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Each month, thousands of youth softball coaches & parents scan the internet for fun and effective fastpitch softball drills for 8U, 10U, and 12U players. 

While we often like to lump groups together into broad categories (travel ball, high school, rec league, etc.), the reality is that each group has subcategories with very specific needs. While many parts of the game apply for all age levels, a younger player is much different than an 18U player.

And as a result there are certain skills and drills that are great for an older, more experienced 18U player that may not be so good for the 10U girls (as an example).

I would encourage every coach that attends a conference to listen to each speaker through the “filter” of “does this apply to my team?” College coaches will be your typical speakers. While they nearly always deliver great information, they aren’t always teaching with younger players in mind.

And today’s post is written with the age-range of 8U-12U in mind. 

Continue reading to learn some fun and effective fastpitch softball drills for the 8U, 10U or 12U aged- teams. If you would like even more drills you can click this link:

8U/10U/12U Bonus Drills

The truth is that these drills are good (and recommended) for nearly ANY age-group. However, they will specifically help a younger player with her fundamentals.

And with young players laying a great foundation of proper fundamentals is essential for future success!

8U, 10U, 12U Softball Drill #1: Pendulum Throwing Drill

This first of my four fastpitch softball drills for a 8U, 10U, or 12U player is a throwing drill. Proper throwing mechanics is one of the biggest challenges I have experienced with these age groups. Some of this is arm strength, while some is simply reinforcing proper fundamentals. 

This drill will not fix all of your teams throwing woes. But it will help your players develop some body awareness for proper weight transfer during the throw.

In this drill, the player rocks back and forth with a ball in the middle of her body. You can see the video of the drill below:

A couple of important notes as you watch the drill:

  • The players rocks her weight back and forth from her front leg to her bag leg 2-3 times
  • On the last “rock” to her back leg she goes into her throwing motion
  • This drill helps players feel their weight transfer from the back side to the front side

8U, 10U, 12U Softball Drill #2: Jump-back Tee Drill

The second drill is a fun softball hitting drill that I call the “Jump Back Drill.” Once again, developing body awareness is the critical element for this drill.

Note that for this drill, it might be too advanced for some 8U players. If you try it and it's overly difficult, then simply back off the drill. 

Much like with the pendulum drill, this drill will help a player feel their weight transfer from the “back side” to the “front side.” This drill can help players develop proper weight transfer with their lower body. It can also help develop smoother upper body movements as the hitters hands separate from her body during the stride phase. 

This drill may be a little awkward even for the 10U player initially, but she will improve with practice and time. And as she gets into the 12U “phase” of playing she will have this mastered. However, just be sure to watch her upper body to make sure it isn’t “flailing around” during the drill.

Below is a video that walks through the drill from start to finish.

A couple of important notes on this drill:

  1. As you can see in the video, the player sets up with her front foot even with the ball…with both feet together.
  2. Second, the player jumps onto her back leg.
  3. Third, the player brings her front-knee in towards her back knee .
  4. Lastly, from a hitting mechanics standpoint you will notice in the video how her hands separate from her body. Also, her front shoulder and hips rotate “in”, all while she strides forward.
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    8U, 10U, 12U Softball Drill #3: Soft-Hands Paddles 

    At the youth levels, teaching and reinforcing proper infield fundamentals is critical. Which is why I love using soft-hands paddles (also called "pancake gloves") for this age group.

    This “drill” should progress from rolling grounders to your players, to possibly hitting grounders at them.

    You do not need a lot of paddles to make this work (although it is easier with one paddle for each player).  If your budget is tight, you could purchase 2-3 each season. If you do not have many paddles, simply have the players share.

    You can purchase paddles on a number of different websites. While we prefer the Rawlings glove, you can find a number of different options here on Amazon.

    A couple of important notes:

    1. This drill can be done either with a throw or simply by dropping the ball in a bucket after a fake throw.
    2. Do not be overzealous with this. Going too hard could have the end result of players being afraid of a ground ball. Keep in mind that this is for fundamentals. Do NOT hit grounders at them with their paddles unless they are VERY comfortable. And start SLOWLY.
    3. Use the paddles on grounders that the players can get in front of only. Balls hit right at them or that take them a few steps to the side is best.  
    4. Use this drill to reinforce the following:
      • Proper footwork on grounders.
      • Covering up the ball with the throwing hand (two hands).
      • Making throws to bases after fielding.

    8U 10U 12U Fastpitch Softball Drills

    Drill #4: Buddy System (Team Building)

    If you want to coach fastpitch softball, you NEED to do some team building with your girls. But if you neglect this area, you will lessen your impact and the desire of your players to stick with softball.

    What's more, softball team building drills are always a fun way for the kids to get to know each other!

    A very simple team building drill is using a “buddy system.” In a nutshell, here is how it works (and you can EASILY tweak this):

    • Each player is assigned a buddy for a few days or weeks (depending on the length of your season).
    • During specific practices, the “buddies” take 5 minutes to learn something new about each other.
    • Take 5 minutes on occasion to have a player share with the team what they have learned about their “buddy.”
    • If you have new players coming onto your team each season, partner them with a “veteran” player to help them get to know each other.

    There you have it. That's four different fastpitch softball drills for 8U, 10U, and 12U coaches to use in practice. Nothing overly complicated…but for youth players keeping it simple is important!

    Looking for more drills?  Fill out the form below to receive more fastpitch softball drills for the 8U, 10U and 12U ages!

    (By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)

    Have questions or comments? Leave them in the comments section below! 


    23 Responses

    stacy hoiland
    stacy hoiland

    March 31, 2021

    Thanks!

    Brad Kloza
    Brad Kloza

    March 31, 2021

    Thanks for the ebook

    Heather Lupton
    Heather Lupton

    March 31, 2021

    Love these tips, thank you!

    Doug Rausch
    Doug Rausch

    March 31, 2021

    Going to get back into coaching at 10U level this year at 63YO.
    I coached girls and boys when I was much younger and am looking for drills to use, refresh my memory and get ideas for practices.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Going to sign up for your ebook as well.
    Thank you in advance.

    Joy
    Joy

    March 31, 2021

    Thanks

    Dawanna Gradishar
    Dawanna Gradishar

    March 31, 2021

    Looking forward to receiving thanks

    Mary
    Mary

    March 31, 2021

    Thanks in advance for
    Your ebook

    Joanna thomas
    Joanna thomas

    March 31, 2021

    Looking for more softball drills for my 6u girls team.

    Justin Cole
    Justin Cole

    December 29, 2020

    Looking forward to ebook. Thanks

    Dan
    Dan

    December 04, 2020

    I am starting my first year as a travel coach. While I have coached before Travel is a way different case. Would love to have some drills to help.

    Rachael Freeman
    Rachael Freeman

    December 04, 2020

    Thanks for the tips!

    Stephen D Osborne
    Stephen D Osborne

    December 04, 2020

    Great tips

    Chris Soltys
    Chris Soltys

    June 06, 2020

    Thanks for the tips!

    Thomas Duke
    Thomas Duke

    June 06, 2020

    Looking forward to ebook

    Gary Hamrick
    Gary Hamrick

    June 06, 2020

    Look forward to your shared information. I transitioned from baseball to softball coaching 2 years ago so i am always eager for new input.

    Michele Lucas
    Michele Lucas

    June 06, 2020

    Looking forward to the ebook.

    Bob McCorkle
    Bob McCorkle

    June 06, 2020

    Great first steps

    Tori Crubaugh
    Tori Crubaugh

    June 06, 2020

    Can’t wait to see ebook.

    Jermaine Brown
    Jermaine Brown

    March 04, 2020

    Looking forward to the ebook.

    Ben Clark
    Ben Clark

    January 25, 2020

    Good stuff look forward to the ebook

    Angie Hutchinson
    Angie Hutchinson

    November 13, 2019

    Would love 10U and 12U drills for our teams!!

    ERIN DIBLING
    ERIN DIBLING

    September 14, 2019

    Looking forward to the ebook

    danielle
    danielle

    September 14, 2019

    I am coaching a 10 U travel team, interested in some drills for my practices

    Leave a comment

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