Coaching Best Practices 6U, 8U and 10U

AVGS seeks to ensure the game of softball is coached in a manner allowing for athletes to “seamlessly” transition to the next level of competition. This requires the coaches for each division to focus on teaching their athletes the basic fundamentals necessary for transition to the next level. Each athlete is unique. Each athlete will develop at varying rates. If our coaches are consistent on teaching these following Best Practices along with creating a positive competitive environment, however, the athletes will each develop as both softball players and young ladies.

Depending on the level you are coaching, AVGS offers these guidelines to assist in the construction of effective practice plans designed to enable our athletes to improve through the course of a season. As the girls advance, practices may appear to be the same, but the level of demand will and should increase. It is also our hope that as these “Best Practices” are put in place, each AVGS athlete will develop a sound softball IQ. Physically being able to play the game is one part, the other is mentally understanding how to play the game. The following represents what AVGS understands should be the focus at each Division in order to develop each athlete for the next level of competition. Drills designed to develop the “Best Practices” can be found in our resource library.

6U

  • Throwing
    • How to hold the softball
    • Basic throwing mechanics
  • Fielding
    • How to catch the ball
    • How to field a ground ball
    • Body positioning and basic footwork
    • Where to throw the ball
    • Positions on the field and where they are
  • Hitting (Hitting can be taught various ways.)
    • How to hold the bat
    • Basic stance in the batter’s box (e.g., “feet set” – shoulder width; “bat back”; “swing hard”)
      • Know the areas of the batter’s box (front of the box, back of the box)
    • Identify simple terminology for hitters (e.g., swing “shoulder to shoulder”; “chin down”/ “watch the ball”)
  • Base Running
    • After you hit the ball, where to run
    • Run through the base (focus on kids running to the orange base and at least 5-7ft past the base veering toward the right)
    • Running base to base

8U

  • Throwing
    • How to hold the softball
    • Basic throwing mechanics
    • Footwork on throwing toward your target
  • Fielding
    • How to catch the ball
    • How to field a ground ball
    • How to field a fly ball
    • Body positioning and basic footwork
    • Where to throw the ball
    • Defensive Positions on the field and where they are
  • Hitting (Hitting can be taught various ways.)
    • How to hold the bat
    • Basic stance in the batter’s box
      • Know the areas of the batter’s box(Up in the box, back of the box)
    • Identify simple terminology for hitters
    • How to Bunt
  • Base Running
    • After you hit the ball, where to run
    • Run through the base (focus on kids running to the orange base and at least 5-7ft past the base veering toward the right)
    • Rounding base
    • Leading off
    • Stealing
    • Sliding
    • Running base to base
    • Watching and listening to base coaches
  • Pitchers
    • Basic mechanics (e.g., set position; “windmill” motion; “power line”; release/follow through)
    • Focus on throwing strikes
  • Catchers
    • Basic mechanics (e.g., foot positioning; target; catching pitch; throw back to pitcher; basic blocking; throw downs to second/third)
    • Focus on working with pitcher (e.g., getting pitcher into a “rhythm”)

10U

  • Throwing
    • Throwing mechanics
    • Footwork on throwing toward/through your target
    • Infield throw – 2nd/SS/3rd to 1st
    • Outfield throw – Hit cutoff + throw 1st/2nd/3rd/Home – Long toss
  • Fielding
    • Body positioning and basic footwork
    • Situations – Defensive Positions on the field and where they should be (e.g., no runners on base; runner on first; runner on first/second; bases loaded)
    • Bunts – covering bases
    • Fly Balls – cutoffs/tag ups
    • Stealing – throw downs to second/third; covering home
    • Live Ball/Dropped 3rd Strike
  • Hitting (Hitting can be taught various ways.)
    • Routine (e.g., time out; set in box; looking to coach between pitches; signs; etc.)
    • Batters Box (e.g., front (1)/middle (2)/back (3) in box)
    • Bunting
  • Base Running
    • Run through first base (focus on kids running through the orange base; “breakdown” within 5-7ft past the base OR rounding base; look/listen to first base coach)
    • Running base-to-base (e.g., rounding bases; looking; sliding; finding next base coach; etc.)
    • Leading off
    • Stealing (regular; delayed)
    • Sliding
    • Live Ball/Dropped 3rd Strike
  • Pitchers
    • Basic mechanics (e.g., set position; “windmill” motion; “power line”; release/follow through)
    • Focus on throwing strikes
    • Focus on changing speeds/change up
    • Covering home (e.g., passed ball)
    • Control of Field (e.g., when to stay in circle)
    • Delayed Steals
  • Catchers
    • Basic mechanics (e.g., foot positioning; target; catching pitch; throw back to pitcher; basic blocking; throw downs to second/third)
    • Focus on working with pitcher & coach (e.g., getting pitcher into a “rhythm”; taking/giving signs)
    • Passed Balls/Dropped Balls (e.g., dropped third strike – throw down to first; passed ball – toss to pitcher covering home)

Additional Resources

Coach’s Corner

Coaching 101

Coaching Best Practices

Rules

Resources