Softball Agility | Kris Massaro

I was watching a game yesterday and a player hit a hard ground ball to first. The firstbaseman bobbled it then tried to throw it to the second baseman covering first. Needless to say the hitter took first then ran to second when the secondbaseman missed the throw. That sounds like a typical play and kudos for the hitter being so aggressive in taking second. Here’s the problem; when she tried to round second she couldn’t slow down fast enough, turned her ankle and was down for the count.
Have you seen this scenario happen before?

It’s not too uncommon because most players don’t efficiently decelerate or change direction.

For example, if your team is running linear (straight) sprints to a cone and back does their form look something like; a straight sprint, very little form of slowing down, in fact it almost looks like they lose their balance, then they pivot and run back. I bet they do. Here are some reasons why players run like that-

-no proper direction of how to decelerate 
-they don’t drop their hips to slow themselves down 
-they don’t know how to quickly change direction 

Teaching players to decelerate is not as challenging as it may seem. The most difficult point is breaking their old habits. Try a drill that allows players to quickly slow down then quickly accelerate.

Place six cones in a linear line then have players sprint to each cones and quicly slow down and circle the cones facing forward. This is a perfect drill to start allowing players feel how quickly slowing down feels like. Players associate new skills musch easier if they know how it should feel.

The great thing about this drill is it teaches players how to quickly decelerate, move their feet quickly and immediately accelerate. 
I find that incorporating a drill that is teaching a certain skill set that can be applied to another drill is easier at times. 
So here’s some tips to teach players how to SLOW down…

-players must start to drop their hips as they approach their cone, base, whatever your using as a target. 
They should start to widen their feet outside of their hips ( break down)
-players need to be ready to immediately change direction by stepping outside of their back hip versus pivoting. 
Think of an overthrow to first or a player that get in a rundown.. players need to develop athletic movement skills to make quick adjustments…

You can check out my workouts at Softball Strong on Facebook & Instagram!

And for GREAT training tools, exercises and workouts to improve your players agility, check out ArmProBands! 

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