With sliding mastered, it's time to teach the girls some advanced base running. 

First 15-20 Minutes (Warm-up)

The warm-up routine is standard: stretching, moderate jog to a finishing sprint. Then, catching, throwing and ground-ball lines. Always stress mechanics. At this point, if the girls are becoming proficient enough with throwing and catching, you can have them start to pair off into two lines, facing each other, and let them throw to themselves. Make sure you leave plenty of room between each player.

Some stretches:
  • Sit in an Indian-sitting position, with legs bent and the soles of the feet touching in front. Gently press the knees toward the ground. This stretches the groin muscles.
  • Stand straight, bend a leg behind the body, grab the ankle and pull the heel toward the backside. Hold for a 10 count. Mimic with the other leg. This stretches the quad muscles.
  • 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 10 Minutes (Review Sliding)

Review the basics of the slide. If you didn't progress to sliding in the dirt at the last practice, now's the time. Make sure each player is wearing a slider or long pants. And make sure the ground isn't too hard. Prior to the practice, you need to work the area around each base to make sure it's soft. If the girls struggle sliding in the dirt, you can take them into the grass.

Next 20 Minutes (Advanced Base Running)

You'll need two cones for this drill. One, midway, about three to four feet outside the direct line between first and second, and the other between second and third. Running around the cones will force them to take the proper angle to the bag.

The first thing to teach:

How to take the a turn at first base. Think about the shape of a question mark (or a banana). Run down the first-base line. About 12-15 feet from the bag, have them turn out about 3-4 feet (that's all you need) and turn into the bag.

Next: Cut the corner of the bag. As they round back into the bag, their left instep should land on the inside corner of the bag. Teach them to cut the corner every time they're taking a turn or taking an extra base.

How to set on the bag to take a lead: There are two ways to do this. One, the front foot is on the side of the bag facing second and the back foot is on the other side of the bag in foul territory. When they go, the runner pushes off the front foot. They also can set up with the back foot on the edge of the bag facing second and the front foot a stride toward second. The runner pushes off the back foot.

When to lead: Do your league rules allow leading on a pitcher's release or when the ball crosses the plate? Teach whichever applies. Instruct when to run and when not to run: less than two outs and the ball is hit in the air.

Special notes: When is a steal not a straight steal? If your league allows the steal of home and you have runners on first and third, and the steal is on for the runner on first, that runner goes hard, as normal, but they need to slow up to see what the defense is doing. Is the defense throwing through? Conceding the base or running a trick play? Incorporate picking up the coaches and sliding into this drill.

Coaching Point
  • Take proper turns. Cut the corner of the bag. Never give up and run into an out.  

While you're working on baserunning, 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.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

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

Remaining Time

Form two teams and have them run individually around the bases. Log the times. The team with the lowest combined time wins.

Congratulate the team for another good practice. Give them the next practice time and follow up with an e-mail to the parents.