The high school softball players who have been attending the fall workouts have received a lot of instructions for the fundamentals of the game. I have a couple videos in an article about college recruiting advice for parents that I recently wrote on my Softball Journey web site that I'd like you to take a look at. Each of them are Skills Videos that helped each girl in their college recruiting process. They demonstrate many of the instructions I've given you this fall. Although we have not gone over first base or catching, the videos provide great examples of everything else we've been working on.
Below are the instructions and pictures from the videos mentioned above. Watch the videos on Softball Journey.
Watch Hayley's swing, especially those off the tee. The last swing off the tee is in slow motion and will show you everything I've shown you. No stride, wide stance, balanced, hands loaded with no negative hand movement or circular motions and kept inside during swing, power L at contact and following through high and over the shoulder to prevent rolling the wrists. We haven't implemented the body load yet, because it can cause dropping the hands too far (dipping) and pop-ups. First things first. The tee is so important that we will no longer do any batting practices without it. When used properly it helps correct problems and build muscle memory. It is not the number of repetitions, but the focus and quality of the swings that matters.
Watch Hayley's footwork in getting to the fly balls while judging them. Then watch how she gets to the ball and stops before the catch when possible in a position leaning forward limiting the number of steps necessary for the long throws. On balls she caught on the run, she first lines up her body and feet before throwing the ball. When she throws the ball she gets a crow hop and her arm comes over the top, pushes off hard with her back leg and bends over forward during the follow through (like a baseball pitcher), which ensures straight throws to the target. Throws to 2B are between the waist and shoulders in the circle we talk about. The throws home, especially the longer ones, are low 1 hops, so that the cut off could cut the ball if necessary and the catcher can easily field the long predictable hops instead of the ball short hopping her at her feet. Short hops are way harder to catch at any place on the field.
Jacquelyn & Sydney have their gloves out in front of them with palms up, knees bent, butts down, wide stance and balanced while creeping forward. They stay down on the ball and catch it out in front (the triangle). They limit their steps (sometimes no steps and other times quick shuffles), set their feet and shoulders, stay low, and push off hard from their back legs during the throws. There are a few times they use slot throws, which we have not practiced yet, but most of the throws are over the top. We will work on slot throws and throwing on the run after our accuracy becomes more consistent.
Sydney's plays at 1B show her getting to the bag first and not stretching before the throw. If you stretch before the throw towards the infielder who is throwing the ball to you, but the ball is offline to the right or left or high, then you will not be able to adjust and make the catch or even knock it down. Stretching too soon can also prevent you from getting off the bag for really bad throws. When Jacquelyn fields the double play ball at 2b, she turns her body and sets her feet with a quick pivot before making the throw. Sydney does the same thing from 1B in the video.
First Sydney is framing the ball, which pulls balls slightly off the plate back over the plate into the strike zone to help the umpire call the pitch a strike. She squeezes the ball tightly on every pitch. She blocks the ball in the semi-circle and pops up quickly with the ball in case the runner tries to advance. When throwing the ball down to 2B she gets off her calves before the pitch popping up with a quick pivot and knees bent then sets her shoulders and feet before making the over the top throw, which ensures it is straight to the bag.