The NFCA's Top 5 Softball Drills


We have all been there, your first softball coaching job, a new position, new team, start of a season, all the above ... what is one of the first things you do? Google softball drills, of course! It doesn't matter how long I've been coaching it always seems to be one of the first things I look for when building my practice plans. I've got years of drills stashed in my head, in my binder, and on my laptop. But what makes a good coach a great coach? The answer: the will to learn and improve yourself, which then trickles down to your athletes. New drills, philosophies, concepts, you-name-it, are birthed each season as a way to promote and push the game of women's softball forward. And I want it ALL! But it's hard to tell what content is new, innovative, works for my team, level, or division. Thankfully, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association has all the creditable softball coaching resources you need in one convenient location. The Holy Grail of softball drills is just a couple clicks away for NFCA members- housed inside the exclusive "Coach's Box."

The best coaches seek out the best opportunities to learn. The NFCA offers relevant, cutting-edge education in a variety of formats, and oftentimes position-specific. 

 Softball Outfield Drills

Are you looking for a way to spice up your outfield drills? Or simply trying to build a variety of practice plans? In your members-only Coach's Box you will find access to a number of ways you can add to your arsenal. Major offerings include the NFCA National Convention, Coaches ClinicsCoaches Clinics, webinars, podcasts, a drills database, the National Fastpitch Coaches Collegethe National Fastpitch Coaches College, practice plans, videos, and more. NFCA Events are packed with tidbits and takeaways that can immediately fill your notebook and your practice. 

⬅️ The notes taken here are courtesy of a practice plan from Josh Bloomer, Assistant Coach at South Carolina

The NFCA posts tips & drills weekly via social media channels. Follow @NFCAorg for immediate access! The people have spoken and one of the favorite outfield drills is seen here. In this NFCA Tip Tuesday presented by Triple Crown Sports, North Park University head coach Katie Anderson demonstrates an outfield drill that involves a diving catch, a line drive catch, a fly ball catch and a throw.

 Softball Infield Drills

Infield drills can become monotonous. Don't let your practice plans suffer. The greatest minds from all levels of coaching have contributed to the NFCA's coaching resources. In this NFCA Tip Tuesday presented by Triple Crown Sports, Indiana University shortstop Grayson Radcliffe demonstrates their Hoosier Scramble Drill. This drill is just one of the many Indiana Softball contributions housed in the Coach's Box. Thinking about purchasing a Virtual Softball Coaching Clinic? Check out other drills from Indiana Softball Head Coach, Shonda Stanton in our Virtual ClinicsVirtual Clinics. Check out this outline from her presentation "Play Catch Well, Play Well" ➡️

 Softball Position-Specific Drills

Building a softball practice can be challenging. A full roster and multiple positions calls for efficient practice plans and time management. Learn how to effectively create practices that engage your players and build your team. The NFCA Coaching Tools presented by USSSA contains access to a full manual to develop softball practices. 

The Practice Plans in the document all follow the same format to make it easier for you to understand the specific focus or purpose for each practice, know the duration or how long each one will last, the equipment you'll need to conduct each practice, the number of coaches recommended to conduct each specific practice, and the specific drills involved.

Each Practice Plan will include two parts:

1. The actual Practice Plan - which will list all the skills covered within the practice, the amount of time for each skill, the drills or activities within each skill and a physical diagram or layout when needed.

2. A Practice Plan Explanation page – which will explain in greater detail every part of the practice by an easy-to-follow numbering system. The BIG red numbers on the Explanation page correspond to a red numbered skill area on the Practice Plan.

⬆️ Eastern Connecticut State head coach Diana Pepin demonstrates how to cover a base and how to receive a ball at home plate.

 Softball Pitching Drills

We know how important pitching drills are to new softball coaches, especially if you aren't familiar with pitching. As an NFCA member, you'll have access to the pitching section in the Drills Database 24/7, along with other resources dedicated specifically to pitching. In this Tip Tuesday you'll watch Faulkner University head coach Hal Wynn talk about working on rise ball spin. 

For some, this is the perfect addition to your bullpen practice. But if you're working with youth pitchers simply trying to learn the skill, there are many other tools to breakdown the mechanics in an easy, comprehensive format. Members can browse the Digital Education Library ➡️ to find drills and tips that can match your needed level or agenda. When I started this coaching journey, I lacked confidence in my ability to build young pitchers. I attended the NFCA National Convention and began to build my abilities and knowledge in the bullpen. If you're looking for a place to start, try one of THE best pitching videospitching videos I have seen. Mike and Nyree White, a father-daughter duo with years of experience breakdown the movements and common issues surrounding pitching mechanics. You might recognize Coach Mike White from the Women's College World Series, the Texas softball coach has spoken at a number of NFCA events and continues to provide materials for developing coaches. ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

 Softball Catching Drills

We all know no successful team reaches their full potential without a catcher leading them behind the plate. Catching is an often overlooked position when it comes to planning practice or building youth teams. Where can you find drills and videos from some of the best catchers to ever play the game? Seriously, you can find contributions from Stacey Nuveman-Deniz, Michelle Venturella, and Jen Schroeder in the Coach's Box. That's a star-studded lineup if I've ever seen one! Blocking, framing, throwing from their knees, these coaches have you covered. Build your catchers today. 

If you're interested in taking advantage of more information like the above, or want access to 200+ drills, join nearly 6,000 coaches and become a member of the NFCA today.

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