Tips for conducting fun and engaging lessons that maximise participation.

Session Planner

A new feature of the Softball Batter Up website is the Session Planner. You can plan your session by simply selecting each of the activities you want to include, or even design your entire program allowing for repetition over time to maximise learning and development opportunities.

Plan, plan, plan

  • Walk through the planned activities in your mind before the session. Pay particular attention to organisational aspects and the flow of activities.
  • Anticipate what you might do if things aren’t working
  • The better prepared you are, the more confident you will feel about some spontaneity on the day
  • Plan for repetition over several weeks to allow for learning and consolidation
  • Plan for variety to cater for short attention spans
  • Provide variety within a game, (CHANGE IT) or different games


Setting up

  • If you don’t know the venue, visit a few days before to determine what space you have available
  • Know what you need and where it is to be placed before you arrive
  • Set up ahead of time
  • Involve players with specific set-up tasks


Transition activities

  • An energising transition is to have players touch each corner or each side of the playing area and reassemble in the centre
  • Using different individuals or group locomotor movements between activities



  • Be brief and explicit
  • Instructions linked to demonstrations are best



  • Make sure everyone can see
  • Avoid having the group look into the sun
  • Use positioning to avoid distractions
  • Allow questions
  • Get them playing quickly


Let the kids play

  • Avoid too many interruptions and too many corrections
  • Make sure most of the session is used for participating in activities and games
  • Avoid over-coaching
  • Let the players take the game in a different direction, or to another level
  • After playing an activity, challenge players to come up with a CHANGE IT variations
  • Provide a lead if necessary, eg ‘Think of another way of scoring


Rules for relays

  • Relays can highlight a player’s lack of proficiency with a particular techniqe or understanding of an activity
  • Pay particular attention and choose a relay that can accommodate varying abilities



  • Use age appropriate equipment
  • Have alternatives available to suit varying abilities
  • Balloons work best indoors


Tips for fun and lots of activity

  • Effective planning
  • Simple instructions
  • Variety
  • Maximise participation time
  • Encourage skill development
  • Ensure you have enough equipment


The plodders, the youngest and the smallest

  • Make allowances
  • Praise small improvements openly
  • Ask how they are feeling
  • Ask their opinion on an activity
  • Give them small challenges


The more proficient

  • More proficient children will need challenging:
  • Use them as a role model, eg changing partners often
  • Use CHANE IT to challenge them, eg they can only pass below shoulder height or score in a confined area
  • Defend a larger area or maybe a 2 v 1 activity


SBU Activity Cards

Softball Batter Up activities align with the national health and physical education curriculum and are written with coaches and teachers in mind. Detailed information is provided on each activity’s learning intention, band levels, and skill focus, together with questions to encourage participant engagement.

With more than 60 different softball activities and games on offer, you can design your own softball sessions, or even design your entire program allowing for repetition over time to maximise learning and development opportunities.

There are three different categories of activities in the card set:

Starter (5-10 minutes)
  • Use as a warm up
  • Pre-activity energisers
  • Encourages cooperative play
Get Into It (10-15 minutes)
  • Activity based on the Game Sense approach
  • The focus is on participation, not the skills and drills
  • The focus is on involvement, not winning or technique
Game Application (15-30 minutes)
  • This is the main part of the session
  • Modified softball games
  • Variations can be applied depending on the age and ability of the group