The Rookie Sox 6x Week Offensive & Defensive Programme is designed to support the further development of 11-12 year old softballers. The programme is not necessarily for individual clubs but more for identified players covering a cluster of clubs or a region.
The programme has been developed to put your team (or identified players) ahead of the competition with six weeks of structured and innovative training. Trainings outlined in this programme include 2 hour sessions with appropriate skill progressions to improve the offensive and defensive abilities of players in 'all positions'.
Highlights of the Programme include:
Softballers are introduced to all 9 defensive positions on the diamond. The purpose of this concept is to expose and allow all players the opportunity to gain a wide range of softball skills.
Honouring the Game - a component built into each session exposing athletes to the national team pathway and characteristics that define successful softball players.
Carefully designed practice plans allowing both coaches and players the ability to understand the game and think more for themselves.
The document complements and builds on the ‘Rookie Sox Manual’ and the ‘Rookie Sox Pitching & Catching 6x Week Programme’.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Rookie Sox 6x Week Offensive & Defensive Programme is made up of two key documents.
Session Plans - There are 6 weekly session plans covering fundamentals for each position. The session plans include simple but effective training drills that coaches can use to run a training. The 2 hour session plans include all the necessary information a coach requires to run the session on the day.
Coach Support Notes – Session plans are accompanied by an additional document providing background reading and information to allow the coach to prepare in advance for each training session. Information in this document covers; dynamic stretching, warmups, warm downs and breakdown of fundamentals skills.
Cole Evans - Golden Homes New Zealand Black Sox
Lara Andrews - New Zealand White Sox
WHO CAN RUN A 6x WEEK PROGRAMME?
There are no restrictions as to who can and can’t run a Rookie Sox 6x Week Offensive & Defensive Programme. However, it is advised that coaches have some experience in coaching children of this age group.
It is recommenced coaches undertake the following coach accreditation modules to gain a greater understanding of the content within the modules and to ensure they are confident in their delivery.
Hitting & the Short Game
Throwing & Fielding
Base running & Sliding
Pitching Mechanics & Rules
Modules can be undertaken free of charge via the Softball NZ online coaching program. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for a login.
6x WEEK SESSION PLANS
Click on one of the weekly session plans below + the 'Coach Support notes'.
There are four infielders, the game is played with one ball and three bases. The rule for infielders is ‘Play the Ball, or Cover the Base’. Each infielder has only two responsibilities:
To improve the footwork of the First Baseman.
Get to the base as quickly as possible – “cover the base with your eyes” (Player does not look for the ball until they get all the way round to the base. If they look to the ball before getting to the base, start the drill over.)
Get in a “ready position” with feet squared up to the thrower. Important: the throwing hands foot’s heel is positioned at the centre of the base a few inches from the bag (not touching).
“See the ball before making a stretch” to catch. (In the first phase of this drill, where the player is learning the timing of moving their feet from a “ready position” to the stretch position, we want to make accurate throws to the first baseman (and slow throws).
After the first baseman sees an accurate throw coming, they slide their throwing hand foot against the edge of the bag, then step with the glove-hand foot towards the point where the catch will be made. After the player becomes familiar with this action they may be able to progress to moving both feet simultaneously. This involves a slight jump – just a couple of inches.
Over time we want the first baseman to “beat the ball to the spot”. This means getting their glove to where the ball is going to be caught before it arrives.
After making the catch the first baseman, in a “power position”, shuffle a couple of steps toward the middle of the infield, to “look for other runners”.