This practice is designed for building a more aggressive game in players who are hesitant or afraid of the ball. Growing the aggressive game is not an easy task with new players who have not yet had a lot of success in the game.
Growing the Aggressive Game
4:00 – 4:30 Team Discussion
Discuss with the team about what it means to be aggressive in this game. Ask questions that will encourage them to think about how they operate during competition. The important thing is that you allow them to be open and honest. Creating a non-threatening environment will allow them to open up and discuss their thoughts without fear of being judged or punished. No answer or thought is bad.
What is the end purpose of competition?
- Looking for them to talk about winning and doing well
- You can then add the information about how we need to have a level of intensity that will help us to do well because the focus is on competing while on the field
- Discuss the level of intensity that is required to be successful
How do you feel about competing against friends?
- Some may find it difficult and not want to make them feel bad
- Some may not have any concerns
How do you feel about your opponents?
- Discuss the nature of opposition
- you are both wanting to be successful at the end much like running a race, you focus on the task at hand and only your task at hand until the end of the race
What types of things do you think about during games?
- What is your focus?
What is your goal in softball?
- You may not have much time to discuss this so if you don’t you can ask them to think about it and maybe email it to you or bring it to the next practice for you
Before beginning the practice, discuss the purpose of the team and the desire to be as good as the potential allows. Which of course the team has great potential and you just need to tap into it and make sure you bring it forward to every practice. This practice will be about increasing the level of intensity which you will attempt to bring into every practice and eventually to the games. Always remember to have fun 🙂
4:00 – 4:10 Dynamic Warm-Up
arm circles 10 – 15 sec. (1 in each direction)
straight leg kicks 30′ X 2
leg swings 10 – 15 sec. (each leg)
high knee walk – 30′ X 2 (touch ankles)
butt kickers – 30′ X 2
lunge walk – forward / backward
25% for 60′
50% for 60′
75% for 60′
100% for 60′
4:10 – 4:20 Throwing Warm – Up
start closer together gradually moving farther away
focus on gradually warming up the arm
do not rush throwing hard
feel the shoulder warming up
4:20 – 4:30 Throwing with quick feet
have players line up across from each other. Ball starts at one end. Throw diagonally as quick as they can using quick feet for the transition all the way to the end then back to the beginning throwing diagonally again. See how fast they can get the ball down and back. If you have enough players have 2 groups and they can compete against each other to see who can do it the fastest. This promotes quick and aggressive throwing and a level of intensity that will naturally bring aggressiveness with it.
4:30 – 4:45 Quick Grounders Drill
Use indoor balls which are easier for developing the aggressiveness because the fear of getting hurt is less. Set up 2 lines with 2 coaches hitting balls to them. Line #1 fields ground balls and must get the ball back to the coach quick as possible because the next ball gets hit to the next player as soon as the player releases the ball in throwing back to the coach. Line #2 fields slow rollers and must get to the ball quickly and get it back to the coach because the next ball is rolled out to the next player as soon as the ball is released back to the coach.
Players go to the end of the other line after fielding.
4:45 – 5:00 Beat the ball drill
half of the team is on the field (size depending on gym size) in the following positions – 3 -4 -5 -6. the other team is up to bat. The coach hits a ball to the players in order of position number. A runner starts at home and must run around the bases before the ball is hit to each player and returned home cleanly. Each player gets a turn as the runner. Both teams get a chance as the fielders and the runners.
If you have enough players have one team playing from the corners opposite each other to maximize participation. This drill promotes aggressiveness in fielding and baserunning because it is a race against time for both teams.
At the end of the practice remember to commend them on the intensity level and how aggressive they were during the drills. Perfect!