Today I am going to talk about an amazing tool which I am sure you are all familiar with, the white board. This is the best outdoor chalk talk tool that can be used anywhere inside or outside. All you need is a fence or something to lean the board onto and you are ready to go.
This is one of my favorite tools for coaching. You can draw a field on the whiteboard and even have the players draw out the plays as you discuss them. You can do mental training with them and talk about team policies.
You can also draw the strike zone and the different areas of the strike zone during batting practice and have the players analyze their sweet spot.
It’s also a great tool when showing your players where you want them to position and where they are going to go on a drill prior to execution. You can also show them how the drill is going to run so they aren’t confused when you are setting it up. There are also many types of white boards you can use. I even found one recently that has magnets on it that you can move around or have the players move around as you discuss what happens when the ball is hit. When I saw it, I was excited to get one so I can use it in my coaching courses that I facilitate. You can also get ones that actually have a field on it already if you like the color aspect of it.
All you have to do is to drill 2 holes in the board on the top corners and then put in 2 of the Clips that are used for hiking. Then you can put it on any fence during practice or games. It is one of my favorite tools for coaching, teaching and for running skills clinics. This can also be used as a gathering place when you blow the whistle for everyone to come in from the field. They know where to go and you don’t need to call them over as they gather around the equipment. Make sure though that you face it away from any activity that might be distracting to make sure the group is focused on the white board and not what’s happening behind it.
Use different color white board markers so that you can distinguish between the field, the offense and the defense. It’s also more captivating for the players instead of everything being one color. The beauty of baseball and softball being so similar is that we can use baseball tools and aids for softball as well so it’s easy find white boards with a field on it already.
We often think about the skills and drills that we want to teach our players but we don’t always spend as much time thinking about the tools and resources we can use to accomplish that goal. Be creative and do a simple search on google and anything you are looking for will likely pop up with a link to that product. Some tools you can even build yourself or get at any office supply store such as a plain white board for teaching.
We are all familiar with the bats, balls, hitting aids and bases. We need to be resourceful in how we teach our players about softball theory relating to our technical and tactical skills which will allow them to better understand the game as well.