Outfielder Drills by Pete Sprenkle

From the author of A Softball Coaches Tool Kit

These drills can be used stand alone or as part of an outfield clinic.

BOUNCE THROW COMPETITION 
OBJECTIVE:Work on getting your outfielders to throw the ball to home on a bounce (or two) rather than on the fly. It’s easier for the catcher to see the ball and less likely for the catcher to get hurt. Put a base 15’-20’ in front of home plate. The outfielder should hit that base with the throw, which should then bounce once or twice to home. Outfielders stand 120'-140' from home plate in a line. The ball is tossed to the outfielder who then throws home. 
Scoring: 
more than two bounces = 2 points
two bounces = 3 points
one bounce = 4 points 
no bounce but good throw on the fly = 1 point.
Each player gets as many throws as time allows. High score wins.

RELAY COMPETITION 
OBJECTIVE: Work on hitting the cut off properly while making the throws and relay as fast as possible. Divide players into teams of 3 or 4. Each team has one player at each end and one or two in the middle (relay person(s)). Each team has one ball. On “GO” the first player throws to the relay person in the middle who turns and throws to the player on the other end. The throws are then reversed. Time the process from the 1st throw to the last catch. Players then rotate, end 1 to middle, middle to end 2, end 2 to end 1, so each player has a turn in the relay position. The fastest time wins.

BLIND DRILL 
OBJECTIVE: Developing the skill of picking up the ball in flight, then moving to the ball and catching it. Outfielder starts with back to thrower. Thrower tosses fly ball into the air and yells “GO”. Outfielder turns around, picks up the ball in flight and catches it. You can run this drill with one or two (CF and Wing) outfielders.

TWO BALL DRILL 
OBJECTIVE: Add-on to the Blind Drill to make the drill tougher. As the outfielder is catching the first ball, the thrower tosses another fly ball to the outfielder.

TIMED RELEASE COMPETITION 
OBJECTIVE:Work on outfielders catching the ball in a good position, ready to throw, and getting the ball into the throwing position quickly. The outfielder is 30’-40’ from the thrower. The thrower tosses a fly ball to the outfielder. The outfielder catchers the ball and throws to a catcher 60' away. Time the outfielder from the catch until the ball is released. The fastest time wins.

 


Pete Sprenkle has been involved in softball for over thirty years. He has coached girls fastpich teams at every age group up to 18-years old and is a former President of the Colorado Girls Softball Coaches Association. Sprenkle has organized his experiences into a book, called A Softball Coaches Tool Kit, that is the ultimate resource for any new or seasoned softball coach. Retired from IBM, Pete now devotes much of his time to youth sports in his hometown of Boulder, CO.