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End of Practice Games

British Bulldog

Here's a great way to end practice.  It's a favorite for a few reasons…

  • It's super fun - ALL kids love it. Most of the time, they don't want to stop playing.
  • It's an effective softball conditioning drill  - all kids are very active during the game.
  • It trains speed, agility, and quickness too - all important qualities for softball.
  • No equipment is required and it's very easy to setup. 
  • It's short - it can be played with only a few minutes available.
  • The rules are super simple

You can use it for a warm-up, wrap-up, conditioning, or just plain fun! Here is a video explaining how to play it:


Elmo

  • Place a large stuffed animal on a bar stool at first base.  Substitute a bar stool for anything that gets the target (Elmo) up around chest/face level.
  • Get in to two groups - half the players where the second basemen stands and the other half where the shortstop sets up.  Those at second will take turns fielding grounders (that a coach rolls to their left and right), as they attempt to knock Elmo off with their throws to first.  The other half at shortstop will play the Bucket game.
  • Award a point for a direct hit and half a point for indirect hit (when throw hits the stool causing Elmo to fall off)

 This serves two purposes: 1) it shows how important accurate throws are; 2) IT'S FUN!


Bucket

  • Place a large bucket (the kind that can hold a keg is perfect) at home plate where a catcher would receive the throw (out in front and towards 3B side of plate).  Lay the bucket down with the opening facing the SS.
  • Position players at shortstop and one at a time roll them grounders to their left and right having them throw home.
  • Award points for balls in the bucket.

The Bucket can be used at second base for catchers practicing throws to second.  All sorts of throwing scenarios (low pitches, inside pitches, balls in dirt, balls to the backstop, etc.) can be prepared.


Rabbit

  • Purpose: To improve the player's explosive power off a base
  • Procedure: Runner 1 is at first base, while runner 2 is 5-8  feet from first base and in the direction of second base. On the head coach's signal, runner 1 tries to catch runner 2 before runner 2 reaches second base.

Relay Race

  • Line up *half the kids at second base and the other half at home.  Make sure the fastest kids are separated.  Do the same for the slowest.  You want a good down-to-the-last- second race for the thrill of it!
  • Let the kids figure out their order.  You might suggest a strategy to the kids that the fastest runner goes last.
  • Make a BIG DEAL about the race.  Show a lot of excitement.  They FEED off of your energy. 
  • To add a little levity and get the kids to loosen up, create a false start by going "On your marks, get set..." and then pausing until someone invariably leaves early and call them back all excitedly. 
  • Act as announcer.
  • Cheer correct, short base turns
  • Encourage them to DIG, DIG, DIG!
  • Make a big hoopla on the last leg of the race.

 * If there's an uneven number recruit a player's family member, a coach, yourself or make one team have someone run twice.