Congratulations, Coach, you've covered all the basics. Now it's time to start adding to what the kids have learned.

First 15-20 Minutes (Warm-up)

The warm-up routine is standard: stretching, moderate jog to a finishing sprint. Then, catching and throwing lines. In addition, you now want to add the ground-ball lines to your routine. Always stress mechanics.

Some stretches:
  • Sit, with legs extended out flat on the ground in a V position. Reach and touch the right hand to the outside of the left foot. Mimic the other side. Hold for a 10 count on each side. This stretches the outside of the upper back.
  • Stand straight and extend the right arm behind the body. Grab the right wrist with the left hand and pull back and over toward the left side. Hold for a 10 count. Mimic with the other arm. This will stretch the front of the shoulder.
  • Stand straight and extend the arms straight out. Do trunk rotations from left to right. One to two sets of 10 will suffice. This stretches the oblique muscles.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back on the field.

Next 15 Minutes (Review Outfield Drills)

Review the outfield drills. Running to the spot, with the glove down. Going back on the ball, looking over the correct shoulder. And coming in on the ball. Remember, the more the girls see the ball in the air, the better they'll become at judging the ball.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

Keep your players hydrated with a water break. But have them hustle back on the field.

Next 15 Minutes (Sliding)

One of the best tools to use when teaching sliding is a Slip and Slide. If you don't have a Slip and Slide, use an approved sliding mat or lay out a poly tarp and wet it down. Or you can really soak the dirt and let the kids play in the mud (the parents will love you).

The keys to sliding are getting into the slide, not starting too early or too late and keeping your hands out of the way. If you or your coaches can't demonstrate the proper slide, bring in someone who can. Start the slide about 6 to 8 feet from the base (depending on each kid's size and speed). Have them run full speed and just drop into the slide by collapsing the back leg, dropping into a figure-4 position, with the bottom leg tucked under the top leg. The points of contact will be the outer half of the lower leg and the hip (when you move to dirt, make sure the girls wear approved sliders on whichever leg will be their bottom leg). Keep the back relatively straight and have the hands extended to the sky to avoid injury. If they have batting gloves, let them hold them when they slide, so they don't put their hands on the ground.

A key point: Don't let them lay there at the end of the slide. Have them get up and pick up the instruction of the coach. Never be satisfied with one base if the potential is there to take another. If you have time, play 'Rate My Slide, ' where each kid slides and the others rate it on a scale of 1-10. Or you can bring a few dozen eggs to practice and have them slide holding the eggs. This forces the kids to concentrate on keeping their hands up and out of the way.

Coaching Points
  • Enter the slide at the correct time, keep the hands up. Once reaching the base, get up and find the coach. 
  • While you're working on sliding, you can have a hitting station going on, where one of the coaches works with the girls on hitting off a batting tee, which is important for getting young hitters to develop good mechanics and to swing level.

Two-Tee Batting Drill: Set up two tees, one that would be set at the front of the plate and another at the back of the plate, anywhere from 6 to 10 inches higher than the front tee - depending on the height of the kid. Have the kids step and swing. Focus on the hitters bringing the hands straight down and to the ball. This will keep them from dipping their shoulder or dropping their hands. If they do, they'll strike the back tee.

Remaining Time

After the players get some water, gather them together. Congratulate the kids for mastering another skill. Review what they learned. Give the time of the next practice and follow up with an e-mail to the parents.