During my first week of prac I took three softball lessons with 3 different classes of year 10s. Was great because it meant I got to try something in the first class, adapt it in the second class and really hit the jackpot in the third class. Havig never played softball before I did a bit of searching to find what its all about. I found Softball Australia really helpful! They have information on rules, basic skills and equipment. Plus some great coaching resources (including skills and drills)!!
I kinda wanted to experiment with a bit of a TGFU approach but wasnt sure what the girls were like and if they would respond to such an approach. So I did a bit of a mixture.
- Warm up (partner throw and catch): so I could see where the girls skills were at.
- Demo & discuss: I then brought them in ran through some demonstrations of throwing and catching using examples of what I’d just seen to stress key teaching points (ie. how I’d seen some girls reflex catch with their right hand instead of with the glove – link to other sports they play – discuss why the glove is on the left hand).
- Practice (partner throw and catch): Asked them to try different passes to get used to the movement of the glove. Stressed talking to let your partner know what you were throwing.
- Game: Split group in 2 and headed to diamonds (marked on grass). Throw and run game (home to first – first to third – third to second – second to home).
- Modified Game: Split the two groups into two groups (so four groups in total). Two teams versing one another on one diamond, same on other. Aim of the game is to get to first. Rules: You throw the ball (instead of bat), ball must land within the infield. Fielders can set up how they wish. Variations: Can introduce another rule of have to throw to at least the pitcher line if everyone just dropping ball at their feet (mix it up a bit).
- Discuss: What was the aim of the game? to get to first base. How did people approach getting to first base and why? Threw to third – furthest for fielders to throw. Dropped ball at feet – hard to field. Ran really fast to first. Discussed have these kinds of tactics can be used in real game. For example, when no one on bases, and your job is to get to first base safely what could you do?
- Funn Game: Leaderball
The use of competition in the lesson was a great motivator for the students. Year 10s tend to drag their feet between activities but something as simple as ‘first team in the diamond gets two points’ got them running. Will keep this in mind for future lessons.