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One of the challenges of coaching an outdoor sport is having to battle the elements. Having a plan with some indoor fastpitch softball infield drills is a necessity if you coach “up north.”
So what do you do when you have the limited space of an indoor facility? As a starting point you need to assess the indoor space and the equipment that you have.
This will help you to visualize and begin thinking through your practice organization. The larger the indoor facility you have, the more of a variety of practice drills you can do.
It’s truly all about how you organize.
For example, the bunting lanes drill that we discuss in another post can easily be done anywhere. Indoor, outdoors, or in your backyard.
But some drills are better than others for indoor practices where space is limited. And below we are going to give you lots of ideas for infield softball drills that you can use both in your gym or on your regular field.
Let’s dive in…
This is a drill for working on lateral movement with your fielders. This is a great drill for conditioning, working on lateral quickness, and basic grounder fundamentals.
Here is a very simple breakdown:
The picture below will give an idea of the progression of this drill.
As you can see, it is not difficult and does not take much space to execute.
This is a great activity for an indoor practice with limited space.
One thing to note is that some of this a more advanced skill. Younger, or inexperienced players, will need more time to work on this. We use these drills for multiple purposes:
Here is a video from Coach Ritchhart explaining this fastpitch softball infield drill progression. As you can see, it does not take much space and is perfect for an indoor practice:
This is a drill that would typically be done on an entire infield, but it CAN be done inside if you have the infielders using a gym or they have the indoor facility to themselves. We did this almost daily in January/February when I coached in the midwest.
BUT we did have enough space to make it work. If you are in a regulation gym you may need to modify things a bit.
An easy way to modify is to simply shorten the bases. In this scenario, your fielders are still getting multiple grounder reps, but will just be making shorter throws.
One thing to note from the example: To make this easier on yourself and to keep the drill moving faster, you can do a couple of things:
In this video, Coach Ritchhart shows a high-energy infield drill to practice game-type situations with your infielders.
The "3-Ways" grounders consist of the following types of scenarios:
Like the "Split-Infield" drill above, if your space is too tight, then you can do one of two things:
Either way, the two modifications above will allow your players to get multiple reps on all 3 grounder "types" in this drill!
As infielders advance in their skill-level, learning how to properly field a short-hop is a necessity. And having practice drills to work on them will be a huge help.
The great thing about this drill is that it take VERY little space. And with a bouncy ball on an indoor surface, your players will be "exposed" when they don't do this softball drill correctly.
As mentioned in the video, this is a fastpitch softball infield drill for more advanced players.
While you don't need to shy away from trying it with younger or less experienced players you will need to be careful to not cause frustration for them. As you begin this drill, you may observe that even some of your more highly skilled players will struggle initially.
However, with some patience, persistence, and practice, this will become a great way for your players to work on picking the short-hop.
In the video below, you will see a progression of drills to work on developing a quicker catch to throw transition.
This is critical for infielders, especially as they progress to higher levels of play.
Once again, while this video was filmed outside, you an see that it takes very little space and would be an easy thing to work on indoors!
This is a great activity for indoors because each player simply needs a ball and a little bit of space. And a partner for the second part of the progression.
This is a fastpitch softball drill to work on your infield run-down defense. As long as you have enough space for infield bases you can easily do this indoors. Here are the key points of execution:
The key is how you organize the space that you have (which is different for everyone). But with some organization and planning you can run a great practice inside!