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From our friends at Arlington Softball + 


Top 10 Mental Game Tips
1. Respect the game…the game knows
Treat yourself, your teammates, your coach, your equipment with respect; put in the work and the game will reward you
2. Practice visualization and meditation
Visualize at bats, visualize pitches, visualize success, recognize but flush mistakes
3. Promote positive self-talk
Turn “I don’t want to drop my hands” into “I want to keep my hands up”
4. Always plan ahead and be prepared; give yourself the best chance to be successful
For the next pitch, the next at bat, the next practice, the next game
5. Carry your game mentality to practice
You will play like how you practice
6. Pick your teammates up to better focus on self
On the field, on the bench, during games, during practice
7. Develop routines
At bat routine, pitching routines, preparation routines
8. Determine a focal point on the field and concentrate on steady breathing
Pick a spot on the field, when you need to reset, focus on the point with deep breaths
9. Know your responsibilities for each role
What to do when you’re on the bench, when in the hole, when on deck
10. Always give full effort and attitude regardless of performance
These should always be consistent and will help your game stay consistent


Top 10 Coaching Tips
1. Create a team culture from the beginning
It is easier to establish than to change
2. Manage parent expectations upfront and clearly define/set boundaries
3. Create practice and pre-game plans
Document and record these to physically bring with you!
4. Learn when to adapt coaching style to better connect with player
And don't forget that they're girls, not boys…adjust your approach accordingly
5. Put your players in game-like situations as much as possible
6. Continue to study and learn the game!
7. Promote a positive atmosphere
It starts with you!
8. Expect your players to give you their all
If you don't, they won't
9. Hold them accountable
Players thrive on contributing to their team
10. Never punish for physical mistakes, only mental


Example Warm Up
Cardio: Jog 1-2 laps
Dynamic Stretching: Players line up between home and first base. Exercises are performed the length to the pitcher’s mound.
Walking leg kicks
Lunge with a twist
High knees
Butt kicks
Grapevine (x2)
Walking quads
Walking calves
Static Stretching: Players in a circle. Each stretch is held for 20 seconds.
Each arm across and overhead
Wrist pull back toward face
Forearm fingers stretch down
Legs wide: down to the right/left/middle
Full body stretch (lie flat on back on ground with legs stretched out and arms stretched out above head)
*The same warm up should be performed each practice and game – be consistent!

Example Practice Plan (2hrs)
10min Warm Up
15min Throwing Progression
5min Crossfire Throwing
60min Offense/Defense Breakout Sessions
Half team 30min hitting, half team 30min defense
Groups switch after 30min
Pitchers/Catchers pulled out of stations as needed for individual work
20min Offense/Defense Controlled Scrimmage Situations
10min Baserunning Cool Down
Offense Breakout Session: Focus on Hands Staying Up
Hitting Stations: 6min per station, 3 players per station (one batter, one visualizing/dry swings/one feeding tee)
High tee: place tee on a bucket so tee is shoulder-head height
Tennis ball bounce: bounce the tennis ball in front of the plate (the ball will slow down), player must focus on keeping hands up in load and waiting on ball
Rapid side toss: toss ball high, as soon as swing is finished, player must keep hands up on “rewind”, immediately toss next ball, repeat for 5 balls in a round
Chop: set tee very low, swings just to extension from hands high to chop down on ball, ball should go directly into ground
Defense Breakout Session: Focus on Movement to Ball (infield and outfield)
Jump into stance before fielding ball
Start facing backwards then react to ball
Creeping/charging in front of cones
Back up movement without ball

Offense/Defense Controlled Scrimmage Situations:
Yes/Yes/No hitting mentality
Work various counts
21 outs
Hit balls to defense in between live pitches to batter (forces players to change focal points)
Pitcher Pull Out:
Warm Up Progression
Bucket Drill (stride leg on bucket, perform “k drill”)
Sprinter Cycle (start laying on stomach in “push up” with eyes on catcher’s mitt, glove is on and ball is to side, push up into plank, complete 2 mountain climbers, push off leg finishes in front then directly stand into pitch focusing on stride)
3 Cone Sprints (can be done with or without actual ball - set out cones 5 feet of each other, begin at front cone and pitch then back pedal to next cone, then pitch repeat, on last cone sprint to home plate then repeat entire progression)
Catcher Pull Out:
Crab walk
Quick tennis ball catch without glove
In/out stance jump through ladder
Quick transition to throw downs