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Cover: indoor skills and drills for better infield defense
Indoor Skills and Drills for Better Infield Defense

with Randy Ward,
Loyola Marymount University Assistant Coach;
in 2016, the Lions led the nation in doubles (106) and doubles per game (2.00)

Small practice space? Doesn't matter! Randy Ward shows how you how to run a complete defensive workout for your infielders, all within the confines of a smaller indoor space.

Coach Ward provides a walk through and demonstration of fielding, throwing, and receiving progressions that are designed to build a solid foundation in defensive mechanics. He presents over 30 drills designed to reinforce best practices in order to improve the quickness and overall success rate of infielders.

Simplify Throwing Mechanics

Coach Ward implements a 3-step throwing technique to establish the proper positions of the glove, hand, elbow, feet and fingers in the throwing motion. This will help you and your players easily find and correct throwing flaws while decreasing errant throws.

Throws and Flips

To be able to throw out a runner, fielders have to have as many tools as possible. Coach Ward walks you through the basic checkpoints of throwing from all levels and angles, as well as the best situations to use each one. Throws include:

  • Routine throw - For most infield throwing situations
  • Dart throw - For throwing in rundown situations
  • "Tilt" throws - Ideal for quick release on low bounce balls
  • Underhand flips - Focus on receipt of the ball, quick transfer, clearing the glove behind the body and exposing the ball to the receiver during the throw.Glove flips - Can be the fastest delivery of the ball depending on the scenario, by eliminating a ball transfer while delivering the ball.

Receiving a Throw

Footwork and glove position are paramount to recording an out. Learn how jab steps, shuffle steps, and body spins help to position the feet and lower body in a way that maximizes the use of the legs and throwing mechanics to field and deliver the ball quickly.

Ward demonstrates the unique characteristics of receiving throws in force plays versus tag play situations. You'll learn three ways to get outs on a force play at the base, including how to pick a throw that bounces short of the base and the best way to transfer into a throwing position. He also explains when and how standard tags and swipe tags should be applied based on the throw.

Increase your chances of achieving the elusive double play. Ward demonstrates how to improve footwork around the bases when receiving the ball from different angles, as well as decreasing transfer time by ensuring the feed is in the right place at the right time.

Fielding Any Type of Ground Ball

Players need to understand how to not only field a ground ball, but how to do it quickly and in the best position to throw the runner out. Ward breaks down each situation and provides you with a step-by-step solution for any circumstances you may encounter. Because softball is not a game of perfection, he also shows your fielders how to recover from bad hops and booted balls to make the out in poor conditions.

Additionally, ard shows you a pre-pitch routine to get your players prepared to move in any direction with the most range as the batter makes contact with the ball. They'll get to the ball faster and create more outs.

Drills to Maximize Practice Time

In practice, time is of the essence. Coach Ward introduces drills that allow you to focus on fundamentals of both the thrower and receiver and increase the effectiveness of your practice. The Mini 4 Corners Drill allows you to involve four players at a time and teach them throwing and receiving all different throws.

Coach Ward shows you how to make the most of your space and time spent with your infielders.!These drills are perfect for those cold or rainy days when going outside to practice on a field isn't an option.

100 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: putting pressure on the defense: slap hitting & base running
Putting Pressure on the Defense: Slap Hitting & Base Running

Caitlin Lowe,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach;
member of the 2008 US Olympic Team (Silver Medal); 4x All-American (and only one of two players in Arizona history to be named 1st team All-America 4x at Arizona);
part of 2 NCAA Championship teams, winner of the adidas Golden Shoe Award (for the nation's best base-stealer);
Arizona's all time leader in stolen bases, 2nd all time in career batting average (.446), 4th in hits and triples and 7th in runs scored;
played for the USSSA Pride for 6 seasons, 3 National Pro Fastpitch titles, 2012 Player of The Year & USSSA Hall of Fame (2106)

Over the years, one thing the University of Arizona has been known for its speed. Former Wildcat great-turned-coach, Caitlin Lowe, shows us the mentality and skills that helped make her one of the best ever.

Lowe shows you what to look for at each base for base running, and then dives into slapping mechanics, types, and strategy.

Slapping Mechanics

Knowing where to stand in the box and having good footwork is important to minimize time to first base after hitting the ball. Coach Lowe shows you the footwork that will keep you on-line, but allow you to move quickly out of the batter's box. Learn the bat path and contact point that will keep your bat in the zone as long as possible to increase the chance of making contact with the pitch. Lowe also offers advice for how to get to first base faster - every slapper's ultimate goal!

Types of Slaps

Give your slappers the tools they need to make the defense wrong and improve your chances of getting on base. Lowe discusses and demonstrates the different "weapons" a slapper can utilize during an at-bat. The drag bunt, soft slap, chop slap and hard slap are all discussed, demonstrated and taught.

Lowe also shares what to look for in the defense to know when to use each type of slap. She also covers situational slapping and how you can use each type of slap strategically depending on where runners are on base

Base Running

Proper base running techniques are often overlooked and under-practiced. Smart, aggressive base runners are a commodity, and win you more games. Lowe shows how you can incorporate base running practice into your batting practice to get more done in a shorter amount of time

Base by base, Lowe shows you how to anticipate and react to the situation. As demonstrated by the Wildcat players, runners start at first base and react to the batted balls. Learn when to be aggressive and when to be a little more conservative at second base, and how to be aggressive with a down angle at third base, as well as the philosophy behind what type of leads to take at each base.

Use Coach Lowe's tactics to turn your offense into a nightmare on the base paths for the opposing team!

44 minutes. 2017

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing championship hitting
Developing Championship Hitting

featuring Mike Candrea,
University of Arizona Head Coach;
8x NCAA Champions, winningest coach in NCAA Division I Softball history (1500+ wins);
4x National Coach of the Year; named the Pac-12 Coach of the Century;
Distinguished member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame (1996);
2x US Olympic Softball Coach (Gold in '04, Silver in '08)

If you want to be the best, study the best! Mike Candrea has been a successful hitting coach for more than three decades, and he shows you how he's done it in this video! Candrea opens up about his hitting philosophies, the mechanics of the swing and all of the required elements for hitters to develop, nine of his favorite drills that will help any hitter achieve a consistent and successful swing, and how his teachings have changed over the years.

Three Measures of the Swing

How do you know if a swing is successful? Coach Candrea begins by identifying three measures of the swing: force, the hitting zone, and efficiency.

  • Force has three factors and he explains how your "gears," bat speed, and square contact put together create the force needed to hit the ball well.
  • He demonstrates how a short hitting zone can occur and why it's important to get the bat to the correct position to have it in the hitting zone for the longest amount of time.
  • There's little time to swing the bat, so being efficient in your swing is critical. Candrea demonstrates a common error of "bat rap" and how to correct it.

Simplifying the swing by focusing on the major categories instead of the minute details increases confidence, which will increase consistency.

Candrea acknowledges that players have many different stances. He identifies three things to look for: an athletic stance, plate coverage, and a rhythm. He explains each of these areas and also shares what to look for in the front knee and how it should move back and in toward the pitch. He demonstrates what this looks like, and, what happens when it isn't done correctly.

Lower Body Mechanics

Candrea offers three drills to put the lower body in the correct position to drive the ball and how to get into the front side longer to hit off-speed pitches more effectively.

Upper Body Mechanics and Connection

Candrea offers three drills to help any batter release the bat head to and through contact. In one drill, he shows how to use a rubber mallet to train the correct hand path. The key to an effortless swing is connection, adding the forces from the lower body and upper body together at the right time. Candrea shares his favorite connection drill, as well as an independent hands drill.

The video concludes with Coach Candrea's 9 Absolutes of Hitting and 10 Characteristics of Successful Hitters; these represent decades of experience working with and developing some of softball's greatest hitters. These will help you to recognize natural talent, develop missing elements, and produce better hitters for your team!

This video is essential for anyone who is coaching softball at any level. Coach Candrea uses common terms while demonstrating what to look for as a coach and what to do as a player to be a successful hitter. Mike Candrea offers something for everyone!

60 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing championship infielders
Developing Championship Infielders

featuring Mike Candrea,
University of Arizona Head Coach;
8x NCAA Champions, winningest coach in NCAA Division I Softball history (1500+ wins);
4x National Coach of the Year; named the Pac-12 Coach of the Century;
Distinguished member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Hall of Fame (1996);
2x US Olympic Softball Coach (Gold in '04, Silver in '08)

While all infielders must share certain fielding skills, each position requires a different skill set and mentality. Coach Candrea provides you with the essential background knowledge to make your infielders more efficient and more powerful.

Candrea dives into the intricacies of each position on the infield, while also addressing the basic fielding mechanics that all great infielders must master. You'll learn footwork, throwing techniques, base-covering tips, and other infield responsibilities to give your players the ultimate advantage.

Principles by Position

Most errors that occur in the game of softball happen in the infield. Coach Candrea provides an in-depth look for each infield position, by breaking down the necessary skills for third base, shortstop, second base, and first base. He provides specific tips to help each position player reach her full potential, covering:

  • Throwing - Warm up and types of throws.
  • Mentality - Fearless, athletic, creative.
  • Mechanics - Glove work and basic infield footwork.
  • Pop fly responsibilities.
  • Cut-off responsibilities.
  • Base coverage and tagging techniques.
  • Double play footwork.
  • Fielding bunts.
  • Pre-pitch preparation.

Throwing Techniques

Teaching throwing mechanics is step one to having elite players. Coach Candrea describes how athletes at each infield position should throw the ball to maximize their power, strength, and decision-making. He demonstrates the "thumb flick" to describe the action used by the hands to get into a strong throwing position.

Footwork and Fielding

Candrea discusses how to field the ball at each base, utilizing "rake throughs," "get arounds" and "short hops" to get the ball in your players' gloves effectively and efficiently. These techniques lead to a higher fielding percentage and result in fewer errors and more outs.

A fielding drill Candrea shares will teach your infielders to choose the good hop by having them count the number of hops as the ground ball is being hit to them. The drill helps your players:

  • Pick the short hop, not the long hop.
  • Open up on the long hop.
  • Make sure the glove is on the ground when the ball takes its last hop.
  • Field the ball out in front of their nose.

Candrea provides philosophy on what type of athlete should play each position, as well as how they should line up. Also included is the strategy on when to play up or back, as well as multiple ways to cover a bag when receiving throws from both the infield and outfield. These points are often overlooked by young or inexperienced coaches and they can be the difference between a win and a loss.

If you want to know the ins and outs of infield play that oftentimes get overlooked and under-coached, you need this video from Coach Candrea!

55 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: developing championship pitchers
Developing Championship Pitchers

with Stacy Iveson,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach;
former Head Coach at Pima Community College and Yavapai College - winning four NJCAA National titles (two at each school);
2004 NJCAA Coach of the Year;
coached some of Arizona's most decorated pitchers and catchers, including: Becky Lemke, Jennie Finch, Nancy Evans, Carrie Dolan, Leah Braatz and Lindsey Collins

Looking for a complete pitching program from one of the top programs in the nation? Stacy Iveson has developed several of the most dominant pitchers in college softball at the University of Arizona. In this video, she shows how to maximize the development and success of your pitching staff year-round. Discover concepts and practice plans that allow you to divide your pitching program into phases. You'll learn how to train to maximize your pitchers' development individually, and as part of a staff.

Seasonal Plans

Depending on whether you're in the off-season, preseason, or in-season, you'll want to prepare your pitchers differently. Iveson explains when and how you should work to improve your pitchers' strength, stamina and speed, and how to maintain those attributes throughout the season. Each skill required is covered in drill routines that can be incorporated into daily or 2-3 practices per week to work the pitching staff through the nine month cycle of off-season through in-season training.

Coach Iveson shares the Wildcat blueprint for the three-stage training of pitchers. Her coaching plan covers:

  • Off-season workouts focusing on building a base of physical and mental skills. Pitchers will build a rapport and communication with the catchers and rest of the defense. Pitchers are developed physically through strength training to build stamina and velocity.
  • Pre-season workouts to shift the focus to live situations. Pitchers are challenged with pre-determined counts and batters standing in to work on specific outcomes. You'll also see how scrimmages are used as an opportunity to practice in-game adjustments.
  • In-season training that centers on the involvement of the pitchers in the overall team defense. Pitching staffs are integrated into the fielding drills and are prepared for their roles in the weekly game plan.


See how to run a live bullpen session with Coach Iveson and several of Arizona's pitchers. Iveson opens the doors to two of her bullpen workouts, where each pitcher has a specific focus and works on a different drill. This session highlights drills for developing accuracy and improving velocity and stamina. PFP (Pitcher Fielding Practice) is showcased as the cornerstone for integrating your pitchers into the overall defense. Iveson also offers ideas about how to transfer the success attained in the bullpen onto the field during games.

Coach Iveson also explores philosophies behind managing the physical and mental aspects of pitchers. Pitching comes with a tremendous amount of physical and mental stress, so being able to help the pitcher and the team manage it is critical to the team's success.

Help prepare your pitchers to peak when it matters most by altering workouts based on what phase of the season you're in. Learn the approach and drills that have led to consistent success on the pitcher's mound at Arizona!

66 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

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