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List of Softball Skills

List of Softball Skills

Softball is a sport that is highly technical. The basic skills for any player involved in softball are; throwing, catching, hitting for contact, hitting for power, and running. They are often referred to as the "five tools" because they are the five things that coaches and scouts look for in softball position players. Pitching is also an important skill in softball, but only one of the nine players is a pitcher.

Fielding Skills

  • Throwing: One skill that sets softball apart as a sport is throwing. Throwing a softball is key for every position on defense. Since a softball is bigger and heavier, having a strong arm is crucial in order to make accurate, long throws. One great way to improve your throwing skill is to play catch, especially long toss, where you and a partner throw the ball back and forth further and further apart.
  • Catching: Just like throwing, catching is another crucial defensive skill no matter what position you play on the field. In the outfield you have to be especially good at catching high fly balls. In the infield you have to be able to catch short throws from other infielders, especially at first base. The position where it is most important is aptly named catcher. There, in a squat, you have to catch fast pitches from your pitcher.
  • Pitching: Pitching is the most important skill that is not one of the "five tools". Pitching is a very technical skill, reserved for only one player on the field. Pitching is different than throwing in softball because it is underhand and more athletic of a motion. To improve pitching you have to do it a lot. There are various drills as well but the most important thing is to pitch a lot and take care of shoulder strength.

Batting Skills

  • Hitting for Contact: Another five-tool is hitting for contact. Put simply, this skill is your ability to make contact with the ball while hitting. As a softball player you want to strike out as little as possible, and get as many hits as you can. Hitting for contact is especially important for hitters who might not be as strong, as it is even more important to get base hits.
  • Hitting for Power: This skill is one that not everyone has, but is very coveted in softball players. Hitting for power is the combination of making contact with the ball, but also hitting it as far as possible. Usually only one or two players on a softball team will be power hitters, hitting home runs and driving in lots of runs. If you can improve this skill by lifting weights and working on your swing.
  • Running: The last of the "five tools" is also the most simple, running. This applies to both offense and defense, the only tool that does. Running especially applies to outfielders on defense, as they have to cover more ground to get to balls. It is especially important on offense though, with base running. In softball with bases sixty feet apart, being fast is a huge advantage, leading to more hits and more runs.
  • Bunting: Bunting is an important skill of small ball softball. Instead of swinging and hitting the ball, you put your hand up on the bat and tap the ball, usually down one of the baselines. This is for fast runners to get base hits and also to advance baserunners.
  • Slap Hitting: Slap hitting is a batting technique specific to softball where you hit the ball directly at the ground, trying to create a big bounce so you can outrun the ground ball. This skill takes a lot of work to perfect, but can be an important tool for any left handed batter to get on base.