How to Teach Defensive Fundamentals

Softball Players know no matter how many runs they score, if they can't properly field the ball they won't win on a consistent basis. Here's a fastpitch drill coaches can use this season to teach their players how to field, catch and throw correctly.

Softball Tiger Drill

Have everyone spread out evenly into a deep infield position. Place two fielders at first base, with one on the bag and another backing up the bag. Have an assistant be the catcher or use another player.

Start the drill by coach yelling, "ready!" This should be the queue for getting all the players into a ready position.

You then hit grounders or fly balls to them. As coach, be sure that players' verbally call all fly balls. On grounders, make sure they setup in the PFP (Perfect Fielding Position) and keep the ball in front of them. Once the catch is made, a good throw to first base is the next step. The first baseman then throws the ball to the catcher.

What is PPP?

PFP - Perfect Fielding Position - Glove foot forward. Other foot shoulder with apart at the inseam of the glove foot. Glove out in front and on the ground. Back parallel with the ground. Shoulders square with the hitter.

Teaching Good Fundamentals

If a ball is missed, the player missing the ball runs and retrieves the ball. Then he runs back and rolls the ball into the backstop while everyone else continues on with the drill. After they all have received at least one ball hit to them I will then yell switch. At that time the player that is backing up the first baseman becomes the first baseman. The first baseman goes to where third would be and everyone else rotates toward first.

I usually have punishments for trying to correct certain aspects of the drill. For example, not getting ready, not getting in front of the ball, not using PFP, or making bad throws to first can all result in a short run before returning to the drill. More importantly, I do my best to reward players doing things correctly.

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