Now that you're covered fielding skills and have advanced to teaching the kids to think the game, it's time to focus on some offense. The key, keep it simple.

First 15-20 Minutes (Warm-up)

The warm-up routine is standard: stretching, moderate jog to a finishing sprint. Then, catching, throwing and ground-ball lines. Always stress mechanics. At this point, if the girls are becoming proficient enough at throwing and catching, you can have them start to pair off into two lines, facing each other and let them throw to themselves. Make sure you leave plenty of room between each girl.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back on the field.

Next 5 Minutes (Review)

This will be a shortened review because you'll continue to work on situations  in the future. Just place the girls in position and as base runners, and go over when and where there is a forceout. Outfielders: Runners on second and first, one out, fly ball to you, where are you going? What if we drop it? Then 'What do we do?' and so on.

Next 15 Minutes (Bunting)

Bunting is a crucial element of the fast-pitch game, especially in the younger age divisions.

Step 1: Explain the strike zone.

Step 2: Explain the stance (balanced, toes pointing toward the opposite batting box, feet even and outside the shoulders.

Step 3: Hip turn, rotate the back hip toward the plate, squishing the bug with the back foot, while extending the bat away from the body - with a slight bend in the elbows. Make a fist with the thumb up and lay the bat - where the barrel starts to widen against the thumb. Do not wrap the fingers around the bat while bunting.

Start with the extended bat at the top of the strike zone. If the pitch is up, the hitter should pull back because it's a ball. If the pitch is down, she should go down with her knees. Make sure the head of the bat is angled slightly upward, to help keep the bat above the ball. All the batter is doing is 'catching' the ball with the bat. As the hitters become more proficient, teach them to give in to their body on contact to deaden the ball.

Next, move to directional bunting. It's the same set-up as above. The only difference is to pull the left hand in slightly (for a right-handed hitter) to angle the top half of the bat toward third base. To bunt toward first base, push the left hand out slightly to angle the head of the bat toward first.

Coaching Point
  • Don't wrap the fingers around the bat. Keep the bat head above the ball. Catch the ball with the bat. 

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back on the field.

Next 20 Minutes (Bunting Game)

Use a bunting game: Mark the field as follows: semi-circles from foul line to foul line at about 3 feet and 6 feet. Draw a 3x4 rectangle up both lines above the 6-foot arc. Pick two teams. You pitch. Each girl gets five bunts. Every bunt that lands in the 3-foot arc is worth 1 point. Every bunt that lands within the 3- to 6-foot arc is worth 2 points. Each bunt in the rectangle is worth 3 points. Total the scores. The team with the highest point total wins.

Remaining Time

Gather the girls together and congratulate them for their effort. Tell them the next practice time (or game time, if you're into your season) and follow up with an e-mail to the parents.