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Thread: How to increase infield communication?

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    Checking out the clubhouse expeklaha's Avatar
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    Default How to increase infield communication?

    I coach a 10u rec team. It's fall ball and it just started so most of these girls don't know each other, which is a factor. Beyond some team bonding exercises, any thoughts on how to increase communication and general (constructive) chatter on the field?

    I'm pretty vocal and I'll "quiz" the girls througout each inning... (i.e. Sally, how many outs are there?... Jennifer, if this ball gets hit to you, where are you going with it?). I think it keeps them on their toes and paying attention but I suppose I should change it to "Sally, how many outs are there? Good call it out" and "Jennifer, where are you going with this ball? 2nd? Good, let the second baseman know."

    Any thoughts/games/strategy on how you get your team to talk more? Not necessarily limited to the examples above. Even general support for each other like "nice play!" or telling the pitcher "you got this!". That stuff is coming from me or in the stands but I'm looking for some ways to encourage the girls to do it.

    It's kind of a silly question but I'd like to hear your approach. Nothing makes me happier than hearing a chatty infield.

    Thank you!

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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    If you continue to do it for them they won't do it on their own. Usually one kid will take charge but if not you need to find one that will. The only problem at 10U is making sure the one with the biggest mouth knows what she is talking about.

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    Checking out the clubhouse mikfish711's Avatar
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    Once MS ball is over and we get back to TB, this is my mission for our 1st yr 12u team. Following!

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    I can talk softball all day Seattlecoach's Avatar
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    First thing first, make sure they know what they should be doing/things they should be saying. In 10u rec I guarantee they don't all know whats going on. One you have an idea of what to say:

    Practice in practice, when doing situations don't hit the ball until everyone says something.
    Praise it when it happens on its own but not a huge deal. The goal is to make it normal.
    Encourage your positive vocal 'leaders.'

    Get to the point where its normal and if theres a lull on the field have a reminder "talk it up" or "lets hear some chatter." Bonus points if you get onfield leaders to do this.

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    I can talk softball all day Tango's Avatar
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    12U but we make our infielders turn and hold up how many outs there are after each at bat and yell it to the outfield. The outfield then answers back. Has helped us a lot.

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    I can talk softball all day doublesteal's Avatar
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    We make our girls do it during practice when we run situations. We will tell them the runners and outs, we make them yell out the plays and outs than we hit. Making them do it during practice helps it translates to games. It also allows us to help work out situations where they may not know where to go.

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    I can talk softball all day Gambler Bob's Avatar
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    You can start with the girls just throwing the ball around the horn. The person receiving the ball should be calling one, one one, or two, two two, etc.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expeklaha View Post
    Nothing makes me happier than hearing a chatty infield.
    Communication is great, and you did note that you wanted ''constructive'' chat. But most chatter that I hear is just noise. I'd be content with much less of it, provided that what I did hear was really constructive. That is usually defined as (1) genuine encouragement to teammates and (2) guidance on matters that the players don't already know. I'd be pleased if I never again heard the words ''infield go one, outfield go two!''

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    Softball Junkie Il softball fan's Avatar
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    ""I'd be pleased if I never again heard the words ''infield go one, outfield go two!''" YES.YES.YES...drives me nuts.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    This might help.

    a) This may sound complicated, but it worked.

    Explain the fundamental challenge of softball: 60 feet between bases. Fielders have to be perfect. Throws have to be perfect. Softball defense is all about speed and perfection in execution. Anything that makes throwing and catching faster and more accurate is important.

    Then, explain binaural hearing to them. I.e., we have two ears and that allows us to locate objects without using our eyes. Fielding requires a player to watch the ball carefully. So, hearing becomes critical.

    Do a version of the relay drill. The girls formed some lines. They have to do the drill without talking. I hit the ball to RF and told them to go 3.

    This was about the best demonstration of lack of communication you can imagine. The girl runs and gets the ball, and then is completely lost. It takes forever to the ball to 3B.

    So, I explained what was going on...because the girl with the ball could not hear her teammate, she had to turn around and visually find her teammate. And, of course, the relay line was not straight.

    Then, we did the same drill again, but the drills were allowed to talk. Of course, the relay was then bang-bang-bang.

    2) Put three girls in a triangle, and then throw a pop up into the middle of them. They have to do 10 push ups for each ball that the group missed. The drill is a snap if the girls talk, and impossible if they don't

    3) Emphasize talking during practice. It is a mistake to not talk during the double play drill, just the same as it is a mistake not to get the butt down.

    4) Emphasize talking during a game. if they don't communicate when they should, you make sure you point it out to them *IMMEDIATELY*. Not at the end of the inning, at the end of the play.
    Last edited by sluggers; 09-15-2017 at 11:24 AM.
    Ray

    Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...

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