This Fastpitch outfield drill we call “Shoot the Gap”. The object of this drill is to get your outfielders moving to the ball and moving to back up each other. Position one player at second base to act as the cut off and then position the rest of the players in left field and center field.
One coach is positioned at home plate to hit or shoot fly balls and the other coach can be in the outfield to monitor technique and instruct the players. The balls will be hit to the gap in left center. The outfielders will then move to the ball with one girl calling for it and the other girl should then take an angle to back up the play. When the ball is fielded, it is then thrown back in to second base where she can either put the ball in a bucker or relay it to home.
I prefer to use the jugs pitching machine to shoot the balls due to its consistency and ease of use. As the balls are thrown back to second base, she can just drop the balls into a bucket and when her bucket is full return it to home plate. You should be able to get 4 or 5 fly balls in under a minute.
This is also a great time for the coach in the outfield to be using his stopwatch. Time the play from when the ball comes out of the machine until the ball is caught at second base. This will give your outfielders a sense of urgency and it will also give them a mark to improve on. For example, if they perform the drill the first time in 7.2 seconds, they will then be hustling to beat that time on their next turn. As every coach of a youth softball team knows, HOLDING the ball in the outfield is a cardinal sin.
A little selfish confession...both coaches can take a seat on a bucket during this drill. I could run this drill all day long! LOL
Go Get ‘em Coach!