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Craig Nicholson Open Practice 2-Pack

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See more by Craig Nicholson
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  • Learn how to prepare your baserunners and defense for game day with live reads in practice
  • Learn how to get your players into position to field the ball and make plays using effective footwork
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Description

Open Practice: Situational Defense and Baserunning

with Craig Nicholson, Arizona State University Head Coach;
former Ball State University Head Coach; 3x MAC Champions, 3x MAC Coach of the Year

Arizona State Head Softball Coach, Craig Nicholson, opens the door to two "live" practices, as his team prepares for the offensive and defensive situations softball teams face on game day. This video includes live situational hitting, team defense and baserunning as well as strength and conditioning training that will improve every player's ability to perform at a higher level.

Practice Overview
Coach Nicholson begins by discussing his philosophy on practice and how it changes throughout the season. He divides the year into pre-season, conference and post-season practices, highlighting goals and objectives for each segment. He also explains how he uses video to prepare his players for upcoming opponents and to analyze their own performances.

Practice 1: Weights
The Sun Devil practice opens with a look into the weight room. Weight room work will enhance two important softball skills - strength and agility - and it can help prevent injury. Coach Nicholson's team progresses through weightlifting stations, agility stations and sprinting stations. This segment offers 29 position-specific exercises!

Practice 1: Situational Play
Although batters are hitting live pitches during these situational practices, the focus is mainly on the defense and baserunners. The team practices four different situations. They make live reads and react accordingly. Wrapping up the practice, Coach Nicholson talks to the team about the importance of communication and when to communicate.

Practice 2: Weights
Since the team usually plays a midweek game, this workout is a lighter version of the previous one. The workout begins with an activation mobility circuit and continues with core work and plyometrics. Overall, more than 20 exercises designed to develop strength and agility are included.

Practice 2: Short Game and Situational Play
Coach Nicholson works on two alignments for defending against the short game, explaining the thought processes and strategies behind each one. The team then works on three defensive scenarios that were not covered in the first practice. Coach Nicholson explains when and why they make specific defensive plays and decisions. He also explains how players can run the bases to put maximum pressure on the opposing defense.

Take this unique opportunity to see how a Division I program uses strategy, communication, baserunning, and strength and agility training to improve their team and achieve success.

144 minutes. 2014.

Open Practice: Infield and Outfield Drills

with Craig Nicholson, Arizona State University Head Coach;
former Ball State University Head Coach; 3x MAC Champions, 3x MAC Coach of the Year

and Katie Schroeder, Arizona State University Assistant Coach;
2x All-American, and four-year starter in center field at UCLA

Go on the field for two live practices with Arizona State Head Softball Coach Craig Nicholson. Get an up-close look at drills you can to prepare infielders and outfielders for game day. Coach Nicholson develops his infielders' footwork, teaching them to field the ball on any hop, while assistant coach Katie Schroeder works with the outfielders on fly balls.

Practice 1: Infield Drills
Good footwork is especially important to infielders whose feet put their bodies and hands in a position to make plays. The segment begins with an "every day" progression of ground ball drills. Coach Nicholson feeds balls directly at each player, gradually increasing the range to each side. These drills, which allow the coach to monitor and help players with their footwork, teach infielders to read the ball and get comfortable in their positions.

Practice 1: Outfield Drills
The outfielders execute three drills. They begin with an over-the-shoulder drill that trains the mechanics of the drop-step-and-reach, which is used to quickly and effectively get balls that are hit over players' heads. The second drill focuses on the footwork and body position of getting behind the ball, which helps create forward momentum for making strong, accurate throws back into the infield. Finally, the outfield works on fly balls hit close to the wall, training the fielders to make plays at or near the wall.

Practice 2: Infield
The second practice opens with infielders working on turning double play balls. Coach Nicholson feeds balls to the middle infielders, starting with balls hit close to the base. He gradually extends the range and works on fielders throwing from different arm angles. These drills give you a chance to work closely with your athletes and provide immediate feedback and correction to each middle infielder. The practice progresses to fungo drills, where Coach Nicholson hits different types of groundballs to all of the infielders, giving them a chance to work on their footwork and different types of throws.

Practice 2: Outfield
Assistant coach Katie Schroeder discusses the skills outfielders need to be successful. She gives coaching points on reading line drives, pumping the arms while running and making a good crow hop on throws. The practice session begins with Coach Schroeder tossing balls in front of outfielders, giving them a chance to practice shoestring catches. The outfield progresses to ground balls and fly balls, allowing them to read the ball off the bat at game-like speed.

See how to run a productive, drill-based practice, and train your fielders to be quicker to the ball and play flawless defense.

101 minutes. 2014.


See all the items in this series!

See more products by: Craig Nicholson

See related products: Practice Drills Practice Organization for Softball Craig Nicholson - Arizona State Drills Craig Nicholson - Arizona State


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