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Ways to not drill to death but instill love of game play?

Jan 8, 2019
I love this!
you're able to get thru the whole team in 20 minutes?
We have had times where the fielders canNOT get an out (great hitting and/or tired players), and so have to just make the call to rotate to get everyone through. You definitely have to maintain the fast pace to make it happen.


Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
Coach, I am the wrong person to respond to your thread. I'm a little intense. I do want to point out some other things that might help. We keep a supply of freezer pops in our coaching office. On those practices where we have been getting after it, we end practice briefly giving closure to the practice and let the girls run to get the freezer pops. They sit in the dugout and have a great time. Of course, they can have two if they want.

We do things like diving drills in the Outfield or in an area where we have great grass just off the field but include infielders as well after a rain. We do it in a couple of ways but can make it a game with points with infielders versus outfielders. They will be gooey afterwards and so, they know to have a change of clothes for their ride home.

In practice, we have the coach hit balls and do situational practice. We put runners on, the hitter hits out of the left hand box since all of the coaches are right handed. We play games this way but with 6 outs before they switch. We have to include the JV in this but it is good team bonding and a great way to coach how to play the game. Good luck!
Nov 26, 2019
Just thought of this:

If you want to simulate ball-in-play situations with some randomness and you have a lot of girls who are new/not very skilled, consider a tee scrimmage.

Split them into two teams (or depending on your roster size, three and do two on defense/one on offense). Have a full defense. Offense gets one swing off the tee, everything is played live. This obviously doesn't do anything to help pitchers or hitters facing pitching, but it does help your defense. It does help base running. It's competition, and with one swing, it moves fast so you can get through a few innings quickly.
Great idea. Thank you!
Feb 12, 2014
Coach - Hope things are going well for you.

I am a first year head coach at the HS level. It's an eye opening experience coming from being an assistant on a pretty high level travel ball team. We just had our first week of practice, and we ended it with a wiffle ball game on Saturday morning after our warm up and fundamentals stations.

We can't get outdoors yet, so this was a pretty good way to start to introduce some situational instruction and the girls had a great time.
Jan 24, 2020
One of the problems I had coaching beginners was that trying to learn the fielding mechanics and the situational awareness all at once was overwhelming and was hard to string successes together. One of my favorite warm-up drills was to play "Ultimate." This was Ultimate Frisbee but with gloves and a softball (and Masks) instead of the frisbee. It works several problem areas at once: Catching & throwing on the run, quick decision making, and conditioning. It also gets ultra competitive, with success hinging on a whole team working together rather than one player taking over. 5-10 minutes of this (we usually played to a set score with a quick halftime to make observations and get water) after warm-up tosses sets the tone for practice, everyone was more focused, and had gotten better at fielding without knowing it. Then we could focus on situations and hitting the rest of practice, knowing that the girls were engaged. The other nice things about this game are that no one gets to stand around and that the field parameters can be adjusted to force the game play into different styles: smaller field size works more quick passing and shorter bursts of running (infield), while larger fields allow for more running under the ball and long distance throwing accuracy (outfield).
Nov 26, 2019
Have you started yet? If so, how's everything going so far?
Yes! It’s been going pretty well! We have our jamboree (scrimmage Against two teams) this weekend, and that will be a true test for us.

Breaking into one huge JV and a smaller varsity has been a good move for us. Today we did the three teams game (an infield, outfield and hitting “team” that all compete against each other...they keep hitting until the other team gets 3 outs And then they rotate). This was moderately successful; just was tough when one team started to dominate a little. It was a good way to scaffold from machine pitching to live BP, though.

With as short as our season is, I may start to feel like i could use WAY more time....

How’s your season going?

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