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Teaching General FUNdamentals of Softball is a resource guide that focuses on the correct mechanics andexecution of the fundamental Softball skills. This includes catching a thrown ball, executing an overhand throw, fielding ground balls and fly balls, basic pitching, catching, hitting and base running technique. This resource concentrates on assisting coaches to correctly develop fundamentals Softball skills in beginner level players.
Softball Drills and Modified Games is a comprehensive resource guide with Softball drills grouped into sections related to offense and defense. The guide covers a small selection of many drills that are used in the game of Softball – as coaches are only limited by their own imagination. The modified games are designed to compliment the skills needed to play Softball effectively and add fun and variety to any training session. The modified games can be adjusted to suit all age groups.
Baserunning FUNdamentals is a guideline that focuses on the art of base running is, and will continue to be, an integral and important part of Softball as it is often taken for granted that a player understand the mechanics of base running. Arguably, the single-most important factor in being an excellent base runner is the ability to think while running the bases, often while at full speed. It is this single ingredient, coupled with other intangibles and learned base running skills, that will inevitably determine the base running abilities of any player.
Hitting FUNdamentals is a resource guide on to how the hitter must be positively, purposefully, mentally, aggressively programmed to achieve success – often referred to as Aggressive/Assertive Mental Hitting. This guide focuses on how to achieve this approach with tips including:
Outfield FUNdamentals is a guide on successfully playing the outfield which requires not only hard work on the physical tools and fundamentals, but total concentration and communication. During the course of a standard game, outfielders will be involved in 4-5 plays, therefore they have to remain alert and assume that each ball hit is coming to them. Players must not let inactivity interfere with concentration. In addition, outfielders need to communicate on all plays to make it easy on the other players. Outfielders need to know such things as how close they are to the fence, if the runners are tagging and where the relay throw is going and need to regularly communicate with infielders.
Catching FUNdamentals is a guide related to catching as it is one of the most important defensive positions and players should be taught to wear the correct equipment and use the proper techniques from the beginning. The focus of this section is on the identification and development of correct techniques for catchers.
Pitching FUNdamentals is a resource guide on pitching as it is a very important part of Softball and the aim of this section is to instruct on how to teach the basic mechanics of how to pitch the ball hard with a smooth, efficient delivery motion. Once this is mastered, the pitcher can advance to learn the various skills required to play the game at competitive levels.
Coaches Handbook is a resource guide to assist coaches with the development of their programs. It focuses on the pitcher's overall development, both mentally and physically, and helps pitchers develop and improve throughout the course of a year via advanced training and teaching methods.
The following resources have been gathered from various national and international events created solely for Softball coaches. Softball Australia thanks all contributors for their involvement in these events and for the sharing of resources below.
Cindy Bristow, Power Point Presentation
International Friendship Series, Sydney, 3-10 July 2009
Presentation topics include:
National Fastpitch Coach Association (NFCA) ISF International Coaching College
Australia Institute of Sport, 30 August-2 September 2007
Injury management and recovery
Standard of Excellence, National Coaching Conference
Australian Institute of Sports, 27-29 May 2005
Video part 1 – features umpiring, hitting, throwing, leadership, the shoulder and shoulder stretches
Video part 2 – features pitching biomechanics, conditioning, performance analysis recovery and Speed, Agility and Quickness.
Unity of Purpose, National Coaching National Coaching Conference
Australian Institute of Sport, May 2003
Coaching practice involves the development of the 'how to' coach skills related to the daily environment of coaching. Being able to apply and adapt what coaches learn is essential to becoming a quality coach.
The prime objective of a practice session is to develop Softball skills and improve team play. There are a number of secondary objectives to be considered when planning a practice session. This includes:
Game sense approach is a resource guide related toGame Sense approach that places the game centrally in the coaching session, rather than at the end. Skill development is not forgotten but is incorporated into the game situation. If a player is not experiencing success, the coach can point out other ways the player might improve chances of success.
Softball Injury Prevention is a brochure outlining the best ways to keep physically safe and fit when playing Softball.
Inclusive Coaching Module (and presentation) is a practical and interactive workshop module that helps coaches better include people with a disability in Softball. This module reinforces that inclusion is the best coaching practice, and shows that by adopting inclusive practices, both the coaches and participants will enjoy a much better experience. It is a helpful introduction to Coaching, and can be used as re-accreditation points. It is also a valued component of the Level 2 and 3 NCAS Softball Accreditation courses.
The main function of a coach is to teach the game of Softball and provide learning opportunities for all players. Practising is the main vehicle through which this teaching occurs. For team sports, sufficient time must be set-aside during the year to develop team skills as well as individual skills. This requires good planning, both long and short‑term. Therefore, one of the key elements of effective coaching is effective planning.
Planning to Train is a resource guide that provides an overview of long term athlete development principles used in your coaching.
Training Organisation is a resource guide that will assist you to improve the quality and effectiveness of your practice sessions.
Softball Training Plan Format is a resource guide that provides you with information to prepare a training plan.
Training Fundamental Skills Checklist is an outline of the key points emphasised in the fundamentasl of Softball and training to train stages of long term athlete development.
Softball Lesson Plans is a valuable training resource.
As a coach you need to familiarise yourself with the rules of Softball there are many versions of Softball and levels of competition to cater for different age groups and abilities. While each of these versions tends to share common terminology, they often have variations on the standard rules of Softball.
The best resource for the basic rules of social Softball is in Rules in Pictures.
The Official Playing Rules & Rules Case Book of Softball Australia (adapted for local conditions from the ISF Official Rules of Softball) is used for all Australian Championships, national events and international events conducted or hosted by Softball Australia. In the case of Australian Championships, these rules are supplemented by the Australian Championship Regulations.
Softball Australia had developed many policies for the improvement of the sport, and the policy most relevant to coaches is the Member Protection Policy and Risk Management. It is important for coaches to be familiar with the policies and guidelines that govern the game and with their duty of care responsibilities on the following topics:
Softball Australia encourages all coaches to familiarise themselves with the Coach's Code of Ethics to ensure compliance with best practice.
Softball Australia regularly profiles national and state coach contributions.
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