and not be able to field groundballs. It’s a big problem when it happens and tends to only get worse …
  • Throwing: How to Get More Speed on Your Throws Looking to get a little more speed and “pop” on your player’s throws? If so then a little push just might do the trick. To help your players get a little more power and pop on their throws have them add a little “push” at the release point. As your players bring the ball into their …
  • Defensive Strategy: Batters Box Observation Next time your team is on defense notice where the batter is standing in the batter's box. If the batter is in the front of the box (close to the pitcher) it makes it very hard for her to hit the ball close either foul line in the infield - so play your 3rd and …
  • Pitching – Screwballs To help your pitchers get better movement on their Screwballs have them focus on leading with the thumb into the release. This helps position the hand better for a more complete finish of the snap instead of a common screwball mistake which is an over-twist of the hand entering the snap.
  • TEAM CHEMISTRY – WHAT’S STEALING YOUR THOUGHTS? Are you or your players often struggling when the pressure’s on and it’s a tough situation? Or do you sometimes find your mind wandering off during the game? If YES, then something or someone is Stealing Your Thoughts. While it sounds crazy something like the score, or the crowd, a loud teammate, the other team’s …
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