With the basic fielding and running skills in place, it's time to start teaching the kids how to think the game.

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 at 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 girl.

Some stretches:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gently press the knees toward the ground. This stretches the groin muscles.

Next 2 Minutes (Water Break)

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

Next 20 Minutes (Situations, Situations, Situations)

Set up your infield and outfield and have the remainder serve as runners (make sure the runners always wear a helmet). You and your coaches will need to coach the infield, outfield and the baserunners as you call out situations like, 'Nobody on, nobody out, where are we going?' and 'First and second, two outs, where are we going?'

Stress to the kids that they need to know the number of outs and where the runners are before every pitch, and that they need to know where they're going before the ball is hit.

For outfielders, have them think two bases ahead on base hits and where they are in relation to the runner. For example, there's a runner on first base and there's a base hit to right. The runner is just rounding second, the outfielder's throw is to third. If the runner is already around second, throw to second to keep the trail runner out of scoring position. Explain which decision is the right decision and encourage them to ask questions. Make sure you alternate your base runners and rotate your fielders to different positions. Repetition is the key. Have them understand that everyone is moving on contact on every play. And stress that they always know where the lead runner is and that's the out we want whenever possible. In addition, never be satisfied with one out. For base runners, never be satisfied with one base or one run.

Coaching Points
  • Always know the outs and where the runners are. Know where you're going with the ball before it's hit. Never be satisfied with one out. 
  • While you're working on situations, 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 

Play a game. You can play waffle ball, kickball or 'wacky ball,' or whatever you want. In wacky ball, everyone bats and throws with their off hand (right-handers throw left-handed, left-handers throw right-handed) and they run the bases in reverse order, starting at third. It's hilarious to watch.

Congratulate the kids for their effort. Tell them the next practice time and follow up with an e-mail to the parents.