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Agility Training in Softball -- Intro

Guest Author - Don McKay

I will admit: I have done very little agility training or speed-specific drills in my softball practices. If I had an unlimited amount of time (instead of the 4 hours or so that I get each week), I’d consider doing them. We do spend a considerable amount of time on base running technique, particularly rounding bases tightly and good rocker lead offs, but otherwise there is so much other stuff to teach a player to become a good softball player. Taking valuable practice time to run agility drills has not seemed very effective. Now, I’m not so sure. After all, Softball is a game of speed. A player who can accelerate faster or change directions quicker is not only a better base runner, but can also get to the ball better as a defender.

One of my daughters has been participating in a Softball-specific agility course over the summer taught by one of our High School’s softball coaches. Before the class, my daughter had above-average speed. Now, after a few sessions, she has gotten visibly quicker. The course instructor took a baseline of the participants’ speed over a 20 yard dash at the beginning of the course, and I am very interested to see what the improvement is for all the players at the end of the course. It could be that Agility training becomes a “must” as part of softball practice.

Thinking further, some of the best softball players I’ve had over the years had basketball or soccer backgrounds – sports both known for including agility and footwork drills regularly within their practices, and where speed and quickness are some of the most important skills a player can have. In this light it therefore seems that including agility training within a softball practice makes sense. The question then becomes, “How?”

From what I gather doing a quick Internet search on “Softball Agility”, agility drills should be conducted a couple of times a week. Some softball coaches include a little bit of agility work within their batting stations. Agility drills should include a lot of explosive movement, since almost all softball plays require that kind of motion. Finally, agility training is mostly ignored by softball coaches (the best page I found was What is Specific to Softball).
Looks like I need to do some more research, including an interview with the High School coach running my daughter’s class. Consider this article an introduction to my “Agility in Softball” series!

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Content copyright © 2014 by Don McKay. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Don McKay. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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