Much of your infield's ability to prevent runs depends on the speed of their throws, especially in youth softball. Quick hands drills are excellent for building this skill. There are many variations of these exercises that coaches can use.
The simplest formulation is to rotate through your whole line. Throw to a player who catches and catapults it away as fast as she can, and repeat with each girl running to replace the next as receiver. Timing the whole exercise is a useful tool – encourage your lineup to improve their time with each set. This not only presents an ongoing challenge but promotes teamwork.
You can also streamline your shortstop and basemen's timing by setting up these players in formation on the diamond and have a hitter send line drives their way. Replicating game situations like this one reinforces the need for speed. Instruct your athletes to run a double play from the line drive. The shortstop should throw to first, who then sends the ball to second, turning the ball around as fast as they can.
Finally, you can set up five players for another quick hands drill. Designate one player as the thrower – the other four will be fielders. The thrower tosses one ball, and as soon as their chosen fielder catches it, sends a second ball to one of the other participants. Receivers return the balls in quick succession to the tosser, whose goal is to turn them back around without ending up with both simultaneously. Think of this exercise as a version of "hot potato."
By using these quick hands drills, you'll have your softball players passing with lightning speed in no time. If you have any other speedster tips, share them on our Facebook page!