practice, practice and more practice?
Explain that the "force play" when you can step on the base for an out is anytime a baserunner MUST to go to the next base and isn't allowed to return to the base they came from.
Another way is start from home tell them - batter is always a force at 1B until she reaches it.
Then work scenarios up from there - runner on 1st - force at 1B, 2B etc.
A short hand out with the various scenarios with a diagram for the kids can also help.
Ask them questions about where force play is and isn't, have them give answers. Quiz them regularly.
Takes some time and like everything else some kids get it quicker than others.
Last edited by Sweet Lou; 04-20-2012 at 01:14 PM.
Certified softball maniac
Who gets mad when a player does exactly what she was told to do??
If you're playing 10u with a hot plate, then catchers should know their responsibility on a wild pitch and the pitchers should know, too. Our rec league a cold plate, but we practice doing it the right way since our catchers will be playing comp ball soon.
For your situation, you should be using the games as a primary instructional time. Talk to your fielders, make sure they know where the play is. I think it's a good idea to identify a defensive captain each inning or game and make it her job to yell out the situation to the rest of the team for each batter. If your DD gets it, then guess what, she is your captain. It doesn't have to be long and complicated - just a quick "runners on 1 & 3, force at 1 or 2!" will do.
They know they've always got a force out at 1B, but if they're looking for tags elsewhere, DO NOT FRET, because that's a good thing. Players who look to get tags will record more put-outs in 8u and 10u, and I've seen them pick up the concept of the rundown more quickly than players who think "I touched my base (with no force on), so therefore she's out".
Just keep teaching and reinforcing and be content with allowing the process to happen. It takes time to learn this stuff and even more time to be able to execute it consistently in games. As long as they learn to recognize the situation, they'll be fine.
Certified softball maniac
A game my dd was pitching the other day. A player on the other team hit a line drive to 3rd, the runner on second had a good lead off so she is a dead duck, 3rd base makes the catch turns and throws to second. Second base is standing on the bag when she takes the throw, and then goes to tag the runner.
did I mention this is a high school game? Some kids take longer then others to learn when they tag and when they don't have to.
I can talk softball all day
My team is quite a bit older than yours but here is what we did back in the day. Have a portion of your time set aside for situational teaching. Situational teaching in most cases is more effictive on a dry erase board than it is on the field because you are teaching mental skills not physical.
Most dry erase boards are also magnetic so you can sketch a diamond on the board and get your magnets where your players are situated before the pitch. Then move the players to different locations based on where the ball is hit. This is great for teaching cut offs, where to throw the ball with runners at different bases, base assignments, even some base running.
Once you have the concept understood then you go to the field to let them demonstrate their understanding of the skill you just taught them.