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Outfielders are the last line of defense. While they don't have as many responsibilities as infielders, having good fundamentals is critical for your success as a team. To work on those fundamentals, you need some good fastpitch softball outfield drills in your arsenal.

In this post we will be giving you four quick and easy drills to work on some of the essentials for outfielders.

Let's begin!

Fastpitch Softball Outfield Drill #1: Sideline-to-Sideline Drill

This first drill is called the "Sideline to Sideline" drills. This is a great drill for working on balls in the gap where the outfielder is catching on the run.  

Watch the video below and then read underneath for a recap!

NOTE:  Keep in mind that the player in this video was only 11 years old.  While her technique still needed some work at the time, you can see that this drill is great for all ages. 

To recap, this softball outfield drill is great for the following things:

  1. Working on catching fly-balls on the run (balls hit to the gap). 
  2. Working on getting the feet set quickly to make a hard throw to the infield.
  3. Reinforcing proper technique for running with the glove. Some players will improperly run with the glove pointed up at the ball. This drill will help to correct this. 
  4. And lastly, this is great for conditioning!

Fastpitch Softball Outfield Drills #2 & #3: Modified Over The Shoulder Drills

This is a simple Over the Shoulder Fastpitch Softball Drill for the outfield, but with a modification. The modification in the video below is a great way to help your players FEEL what it is like to drop-step correctly.

This drill will help your players with their drop-step technique BIG TIME. 

It’s very important for players to learn how to drop-step well, or they will have a lot of balls that drift over their shoulder.

Partial drop-steps on balls hit right at them is one of the most common mistakes with young outfielders. Working this outfield drill will help your softball players overcome that mistake. But it takes LOTS of practice!

Go work on it today! Your outfield WILL be better for it! 

Oh, and by the way…infielders need this too. So do this drill with them standing in their positions. You will have less bloopers get past your infield I promise!

Below is a more current video by Coach Ritchhart.  This is an alternative way of working on balls hit directly at the outfielder.  This was also used in one of our outfield fundamentals articles but we will use it here as well. 

Once again, this is is simply one more drill variation to work on drop-steps for balls hit directly at an outfielder. 

One important thing to note on the drill with Coach Ritchhart:

In the drill above, the players are working on balls that are hit directly at them.

If the outfielder recognizes that the ball is in the gap, a full drop-step is not necessary.  Rather, they will be opening up more similarly to what you see in the first video with Coach Covey.  

For more details on this, you can check out our post on how to catch a fly ball.  In that article, we included a good video from Ripken Baseball which shows an "angled" drop-step as well. 

Fastpitch Softball Outfield Drill #4: Crow-Hop Over the Bat Drill

Below is one of the most simple but effective drills for softball players to help them understand how to crow-hop effectively.  

The player featured in this drill was only in 6th grade at the time this video was shot.

While as a young player there was some room for improvement in technique…you can see from this video that this is a skill that can be taught even at the younger age levels.

Click the video to see a breakdown of the drill, and then read underneath the video for even more content!

Teaching your players how to crow-hop effectively is important because it allows them to use their legs more effectively and make a longer throw to a cut-off, relay, or base. 

It is one of the easiest outfield drills to reinforce crow-hop fundamentals, as it helps the players understand and FEEL the critical parts of the technique. 

Here are a couple of key pointers:

  1. SAFETY FIRST: Be careful that the players do not land on the bat. 
  2. As an alternative, you could use something soft, such as a pool noodle.
  3. The player needs to get some momentum UP into the air to maximize leg usage.
  4. The player ALSO needs to get some momentum moving FORWARD at the same time.
  5. Some young players make the mistake of only going UP but forgetting to get the momentum moving FORWARD at the same time…this drill helps them feel the difference.
  6. The player needs to get her body turning sideways while she is in the air in order to land with her body lined up to make a good throw.
  7. ADVANCED: For more advanced players, you can have them throw a ball up to themselves first to make it more game-like.  

With our varsity softball players, we bring out the bat and do this outfield drill just a couple of times a year to reinforce proper crow-hops. For younger players, you may need to do it more frequently.

Either way, this drill is a great way to teach proper technique of crow-hopping in a short amount of time!

So there you have it. Four different fastpitch softball outfield drills.

While there are many other great drills, these four drills alone will help you reinforce a good chunk of outfield fundamentals this season! 

(By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)

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

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