According to Victor Brown, a coach at Boston University, high power output movements are needed in the batting box, on defense and in the paths between bases. Strength and conditioning workout plans must be utilized in order to have a thriving softball team during the season. The development of acceleration, power endurance, linear and lateral speed, rotational strength and improved batted ball momentum are stressed during softball-specific workout plans. Following workout plans particular to softball will allow you to improve your skills during the season.
Efficiency, Strengthening, and Conditioning Drills
Work on developing speed. Because of the action in softball, most players need to use short bursts of speed. Being fast and efficient is therefore essential. Efficiency and speed drills develop explosive power that is needed during a game. There are a variety of efficiency drills that help players reach their full potential. Split-stance acceleration drills are often used. Players will start with their right foot in front of their left. The left hand should come to the front of the body with the right elbow back, and hips in a downward position. Players will then explode off their front leg and move forward as quickly as possible.
Practice strengthening drill routines that are balanced. Lunges and leg raises are examples of strengthening drills. For those just starting out, choose a weight that is appropriate for your level of strength and as you get stronger, add more weight. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and step forward with your right leg in a lunge position. Push off of the lunged foot back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. Leg raises effectively work the lower back, abdominal and oblique muscles. When doing leg raises, you should lie on the ground with your belly button to the ceiling. Your legs should be extended. Use your abdominal muscles to raise your legs until they are upright, hold and then lower the legs to the ground. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Condition with drills to build strength and muscle endurance. Players may utilize several kinds of conditioning drills. Many are specific to the position players have on the field. Weave drills are used to help outfielders improve these conditioning skills. A handful of players form a line in the right field or left depending on their position. A thrower is elected and throws a ball to one player, who then fields the ball and throws it to the designated thrower. The outfielder then sprints toward the center of the outfield to catch another ball thrown by the thrower.
- Preventing injury is important with softball workout plans as well. It’s important for every player to warm up and stretch before performing any of these drills. Because softball requires all-over muscle performance, it’s important to stretch all major muscle groups. Legs, arms, back and abdominal muscles are major muscles used in softball. Stretch each major muscle group for approximately 1 minute before moving on to the next stretch to prevent injury during softball drills.
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.