Last updated on August 22, 2023
The Star Drill is a popular softball drill that is designed to improve the throwing and catching skills of players. This drill is usually performed by a group of players who stand in a star formation and pass the ball to each other in a specific order. The drill is designed to help players develop their throwing accuracy, speed, and agility. As well as their ability to catch the ball under pressure, which is vital to success.
The Star Drill is a great way to improve your softball skills and is suitable for players of all levels. This drill can be performed on the field or in a gym, and it can be modified to suit different skill levels and team sizes. The drill is also a great way to build team spirit and improve communication between players. By working together to complete the drill, players can learn to trust and rely on each other, which can be a valuable asset on the field.
- 1 Understanding the Star Drill
- 2 Benefits of the Star Drill
- 3 Common Errors and Solutions
- 4 Conclusion
Understanding the Star Drill
The Star Drill is a popular softball drill that is used by coaches to improve their team’s throwing and fielding skills. During the drill, the ball goes to an infield position, like the shortstop, who then throws it to the first baseman, then to the third baseman, and finally to the second baseman, who throws it home.
There are two main variations of this drill: a continuous version where the ball is thrown around by the infielders. And a competitive version, where the coach hits the ball and there’s a baserunner that the infielders are trying to beat.
Continuous Star Drill
In this drill, the catcher starts with the ball and throws it to the shortstop. Starting the star of home, shortstop, first base, third base, second base, back home. Instead of stopping when the catcher gets the ball back from the second baseman, he turns and throws it to the shortstop and starts the star over again.
Coaches will usually continue doing the drill this way until their team demonstrates complete mastery. Once a team does, the drill can be enhanced by adding a second ball in the star! It’s important to note that with multiple balls being thrown around in the same group, a risk of injury is involved and this shouldn’t be done with younger teams.
After the catcher throws the first ball to the shortstop and the shortstop then throws to the first baseman and quickly brings attention back to the catcher, who should be prepared to throw another ball. Now you’ll have two balls being thrown through the star. When the drill is over, the catcher will drop the first ball when it comes home, and wait to receive the second ball once it’s completed its way through the star.
Competitive Star Drill
In this version of the star drill, a coach will be at home plate to hit the ball to the shortstop to begin the drill. As the coach makes contact with the ball, a baserunner (who starts standing on first base) will take off for home. The goal is for the infielders to complete the star, and get the ball to the catcher in time to get the runner out at home. Make sure the catcher and runner make the play at the plate like a real game. Scoring and preventing scoring are pretty important parts of the game!
If your fielders get too fast, you can adjust the baserunners starting point to make it more competitive. As the video above mentions, their team had to start the runners on second base because of the speed of their infield.
Benefits of the Star Drill
The Star Drill is one of the most popular softball drills for improving the fundamentals of fielding and throwing. It is a versatile drill that can be customized to meet the specific needs of your team. Here are some of the benefits of incorporating the Star Drill into your softball practice routine:
Improves Fielding Skills
The Star Drill is designed to improve the fielding skills of your players. It helps players develop the ability to field ground balls and make throws from different angles and positions.
Enhances Throwing Technique
The Star Drill is an excellent way to improve the throwing technique of your players. It helps players develop the ability to throw with speed, accuracy, and consistency.
Increases Speed and Agility
The Star Drill is a fast-paced drill that requires players to move quickly and efficiently. It helps players develop their speed and agility, which are crucial skills for playing softball. The drill also helps players improve their reaction time, which is essential for making quick plays on the field.
Improves Balance and Coordination
The Star Drill requires players to maintain their balance and coordination while moving quickly and changing directions. It helps players develop better balance and coordination, which are essential for playing softball at a high level.
Common Errors and Solutions
Softball players often make errors during the Star Drill. These errors can slow down the drill and reduce its effectiveness. Here are some common errors and solutions that can help players improve their performance:
One of the most common errors during the Star Drill is overthrown throws. This can happen when players try to throw the ball too hard or too fast. To avoid this error, players should focus on accuracy rather than speed. They should also make sure that they are using the correct throwing technique.
Communication errors can also occur during the Star Drill. This can happen when players do not communicate effectively with each other. To avoid this error, players should communicate clearly and loudly with each other. They should also listen carefully to their teammates.
Lack of Focus
The most common cause of errors is lack of focus can also lead to errors during the Star Drill. Players should stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted by other things. They should also stay alert and ready to react to any situation that may arise.
In conclusion, the Star Drill is a versatile and valuable softball exercise designed to enhance players’ throwing, catching, and reaction skills, with a particular focus on infielders’ quick decision-making and accurate throws. Its adaptability to different skill levels and team sizes, allowing coaches to tweak variables like starting points and the number of runners or balls, underscores its versatility.
One of its standout advantages lies in its efficiency, making it an excellent choice for warm-ups or integrated segments of training sessions. Even with a larger team of around 20 players, the drill can be completed swiftly, maximizing practice time. In essence, the Star Drill offers softball coaches a powerful tool to foster skill improvement and boost players’ on-field confidence by seamlessly incorporating it into regular training routines.
Hunter Tierney is a passionate writer, loving dad, and true sports fanatic. His experience helping his two daughters through softball, in addition to playing baseball at the collegiate level, gives him a fresh perspective on all things softball. He earned his business degree from the University of Phoenix where he also took writing and journalism courses.