Use an air horn to add a little pressure
One of the continuing challenges in a fastpitch softball practice is simulating game pressure. You can tell your players about the need to execute quickly, and yell at them to speed up. You can even try using some of your players as baserunners to put it into context. But unless they have blazing speed, they may not create the type of gamelike pressure you need to make the point.
We often have players execute against a stopwatch, telling them the goal is to execute in three seconds or less from the time the ball hits the bat until the time it hits the fielder’s glove and calling out their actual times. Today we decided to up the ante.
We added an air horn to the mix. The stopwatch starts when the bat hits the ball. When you get to three seconds (or whatever target you’re going for) you sound the air horn. Players get immediate audible feedback that’s pretty annoying, pressuring them to field the ball and make the throw before the horn sounds.
We used a small horn today. One of the advantages is that it sets a limit on the drill. When you run out of juice to power the horn, the drill is done.
It’s pretty effective, and fun — especially for the person with the horn. Give it a try!