All Access Softball Practice with Mike Candrea
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);
'04, '08 US Olympic Softball Coach (Gold in '04, Silver in '08)
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
and Caitlin Lowe,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach;
member of the 2008 US Olympic Team (Silver Medal); 4x All American at Arizona, winner of the adidas Golden Shoe Award (for the nation's best base-stealer) as a senior; Arizona's all time leader in stolen bases and ranks second all time in career batting average (.446)
One of the fundamental issues softball coaches have is learning how to run a great practice. With this video, you'll gain a unique experience as you learn from one of the best coaches the game has to offer
Mike Candrea provides exclusive in-depth access to four days of practice with the University of Arizona softball team. Practice organization and fundamentals are discussed as the foundations of defining and building a quality team culture. Coach Candrea introduces you to the general practice structure he uses and the philosophies and techniques of the program that he integrates into every workout. You will also go behind the scenes and see how the team focuses its strength and conditioning program toward building softball players who are more complete athletes.
This all access video provides coaches and teams the knowledge of how to maximize game-like repetitions of all facets of the game in every practice drill. The coaches' open mics allow them to actively commentate on the drills, sprinkling in coaching tips along the way. You'll also get to hear them strategize through different situations.
Practice: Day 1
Individual infield and team defense play is the focus of the first practice, which gives players numerous reps and throws along with situational play. Each day, practice begins with an active warm-up that includes dynamic stretching and arm care to help maintain the health of the athletes. After throwing the position, players go through an extensive defensive warm-up. The infielders pair up and work glove drills such as picks, short hops and backhands while the outfielders pair up and work on long toss and footwork drills that are outfield-specific.
After glove work, players get together with the coaches and work on a ground ball progression for both fielding and throwing. Candrea rolls the players a variety of ground balls to simulate different game situations, such as underhand flips, glove feeds, and backhand feeds. The progression moves onto ground balls off the bat. Infielders man their positions to field and throw to different bases in a rapid succession, which provides many reps in a small amount of time.
Once the ground ball progression is over, Candrea puts a live game element into practice to work on bunt and bunt defense. This high-intensity drill prepares players both offensively and defensively for game situations. Set your players up to get more outs at second base on bunts to help eliminate big innings.
Practice ends with a live batting practice. Candrea puts players into groups of five . a runner at each base, a hitter, and an on-deck batter. The batters get three rounds of five pitches. Each round, batters work a different situation. The base runners work on their base running leads on each pitch and hit. There's minimal standing around and players are learning or reinforcing what they know on every pitch. The team ends practice with a conditioning session.
Practice: Day 2
This practice focuses on infield positional play, pitchers' fielding practice, outfield play, and throwing to bases with various team-controlled situational play. The practice builds on the individual work from day one and adds a more game-like progression.
Day two's practice begins in the weight room. Strength & Conditioning Coach Rob Harris, shows you a softball-specific workout used to develop strength and flexibility. He provides the benefits for each exercise and shows how to adapt each exercise to help with injured athletes.
Infield practice features infielders working on their footwork and glove work from rolled balls and ground balls off a fungo. A pitcher's fielding practice is included that allows pitchers to be the fifth infielder without sacrificing their pitching mechanics. You'll see how Candrea teaches throwing from every position in the outfield to every plausible location on the infield, creating players who are comfortable with playing every outfield position.
The team transitions into 21 Outs, which is a great game-like drill for putting the entire defensive workout together with active runners. Additionally, the team works on defending bunts, first and third situations, and rundowns.
Practice: Day 3
Day three features a full batting practice along with a bunting station, followed by pre-game infield and outfield, and then a live controlled scrimmage. Throughout the entire practice, some type of competition is built into every activity, which gives you a better understanding of what a motivated, competitive team scrimmage looks like.
Softball-specific activities begin with batting practice and you'll get a drill to help your hitters identify balls and strikes. Learn to be an active coach during batting practice with techniques like charting if hitters are hitting strikes and taking balls. You'll see how a Wildcat batting practice is divided into four groups working simultaneously to minimize down time and maximize repetitions.
After batting practice, Candrea shows you the pre-game infield/outfield routine he uses to get his team ready to play.
The bulk of this practice consists of an inter-squad scrimmage. The unique thing about Arizona's scrimmage is that the coaches predetermined the conditions by picking which hitters, runners, counts, and situations they wanted to see. This puts players into situations more challenging than game situations in order to make practice more difficult and stressful than the game. Candrea, while coaching third base, gives insight into how he coaches runners and hitters. You'll also hear Coach Iveson's interactions with the pitchers and catchers.
Practice: Day 4
The final practice begins with Coach Candrea talking about different aspect of coaching and preparing his team. He addresses topics like building progressions, developing culture in practice, and creating a season-long plan. The emphasis in practice is with outfield play. Individual positional work is shown, as well as making numerous types of throws to every base from each outfield position.
Practice begins with the positions split up, and while the infielders field rolled balls, the outfielders work on ball-in-glove and drop step footwork drills. Train catchers to cover bunts and make all types of throws while simultaneously training infielders to receive throws, including what happens on failed bunt and slap attempts. One unique part about the practice is all players work at a variety of positions, not just the one they primarily play.
Practice concludes with batting practice. You'll get an unobstructed view from the side of hitters, which provides you the chance to see how players may start their swings differently, but all of them get to the same contact spot.
Candrea's successful style of player development is on full display in this all access video. Watching this series of practices will allow you to gain insight on how one of the top coaches in the country runs his practices, and more importantly, gets the most out of his team. Use Candrea's drills in your practices to get your athletes performing to their potential!
649 minutes (6 DVDs) 2017.
All Access videos are designed to allow viewers from all over the world to see how successful coaches run their practices in a "live" practice setting. All Access videos allow viewers to see the practices un-edited and in real-time. You will see how top coaches run their drills, interact with their team and staff, how they motivate their team, the cue words they use, the atmosphere of the practice and how practices are structured from day to day. Many coaches visit successful colleges and high schools to watch practice. But if you live out of state or out of the country, visiting another coach's practice can be costly. That's why we created the All Access Practice Series of videos -- to bring the practices to you!