Softball.com Tip Of The Week #1
Hand and Foot Drills
By: Team Express
Originally Posted: 7/16/2019
Anyone that has played a diamond sport at any level knows the importance of solid defense. The ability to get to groundballs quickly and make fast transfers can be the difference between safe and out or even a win and a loss. The basis of good defense starts with fundamentals, quick hands, and quick feet. Here are a few drills you can do every day to solidify not just your game, but your team’s game as well.
Funnels are a simple way to work on hand and glove work for any infielder. Grab a teammate and set yourselves about five feet from each other. Then start rolling the ball on the ground to one another back-and-forth, focusing on watching the ball into your hands and fielding it quickly. This will help develop muscle memory to maintain soft fielding hands. You can also do this drill with a glove to work on quick, smooth transfers from your glove pocket to your throwing hand.
Be sure to try different variations of this drill to cover all the ways to field a grounder. Try it from your knees, from your feet, or even simulate fielding a ball with your backhand to keep things fresh.
Quick feet aren’t only advantageous in football. That are downright necessary on the diamond as well. Knowing not just how to position your feet, but knowing how to position your feet quickly can make a world of difference when getting to a hard hit ball and having to make longer throws.
In this drill, position three or four softballs in front of you. Start picking up and putting down your feet as fast as you can and start moving between, around, and over the balls. While you obviously will not be moving your feet like this during a game, this drill acts as a good reminder to always stay on the balls of your feet so that you can make a quick burst left, right, forward, or backward.
A quick first step can make a world of difference so remember that you field just as much with your feet as you do your hands.
These are just a couple drills you can do every day to strengthen your fundamentals and become a more efficient and elite defender. For more information and details, watch form Kansas Softball Coach Megan Smith in the video above describe how she strengthened her team’s skills.