Defensive Skills

Developing sound defensive skills is the foundation we need so that the overall strategies can be executed properly. You will find drills here that have been time tested and effective. Mastering the skills needed to keep the runs off the board are what we are talking about. We have broken the skills down to small teachable elements to assist you, the coach, to do it the right way. Please, if you have something that could help a new coach or even experienced coaches, share it with us on the Coaching-Fastpitch Blog.

The most basic elements on defense is throwing and catching a ball. When teaching your players these elements, it is worth the time to make sure they are doing it right.

Done the wrong way can lead to injure. The speed and accuracy of the ball, how quickly a player can get rid of the ball from the time it is caught and knowing that they are going to the right base for the situation are key to getting outs.

Coaching-Fastpitch Newsletter

I only published the Coaching-Fastpitch newsletter one season. I have saved those issues here so you can access them.

I was coaching a young 12U team in the summer of 2010. We practiced twice a week until the season started, then we only practice once per week. We play games two nights per week and we also played weekend tournaments. I wrote a practice plan for each week and sent my plan to those who had signed up for the Coaching-Fastpitch Newsletter. The practice plan that I used is good for 10U and 12U teams. Click here to see past issues of this newsletter.

When fielding ground balls, try to get in front of the ball with the glove on ground and in front of your feet. Your throwing hand should be over the top of your glove as if you were pretending that your arms were an alligator’s mouth.

When fielding fly balls, catching from a “camped” position is always best way. What I mean by “camped” is that you are lined up with the flight of the ball so that when it comes down, you are there waiting for it. When you can get to a camped position, you should make every effort to do that. That may mean sprinting to get there in time. If you have time and elect to just drift over and make a lazy backhand or forehand catch, there is greater chance of dropping the ball.

The toss comes into play when you are to close for an overhand throw. You see this flip used quite often between a pitcher and 1st base and around 2nd base by the middle infielders. Becoming good at this little defensive skill is not hard to do and it can become second nature before you know what happened.

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You Are Important

The coach is the person who communicates with parents, players, umpires, other coaches and your local associations. You facilitate the team by making sure all the equipment is there when it is needed. Most important are the players. You are teaching more than the skills and strategies of fastpitch. The ability to gracefully deal with success and failure, the persistence to keep trying and the confidence that these young ladies learn from you is priceless.

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