Stopwatch - Essential Softball Equipment
A stopwatch is a great coaching aide and an essential tool to have in your softball equipment bag. The bases are only 60 feet apart in fastpitch softball, so time is of the essence. It’s one of the big differences in softball and baseball. Fastpitch Softball is much more of a speed game than baseball. If you don’t know how long it takes each of your players to perform a skill, then you are just guessing at what your results will be on a play.
But, What Should I Be Timing?
I’m glad you asked. The short answer is EVERYTHING. Here is a quick list you should find helpful.
1) Speed from Home to First — Really only helpful for base stealing or tagging up on a fly ball.
2) Hit the ball and run to First — How fast are they getting out of the batter's box and are they watching the ball instead of running with their head down.
5) Catch a fly ball and throw to Second base
3) Bunt and run to First — You may be amazed at the time differences in this drill. Some get out of the box quickly and some don’t.
4) Catch a ground ball and throw to First. Some girls have great arm strength but take forever and a day to get up and throw. My girls times on this drill range from about 2.8 seconds to 3.3 seconds.
— Our times currently range from about 1.9 seconds up to almost 3.3 seconds. 3.3 seconds is FOREVER in softball. Way too slow.
6) Catch a fly ball and throw to Home — Our times ranged from about 3.7 seconds to almost 7 seconds. Do you realize that 7 seconds is equal to a girl tagging up at 2nd base and scoring by the time the ball reached home. Oh, we’ll be working with her.
7) Time your catchers on their throws to second — How quickly from the time the ball hits their glove can they get up and get the ball to 2nd base? Who should really be playing catcher? You may have a girl with a rocket arm, but it takes her 2 seconds to get rid of the ball.
Once you have a stopwatch, and put your players through these timing drills, then as the coach you can start to work on team and individual weaknesses. You can also measure the players progress and just as important, the player gets immediate feedback so they know if they are fast or slow in a particular skill.
There are lots of stopwatches on the market. I finally found one that I like made by Sportline
for about $15.00. I liked it because it has big easy to read numbers (hey, we’re all getting a little older), it has three big buttons that are very easy to use, and it came with a ropeso it can be worn around your neck or wrapped around your wrist.
Once you have used a stopwatch, you will wonder how you ever got by without it. Information is POWER and with a stopwatch as part of your softball equipment, you will be well on your way to building a winning fastpitch softball team.
If you want to know more, or purchase your own Stopwatch just click on one of the links below.
There are lots of stopwatches on the market. I just happened to pick out one from Sportline because the features met my needs and the price was reasonable.
Youth Speed Training E-Book for $14.99
Think about how many REALLY close plays are made at 1st base. Did you realize if you can shave just 2/10ths of a second off a girls time to 1st base, that will translate into 3-4 feet. Over the course of a season, how many more runs did you just score by turning that ground out into an infield hit?
Now, Go Time ‘em coach!
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