Basic Softball Skills

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  • 0:00 Take Me Out to the Ballgame!
  • 0:33 Nice Catch!
  • 1:50 Throwing
  • 2:38 Batter Up!
  • 4:03 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ryan Hultzman
First time playing softball? Don't really know what you've gotten yourself into? No worries! This lesson describes the basic skills you will need to play the game.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Baseball might be America's pastime, but softball is its more approachable cousin. The main goal is the same as in baseball: One team hits the ball and runs the bases, while the other team fields and tries to get players out. At the end, the team with the most runs wins.

Besides the larger size of the ball, the most significant difference is that pitches are thrown underhanded. However, for the purpose of this lesson, we will focus only on the basic skills of softball, which are mostly the same as in baseball.

Nice Catch!

You yell, 'Put me in coach!' from the dugout and get the nod. You run out to the field, but now what? What kinds of skills do you need in the field?

All of the fielding skills, which center on catching and throwing, require hand-eye coordination, which is the synchronized control of the eye movement with hand movement. Each defensive position requires fielding, which includes catching either pop-ups, line-drives, or grounders.

Heads up! A pop-up, which is a ball hit into the air above the fielders' heads, is coming your way. How do you field it? First, position yourself under the ball and then raise your open glove above your head. Use your non-gloved hand as support behind your glove and keep your eye on the ball as it enters your glove.

Line-drives, which are hit parallel to the ground but don't touch the ground, come at you fast and can be difficult to catch. This is mostly because they can range from being low to the ground up to just above your head. Position your open glove in front of you in your attempt to catch a line-drive. It is important to remember that you might not have time to use your non-gloved hand for support behind the glove.

Grounders are balls hit by the batter that roll on the ground. To field these, you need to get your body behind the ball and your glove opened downwards towards the ground. Use your non-gloved hand, as needed, to guide the ball into your glove. Practice these catching strategies to become an ace in the field!


Hey, Rookie of the Year, play's at first! You have fielded the grounder, but now what do you do? Throwing, which is the process of transporting the softball to different teammates, requires a proper stance in order to gain power and accuracy. Let's look at the steps to perfecting your throw:

  1. Position your body sideways so that your non-dominant leg and arm are pointing towards your target. Your throwing arm then comes back and points in the opposite direction of your target.
  2. Step on your non-dominant leg as you bring your throwing arm overhand towards your target.
  3. Let the softball go after you reach the halfway point of the arc. Be sure to follow through with your throwing arm all the way so that your arm crosses over your body. All of your body weight should now be on your non-dominant leg.

Practicing this movement will allow you to gain power and accuracy with your throws.

Batter Up!

It's the bottom of the ninth and you've been called on as the pinch-hitter, or substitute batter. You grab the bat and walk to the plate before you realize you don't know how to bat!

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