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Little experience, big dreams

May 7, 2009
5
0
Hey everyone, I'm 14 years old and just fairly recently have started playing softball. The only season I had played was in 07 for a rec ball team. Now i'm in high school and made the freshman/sophomore team, just a few months back. Ok i really need advice on what type of drills I should work on over the summer. I'm very thankful I made the team since i have had little experience playing softball, but everyone else on the team has played since they were 3 or 4 and it can be hard to keep up at times. Our school is extremely proud of our softball program and it is very competitive. We have 10 seniors graduating from Varsity this year so I know the coaches are looking for some fresh players. People doubt me, but I have the heart and dedication to get better and move up. I've never loved anything the way i love softball. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also I swing like a baseball player sometimes, so what can i do to swing more level. Thanks a bunch and sorry I wrote a lot. :eek:
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,746
38
Dallas, Texas
I can tell you are excited!

The first thing you should do is get on a team this summer. It doesn't matter what level, just get on one. You have to play.

As to drills, sit down with your coach and ask him/her where he/she sits you fitting on the team. Your coach should be able to tell you what position (both on defense and on offense) best suits you, and then you can work to develop skills suited to that position.

Generally, you need to catch hundreds of *HIT* fly balls and hundreds of ground balls. You don't want someone throwing you ground balls and fly balls. You want someone to take a bat and hit them to you--it is very important to learn to figure out where the ball is going as soon as it hits the bat. You need to learn that.

Are you a fast runner? If so, then you need to work on base stealing and base running.

As to your swing, you need to get a batting tee and hit lots and lots of balls from the tee.

Ray
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
Sounds like you have alot to prove, and it sounds like you are eager do whatever it takes. Whatever position they want you to play give it 100% and ALWAYS have a good attitude, that goes along way with coaches and can get you a chance at other positions. Don't worry about swinging like a baseball player, a good swing is a good swing. Softball and baseball both use round balls and bats. Go through the hitting section on this site it has alot of good tips. Most of all like Ray said, get on a summer team and work hard.

Good luck

Mike
 
May 7, 2009
5
0
Thanks guys, as of right now I start at center or left field sometimes he has me play first base but thats about it. One thing i really mess up is letting the ball get under my glove and pass me when its a ground ball. My coach tells me to watch it into my glove and i try but i dont know how to get better at fielding ground balls.
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
Like Ray said, have someone hit you as many grounders as they can handle. To get down on ground balls bend more with your knees than your waist, lower your hips and reach out in front and get the back of your glove on the ground not just the tip. This might not be the case with you, but alot of players let balls go under there glove because they are worried about a bad hop and they pull there glove up at the last second. Some kids are just animals, the rest of us need lots of grounder practice to get comfortable staying down until the ball is in the glove. This might sound wierd but get some of the soft training balls and have someone bounce them in front of you, and let the balls deflect off of your arms, stomach and chest. This is something that infielders need to expierence. Lastly for now, start with slow grounders and build up as you go. Having success at lower speeds will boost your confidence. hope this helps, keep us posted with your progress.

Mike
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,746
38
Dallas, Texas
Mike is right.

As to groundballs, you might be turning your head. Make sure that your right hand (assuming you are a rightie) is above the glove, palm down, like you are going to slap the center of the mitt with your right hand. This is very important. Sometimes in softball, the ball climbs out of the mitt, so the hand is there to deflect the ball in case it comes out of the mitt.

Then, you want to watch the ball go into the mitt. This is hard to do, because the natural reaction is to turn the head. So, you have to train yourself to look the ball into the mitt. --> MAKE SURE THE RIGHT HAND IS ABOVE THE GLOVE<--

When a groundball is hit, you put the mitt on the ground IMMEDIATELY. Your first movement is always down. You do *NOT* bend at the waist. You bring your butt down. You always start with the mitt all the way down and then bring it up.
 
May 7, 2009
5
0
I think my problem with fielding ground balls is that i dont always watch it into my glove. I either pull my head or glove up to early and lose the ball. Although I can field fly balls really well, most of the time I dont use two hands and my coach will get upset. I know using two hands is important so the ball doesn't fall out and i can transfer the ball quicker to my throwing hand, but it is taking me i while to get use to it. Oh and another thing coach is always telling everyone to get mentally tougher, but i dont what he means and how to get mentally tougher.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
You can't watch a hard ground ball into your glove unless you are low with the glove well out in front past your head. Best advice you have gotten so far is to find an A team and go play this summer. A lot.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,746
38
Dallas, Texas
hera: The reason you are "pulling your head" is because you are afraid that the ball will come out of the glove and hit your face. Only an idiot wouldn't be afraid. That is why you position the throwing hand over the top of the glove, so if the ball takes a hop or bounces off the glove you can deflect it with your throwing hand.

"Mental toughness" is coaching BS for "you aren't doing a skill correctly 100% of the time". E.g., you said that you didn't catch a ball with two hands all the time. Why? You have been taught how to do it, you know you should do it, but for some reason you don't. That is a "lack of mental toughness" because you can't make your hands and body do the skill the way it should be done 100% of the time.
 
Apr 20, 2009
88
0
Philippines
My favorite Coach Marc tip is be coachable. Your coach is telling you exactly what you should be doing. Just follow what he says. That's how you will get your coach to trust you because he sees that you're trying to learn and improve yourself

For the groundballs:
remember this
1. As much as possible catch the ball at the center of your body
2. stay low (bend from your knees not your back)
3. Keep your glove out in front of you at an angle. let the tip of glove to touch the ground
4. when ball enters glove, cover with free hand
5. Tuck toward navel
6 Do proper throwing basics.
* your coach is right, see the ball enter your glove. If you keep your eyes on the ball it will be easier for you to react.

Being mentally tough is to practice your mind to be able to handle different situations and you are able to perform the best during those situations.

Keep up your enthusiasm, that will keep you going and eventually be a really good softball player.

During the summer you can increase you strength by doing workouts. Try getting into shape (it doesn't mean to be thin and sexy, but to be lean and strong). Strengthen your core and legs and build your stamina. You'll be surprised how a conditioned body will truly help you become an all-around player.

Softball Conditioning - Quick Workouts Do Work! | Softball Performance Blog
 

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