How to Create Team Leaders

I am a big proponent for turning every drill into an intra-squad competition. The players forget they're practicing, and get better along the way.

I also believe in allowing them to take control of a drill. They learn more by coaching each other and have more fun doing it.

Coaches should try reversing roles. Let the players tell the coaches what they are doing wrong. It's a great way to reinforce what they have learned. You'll discover real fast who how much these kids have learned.

Here is a bunting drill perfect for developing leadership in your squad.

How the Drill is Done

Draw sections in the dirt in front of home plate. In each section, write a number representing a point value based on what the coach considers the perfect bunt.

For example, a two-foot diameter circle in that no-man's area between the pitcher, catcher and either 1st or 3rd base.

Divide the girls up into teams. Each girl takes her turn bunting. She is awarded the point value of the section that the ball stops in (not lands in.)

Keeping Score

After every player has taken her turn, total up the points and reward the winners. Once or twice in a season we'll hand out a small piece of candy (Tootsie Roll or Starburst) for each point.

After the girls have played this game, let them take turns drawing sections in the dirt and assigning point values.

Even if they give high point values to what would be considered a bad bunt, they are still learning how to control the bunt and put it where they want it.

If you use your own pitchers, they get practice. Caution: the pitching machine balls tend to be more bouncy that real softballs and are more difficult to control. Make the sections larger and explain why to the players.

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