31 Indoor Softball Drills to Blow the Roof Off Your Season

Indoor Softball Drills - The Definitive Database
Image by Kate Hansen from Pixabay

Bad weather is no reason to cancel softball practice.

Even if you can’t get the full team outside, there are plenty of indoor softball drills coaches and players can use to practice their game.

Whether you find yourself at a gymnasium, indoor sports facility, or at home, this database of drills will help keep softball players game-ready, inside and out.

Insight Into Indoor Softball Drills

The beauty of indoor softball drills is that they can cover anything a player would be faced within a real game, just on a smaller scale.

Scaling down drills is quite beneficial, as the limited space forces players to make quick reactions and tighter plays than if they were practicing on a full-sized field.

As with any drill, always remember to warm up properly before each drill to avoid injury.

Okay, let’s get started!

Indoor Softball Drills of Batters

Indoor Softball Drills for Pitching & Throwing

Indoor Softball Drills for Fielding

Indoor Softball Drills for Batters

Given the limited, and often shared, space of practicing indoors, training against a live pitcher is highly unlikely (and probably for the best).

However, these indoor softball drills can help get your players batting ready without a designated pitcher.

Indoor Softball Drills - The Definitive Database
Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Diamond Bunting

Trains: Short-game accuracy and aim

What you’ll need: Bats, Bases (or Markers), Wiffle Balls

How it works:

  1. Divide players into batters and fielders
  2. Batters take turns bunting to the different positions on a makeshift baseball diamond, aiming for each of the bases.
  3. Players lined up at each position take turns fielding the bunted Wiffle Balls.

Offensive players learn to aim their bunts with more accuracy, strengthening their short game. Defensive players improve their ability to field a bunt through shortening reaction time and increasing cooperation.

Hitting From A Tee

Hitting From A Tee
Bownet Promag Travel Baseball/Softball Batting Tee

Trains: Proper stance and proper hand and arm positioning.

What you’ll need: Bats, Balls, Batting Tee

Don’t fool yourself, you’re never too old to hit from a tee. Hitting a stationary ball lets you focus on nailing the proper form. (observation from a coach helps this as well).

Using a batting tee helps players focus on the fine mechanics of their swing.

  • The position of their hands and arms.
  • Stepping through the swing with their front foot while keeping her back foot planted
  • Striking all the way through the ball and zone (more on that later)
  • Keeping their head down.

Hitting Off a Machine

Softball Bat for Hitting Off a Machine
2020 Easton Ghost ASA/USSSA -10 Fastpitch Softball Bat

Trains: Batting form, reactions, hand-eye coordination

What you’ll need: Bats, Balls, Pitching Machine, Hitting Net

Want all the speed and power of a pitcher, but in a small controlled environment? Then get yourself (or your team) a pitching machine.

Pitching machines are great for indoor softball drills since they can deliver the ball at varying speeds within a short distance. Of course, you’ll need a batting net, and should be using the pitching machine in a batting cage for proper safety. Pitching machines are great for use in rhythmic hitting drills and bunting.

One-Handed Batting

Trains: bat handling, aiming, swing control, hitting strength, concentration, and patience.

What you need: Bats, One-handed bat (if possible), Wiffle Balls, Hitting Net (if possible)

How it works:

As the name implies, this drill requires batters to practice using only one hand. Batting with one hand requires more strength and coordination then two-handed batting, requiring players to exhibit excellent aim and control. This drill can be done with a normal-sized bat, as well as one-handed bats, to practice this drill at varying difficulties.

Rapid Fire Soft Toss

Rapid Toss Drill
Atec Portable Baseball/Softball Soft/Front Toss Screen

Trains: Bat speed, hand-eye coordination, reaction time.

What you’ll need: Bats, Balls, Soft Toss Net

How to do it:

  1. The tosser kneels just off to the side of the batter, (out of the way of getting hit) with a collection of balls (softballs, whiffle balls, tennis balls, and training balls will all work fine)
  2. The hitter sets up at the plate, facing the batting net.
  3. The tosser lobs the first ball into the strike zone.
  4. The hitter hits the ball into the batting net
  5. As soon as the hitter strikes the ball and begins to wind up again, the tosser lobs the second ball.
  6. This continues until all the balls have been used.

Ideally, the batter should get into a rhythm of continuously striking the ball and reloading for another swing. The objective of this drill is to improve the hitter’s swing speed, by training them to keep their load position close, as it’s the shortest and fastest path to the ball (The more the hands extend out over the plate, the slower the swing). Therefore, the tosser needs to deliver the ball at a brisk, consistent pace.

You can make this drill easier or harder by simply changing the location of the pitches (high, low, inside, outside) or the pitcher (closer to or farther from the hitter) and the speed of the pitches.

Speed Hitter Training Aid

Trains: Swing Technique

What you’ll need: Speed Hitter Training aid.

How to do it:

If you’ve read our Ultimate Guide to Baseball Training Aids, then you’re familiar with the Momentous Speed Hitter and the Swing Bat. These hitting aids train players to store swing power until the barrel of the bat is over the plate.

If you don’t have a training aid, you can always practice your batting swing in super slow motion to really focus on your mechanics.

Stand facing a wall a bat’s distance away and swing in slow-mo. Your bat should not hit the wall, but the bat head should be very close, all the way through full extension.

Wiffle Ball Drill

Wiffle Ball Indoor Softball Drills
Bownet Wiffle Softballs

Trains: Hand-eye coordination

What you’ll need: Bats, Thin Bat, (or Broom Handle), Wiffle Balls, Surface to hit on

How to do it: Hit a Wiffle ball into a batting net.

Nothing too exotic with this drill. Hitting a Wiffle ball into a batting net or wall lets you focus on your hitting form as it doesn’t require the power an actual softball does.

Plus, you can make this drill even harder by using a thinner bat (even a broom handle will do the trick if you’re feeling adventurous.)

You can also use this drill to practice your follow-through by trying to hit two Wiffle balls at once.

1-2-3 Form Hitting Drill

1-2-3 Indoor Softball Drills
Franklin MLB Throw Down 5 Piece Base Set

Trains: Body motion through the swing.

What you’ll need: Bats, Balls, Hitting Net, Plates (or Markers)

How it works:

This drill can be practiced with or without the use of a ball. The hitter’s swing is divided into 3 positions.

  1. The player steps up to the plate and gets into the load position. Their weight is on the foot furthest from the plate, and their opposite foot is on its toes.
  2. The back foot is turned so that the laces are facing the pitching mount (or where it would be) while maintaining balance. The player’s upper body remains loaded and primed to swing.
  3. The player swings through the zone without moving their feet.

After practicing without a ball, another player or coach can toss a ball right over the plate from the side, while the player flows through each position.

1-2-3 Zone Hitting Drill

Trains: Short to/Long Through, Palm Up/Palm Down on impact

What you’ll need: Bats, Batting Tee, Balls, Hitting Net, Plates or Markers

How it works:

  1. This drill is divided up into 3 zones, all lined up several inches behind the plate. Zone one places the tee about 6-8 inches in front of the plate; zone 2 is 8-10 inches; one 3 is about 10-14 inches.
  2. While staying inside of the zone, players stop the bat when it makes content with the ball, sending the ball into the center of the net.

The goal is to keep the wrist from rolling over and shoulders closed. This drill lengthens the hitter’s follow-throw as the tee moves away from the plate. Players must take the shortest path to the ball by keeping their shoulders closed until they make contact and stay in the zone as long as they can.

Players also need to make sure that when they move through Zone 3, they don’t get out on their front foot.

2 Ball Drill

2 Ball Drill
Diamond 11″ Flexiball Soft Touch Training Softball

Trains: Short to/Long Through, Palm Up/Palm Down on impact (Swing Technique)

What you’ll need: Bats, Batting Tee, Balls, Hitting Net, Plates or Markers

How it works:

  1. Two tees are a bat barrel’s length apart with the tee furthest from the player at a slightly lower height.
  2. Players try and hit the second ball with the first ball.

The goal of this drill is to reduce over-rotation (too quick rotation) in the batter.

3-2-1 Hitting Drill

There are different variations of drills called “3-2-1 drill”

Trains: Hand-eye coordination, swing length/speed, reaction time on pitches

What you’ll need: Bats, Balls, Batting Cage, Bases (or Markers), Pitching machine

How it works:

  1. Set up 3 markers in a line facing the pitching machine.
  2. Starting from the back most marker, the player is fed three balls,
  3. Next, the player then moves closer to the second marker where she is fed 2 balls,
  4. Finally, the player moves to the final marker, where she is fed one ball.

Being closer to the pitching machine means the ball will come faster, forcing the player to make quick decisions.

Indoor Softball Drills for Pitching & Throwing

Knee Throws

Trains: Overhand Upper Body Throwing Mechanics

What you’ll need: Balls, Surface/Person to throw to.

How it works:

  1. Players partner up (or you can throw to a wall if you’re practicing on your own)
  2. Both players kneel a comfortable throwing distance apart.
  3. The players throw the ball back and forth while kneeling.

Players can do this drill while kneeling on one knee or two and throwing the ball to another person or a wall. Fastpitch players should keep their arms up above their shoulders, follow all the way through, and all players should have a strong follow-through.

Pitch Selections

Trains: Grip and throwing mechanics.

What you’ll need: Pitching Net, Balls

How it works:

  1. Players grab a partner (or coach) with one player pitching and the other calling out pitches.
  2. One player yells out the name of a pitch at random.
  3. The pitching player transitions to that pitch as fast as they can, sending the ball into a net.

The goal for the pitcher is to fire off the chosen pitch as quickly as possible. The speed and power of the pitch isn’t the focus. This drill is all about cycling through as many pitches as possible in rapid succession.

3-2-1 Fast Pitch Drill

3-2-1 Fast Pitch Indoor Softball Drills
Champro Weighted 12″ Training Softball

Champro Weighted 12″ Training Softball

Trains: Hand speed.

What you’ll need: Pitching Net, Balls (Weighted Balls are also acceptable)

How it works:

  1. The pitching player pitches the ball underhand to a net or cage.
  2. The pitcher begins with 3 arm swings before releasing the ball.
  3. Then moves to 2 two-arm swings before releasing the ball.
  4. Finally, the player throws the ball after the first arm swing.

The pitcher should strive to reach the arm speed of the 3-circle pitch on both the 2-circle and 1-circle pitches. The goal of this drill is not accuracy, it’s solely focusing on improving hand speed.

You can do this drill with a weighted ball set, moving from the highest weight down to the lowest weight (including a regular softball and Wiffle ball)

Indoor Softball Drills for Fielding

Indoor Softball Drills - The Definitive Database
Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

The Communication Drill (Calling the Ball Drill)

Trains: game-like situational pressure, communication skills, trust between players

What you’ll need: Balls

How it works:

  1. Divide the players into infielders and outfielders and organize them into two lines.
  2. The infielders line up several feet in front of the outfielders
  3. A coach throws a ball to the fielders.
  4. Infielders call the ball with “got it” and outfielders with “mine”.
  • If an infielder calls the ball, the outfielder must still come in to back them up.
  • When an outfielder calls the ball, it is always her ball.
  • If an outfielder catches the ball, they throw it to the infielder, instead of all the way in.

By assigning specific call-outs to different positions, players will know which teammate is calling for the ball, and what position they’re coming from.

You can make this drill harder and more game-like by adding another infield line and having two infielders and an outfielder going for the ball at the same time.

Come-Up Throwing Drill

Trains: Footwork, before and after the catch. Catching ground balls

What you’ll need: Balls, Wall or vertical surface

How it works:

  1. Players line up in the middle of the gym, facing the opposite side.
  2. A player (or coach) starts the drill by throwing a ball at the wall to either the right or left of the player.
  3. The first player in line fields the rebound and throws it to the opposite wall.
  4. The next outfielder gloves that rebound and turns, throwing to the opposite wall.

This cycle continues for as long as the coach wants. It’s important to make sure players are charging balls being aggressive through the ball, and are throwing accurately with proper form.

Corner Drill

Trains: Proper cut-off angles, footwork, catching

What you’ll need: Balls, Bases (or Markers)

How it works:

  1. The coach sets up two makers several yards apart.
  2. Players line up on one marker, facing the other.
  3. A coach rolls a ball away from the players, towards the distant marker.
  4. The players must run the ball down, and cut it off before it reaches the marker.
  5. The player then throws the ball to a middle infielder who acts as a cut-off man.

This drill prepares players for a ball hit to an outfielder’s left or right. Recovering that ball, and sending it to a cut-off player to end the play.

4 Corner’s Infield Drill

No Gloves Indoor Softball Drills
Champro Baseball Training Glove Kit

Trains: Ground balls, catch-to-throw transitions, making throws on the run.

What you’ll need: Balls, Partner (or Coach)

How it works:

  1. Four players set up in a square formation a comfortable throwing distance apart.
  2. The player that starts with the ball is Player 1. They throw the ball diagonally across the square to the player farthest away from them (player 2).
  3. Player 2 then throws the ball to the player to their right. This player becomes Player 3.
  4. Player 3 then throws the ball diagonally to the remaining player (Player 4).
  5. Player 4 then tosses the ball to Player 1.
  6. This loop continues until the coach changes direction or ends the drill.

The player can change the direction of the drill, and their places on the square, so that everyone gets experience with different throws. Players should catch the ball with two hands, move the ball to their throwing hand as quickly as possible, and practice their “crow hop” when throwing.

If you want to make this more difficult, add an additional player to make a star shape, and/or have player rotate to another position after making a throw.

This is also a drill that you could do with  Champro Baseball Training Glove.

Fielding Without Gloves Drill

Trains: Proper fielding technique

What you’ll need: Balls, Not a Softball Glove (that’s for sure).

How it works:

This drill requires players to field the ball in their bare hands without a glove.

  1. Players line-up in two lines facing each other.
  2. One player rolls the ball to the player opposite them.
  3. The player who rolled the ball follows it, running to the back of the opposite line.
  4. Then the other player fields the ball and rolls it across to the next player.

While this drill loops, players focus on squaring up the ball, bending their knees, and cradling the ball into their bodies. This drill is focused on fielding mechanics, player posture, glove positioning, and securing the ball cleanly, not on the speed or power of the ball rolled.

First-Step Drill

Trains: First step quickness to the ball, proper angles

What you’ll need: Bases (or Markers), Balls (only if you want to)

How it works:

  1. Mark out four bases and give each base a number.
  2. One outfielder ready’s themselves in the middle of the bases with the other players in line off to the side.
  3. The coach calls out a base and the player responds as if a ball was hit towards the base

You can make this drill more game-like by getting a ball involved.

“Gator” Run-Down Drill

These fellas might look too big to be quick, but they know how to move when they need to and so should your softball players.

Gator Drill
Image by Kendra Brumble from Pixabay

Trains: Run-Down Defense

What you’ll need: Balls, Bases (or Markers)

How it works:

This drill makes use of the whole team and is a great way to practice run-down defense as long as you have enough space.

  1. Have your defense set up in their usual positions with several runners at home plate, and a designated tosser in the middle of the field. (This can be a coach, trainer, or another player).
  2. The runner moves at top speed around the bases while the defense covers its bases.
  3. When the runner is between 2 bases, the trainer tosses the ball to a defensive player.
  4. It’s now a race to the plate.

High Five Drill

Trains: Underhand toss follow through.

What you’ll need: Balls

How it works:

  1. Players partner up and move about 10 – 15 feet apart.
  2. One player rolls the ball to the other, while the other player fields the ground ball.
  3. The fielding player then tosses the ball underhand back to their partner.
  4. Keeping their hand up after their toss, the player then runs to their partner and high fives them.

This drill instills proper follow-through muscle memory in the players while making them push the ball instead of rolling it out of their hand.

You can remix this drill by changing the two players into two lines. After completing the drill, both players move to the back of the opposite line.

Over-the-should catch Drill (Pass Drill)

Trains: footwork, hand-eye coordination, timing, agility, focus, running technique, glove technique, catching on the run

What you’ll need: Balls (tennis balls), Bases (or Markers)

How it works:

  1. The coach running the drill lines up in the middle of the baseline of the gym; players should be lined up out of bounds around mid-court with a ball. (ideally, there are enough balls to cycle through the drill continuously)
  2. On the coach’s command, the player will run directly towards the coach and flip them the ball.
  3. Then, the player continues to loop behind the coach, running at an angle to the corner of the opposite baseline.
  4. Once the player distances themselves from the coach, the ball is thrown over the player’s shoulder, which they will then try to catch.

You can increase the difficulty of this drill by gradually increasing the player’s speed. Remember to have players switch directions after a few rounds to practice catching on their opposite side.

Pass Patterns Drill

Pass Patterns Drill
Easton 11″ Neon Synthetic Softouch Training Incrediball Softball

Trains: receiving fly balls over the shoulder.

What you’ll need: Balls

How it works:

  1. One player (or coach) is the designated tosser while the fielder stands in front of them, facing the other way.
  2. The tosser lets the fielder know when to take off, tossing the ball over their head, so they must catch it in stride.

Increase the difficulty of this drill by having the fielder line up directly in front of the tosser.

To upscale this drill, have players line up behind the tosser so that the tosser becomes the next fielder.

Rapid Response Fielding Drill

Trains: Fielding to tossing response time and speed

What you’ll need: Plastic Bat, Wiffle Balls, Bases (or Markers)

How it works:

  1. Players assume their regular defensive positions.
  2. A coach (or another player) throws or hits various balls, to the defense.
  3. The coach then calls out a base number directing where the player should throw the ball after catching it.
  4. The player that receives the ball tosses it to the player on that base as if they were throwing to get an out.

By improving their reaction time, and increasing their transition speed from catching to throwing, this drill prepares players for getting outs.

Side to Side Drill

Trains: Lateral Movement, quickness, basic grounder fundamentals.

What you’ll need: Balls, Partner (or Coach)

How it works:

  1. A partner (or coach) rolls a ball to the side of the fielder.
  2. Without crossing her feet, the fielder side shuffles and fields the ball in between her feet.
  3. Once fielded, the ball is returned to the tosser.
  4. After the toss, the fielder shuffles back into position, and her partner rolls another grounder.

The fielder should stay low throughout the drill, and the drill is repeated until a coach calls for the players to switch roles.

Sockball Drill

Indoor Softball Drills | Sockball Toss
Evoshield Baseball/Softball Training Crew Socks

Trains: Pitching form
What you’ll need: Some Softball Socks, A mirror (reflective surface)

How it works:

  1. Line up in front of a mirror or any reflective surface.
  2. Grab a pair of socks, and roll them into a ball.
  3. Pitch the socks to the mirror, focusing on your pitching form.

Pitching socks into a mirror gives you immediate feedback on your pitching form, allowing you to check your body positioning during every stage of your delivery.

Still-Ball Backhands Drill

Trains: raking backhands correctly

What you’ll need: Balls, Partner or Coach

How it works:

  1. All the players grab a ball and place it about 3 steps away from them.
  2. Approaching the ball in a backhand position, each player will rake through the ball, making sure it gets behind their front foot.
  3. The player then throws the ball to another player, into a net, or just practice throwing mechanics, and run the drill again from the starting position.

Triangle Backhand Drill

Trains: fielding backhands

What you’ll need: Balls, 3 players

How it works:

  1. 3 players form a triangle, one with a collection of balls.
  2. The player with the balls tosses a grounder to the player to her right.
  3. That player will stay low all the way through and field the ground ball with her backhand.
  4. After fielding the ball, the ball is tossed to the remaining player and then back to the player that started the drill

Zig-Zag Drill

Trains: Proper technique for running and catching balls hit over a player’s head. Conditioning.
What you’ll need: Balls

How it works:

  1. The players get in a line facing the coach.
  2. The coach holds up a softball to their side
  3. The first player in line runs in the direction of the ball as if the ball is over her head, keeping her glove down.
  4. The coach then moves the ball to their other side, and the player reverses direction. (This pattern may repeat several times before throwing.)
  5. The coach throws the ball over the player’s head, and she must go and catch the ball.

The player shouldn’t bring her glove up until the last possible minute to make the catch. Running with their glove out will slow the player down, and make it difficult to relax their arm and wrist.

3-2-Run Drill

Trains: game-like situational pressure to make accurate throws during plays.

3-2-Run Drill
Champro Quilted Baseball/Softball 3 Base Set

What you’ll need: Balls, Bases (or Markers)

How it works:

  1. Separate the players into two teams, one fielding and one will be running.
  2. The fielding team has a third baseman and a group on the second base. The other team is at bat (without bats).
  3. Evenly space 3 balls on the ground about 3/4 of the way from third base to home.
  4. On the coach’s signal, the runner sprints to first base and on to second base.
  5. The fielder at third base runs to the first ball and makes a throw to a teammate at second base.
  6. The fielder then goes to the second ball, throwing to the same second base fielder, and does the same thing with the third ball.

After every player on the fielding team has had a chance to throw to second base, the teams will switch roles.

You can make this competitive by awarding points to the running team if the runner makes it to second base, or if the fielding team makes a bad throw or bad catch.

Your Turn at Bat

We hope you’ve found this indoor softball drill database helpful in organizing practices and improving player skills.

This is an evolving database. To make it the best resource possible, we will be updating it with more drills in the future.

If you want to contribute to this database, share your favorite indoor softball drills in the comments, or let us know if there’s any we missed.

See you around the bases.


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