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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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