Coaching Checklist:
  • Always have ice and a first-aid kit at practice.
  • Plan out practice; do everything at every practice.
  • Go with a 1-2 hour practice. Break it down into 15- to 20-minute sessions.
  • Have at least two coaches at every practice.
  • Set a goal for each week related to throwing, fielding or hitting, and tell the players.
  • Arrive early to set up and greet the players; check the field and equipment.
  • Use a warm-up jog, dynamic and static stretch.
  • Every week, discuss different rules of the game.
  • Give water breaks; have it as a station during hitting or fielding.
  • Play the kids' favorite games; remember, it is their practice, too. Put the skills into games!
  • Split the team into two groups: one on defense, the other hits, then switch the groups.
  • Set up stations for hitting and fielding to get more repetitions; each hitting station lasts about four minutes.
  • Kids learn differently: talk through drills and skills, demonstrate and have the players try them. 
  • Praise players for doing well and avoid yelling: young athletes are still very sensitive.
  • Suggest to parents that they throw at home with their children.

Safety first: Softball can be a dangerous sports for young athletes, so everyone needs to take care. Make sure players who are not in a drill - whether it's a throwing, fielding or hitting drill - are out of the way of flying balls or swinging bats. Always have the players wear a batting helmet. If there are two players at each station, and the other player is not tossing the ball, have them stand behind a certain line or spot. If players are helping during a hitting drill by putting the ball on the tee, just make sure they know not to grab a ball off the ground while the batter is hitting.