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softball speed and agility

Top Softball Player Qualities

Want to become a top softball player? Build on these qualities

To be successful in softball, players must do a lot of practice, maintain focus and learn continuously. It is about maintaining the right attitude about the coach, team members and loses. Though the qualities of a player may depend on the position you play in the team, there are core qualities that every player must depict to help win the game. Here are 4 main qualities that will make you become a top player and team member that you should develop.

  • Top speed: In softball, a typical play only lasts about 5 seconds or even less. Good players must be fast in order to quickly get out of batter box, steal bases and catch fly balls. It is because of this that many coaches insist that players think and train like athletes. To build on speed, players have to practice running and accelerating as fast as possible.
  • Explosive strength: Being able to develop a lot of power is very critical. As a pitcher, being powerful makes it easy to throw balls at lightning speed so that the batter can miss it. Besides, the batter needs a lot of power to hit the ball and get it outside the field out of the defensive players range. To develop a lot of power, a player must eat well and participate in a lot of training. Make sure to focus on improving the wrist, legs, hands and core muscles that deliver the power you need in the field.
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Softball Performance – 10 Baserunning Skills

Softball Baserunning SkillsBy Stacie Mahoe

Great baserunning can cause havoc on the field for the defense and create additional opportunities for your team on offense. While running bases seems pretty simple, there are actually a number of different aspect a great baserunner does well. Here are 10 baserunning skills you can practice:

  1. Getting out of the box
  2. Tagging up (when and how)
  3. Staying off the base on a ball hit in the air (when and how)
  4. Taking Leads (timing and technique)
  5. Picking up the ball
  6. Picking up your base coaches
  7. Sliding/Diving
  8. Advancing on passed balls/wild pitches
  9. Going back to a base
  10. 2+ bag spring (correct path)

The first thing on this list is “Getting out of the box” because it’s one of the first things you need to do well to get on base in the first place. 

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Simple Way to Increase Your Softball Speed

fastpitch softball runningBy Stacie Mahoe

One thing I am always impressed with when I watch NCAA Div I post season play is the speed of some players.  One thing I noticed this year is how many players credited things they learned from running track to really helping them up their speed for softball too.   Running track is an excellent way to get faster.  Not only because you simply practice running fast so much, but because most track coaches will also work on running technique every single day.

Learning HOW TO run more efficiently and more effectively WILL help you run faster!  It’s just like throwing or hitting – the better your technique, the better you can perform the skill.  Sprinting is no different.  Improve your running technique and you’ll improve your softball running speed.

Here are some common things softball players do incorrectly when they run:

  • Poor Knee Lift – knees get nowhere near hip level during a sprint results in shorter strides which means a player is covering less ground with each turnover of the leg
  • Heels First – when you sprint your heels are not even supposed to touch the ground!  And yet many players will run heel-toe when sprinting around the bases or sprinting to fly balls.
  • Side-to-Side Arm Action – arms swinging more east and west rather than north and south.  You are trying move forward as fast as possible and yet your arms are moving in a completely different direction!  This does not help you.  Get your arms moving more north and south.  Keep your elbows closer to your body and run “cheek to cheek” (hand positioning at the ends of your arm swing – face cheek to butt cheek and back).

Correcting these issues will help you run faster with less effort and get safe more often!

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Softball Performance Tips – Way to Improve your Speed

softball speed baserunning

By Stacie Mahoe

One simple way to improve your softball speed is to PRACTICE it when you have the chance. I know, that doesn’t really sound like a tip does it? It also sounds quite obvious doesn’t it? And yet I see many softball players missing out on opportunities to work on their speed during practice. Like a pal of mine always says, “You get faster by running fast.  You aren’t going to get faster by running slow.” In other words, you aren’t going to get faster and improve your speed if you NEVER go 100% in practice.

Most coaches I know do some kind of baserunning or sprints in practice and many times players do not take these opportunities to really, truly, practice running fast. If you’re a coach, just try this one practice – bust out a stop watch during baserunning drills and observe what happens. Chances are players are suddenly going to change their approach to the drill. They’re going to start taking it a bit more seriously instead of just going through the motions. Unfortunately, only rarely do I see players take this kind of approach without the stopwatch motivation (or some other form of motivation).

How about you? Do you really make the most of the opportunities you already have in practice to work on your speed?  Do you really run as fast as you can whenever you’re given the chance?  Or are you wasting opportunities to better yourself by giving less than your best in simple sprint/baserunning drills?

Even if your coach doesn’t set aside time specifically for “speed training,” chance are you DO have some opportunities in practice to work your speed.  Don’t waste them!

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Softball Performance Tips – Acceleration Techniques

By Coach Marc

Softball fielding is a lot about reading the situation and reacting quickly. The faster you can read and react, the more likely you are to get to the ball and make an out.

This quick softball video introduces the proper technique to accelerate from a static position (fielding position) to any direction where the ball might be going.

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Softball Performance Tips – Your Lateral Speed and Agility

By Coach Marc

Softball is a sport that requires a lot of speed and agility. More specifically, you need quick footwork and the ability to change directions quickly (agility).

Here’s a very simple drill with variations that will really help these skills:

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Softball Training – Improving Speed and Lateral Agility

By Coach Marc

Not long ago, I wrote a post about why running speed doesn’t matter in softball.  In a nutshell, I was explaining why linear speed (or running fast in a straight line) isn’t that important for softball and I made the point that what really matters in our sport is acceleration (starting speed), multi-directional quickness and lateral agility because of the nature of our game.

A friend of mine, Doug Parry, just sent me a link to a great video that shows a great drill on how to improve lateral agility for softball. This is one of my favorite drills to teach players lateral agility, quick change of directions, and quick feet.

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