Goal: Continue repetitions of proper swinging technique and introducing proper technique of baserunning.
First 5 Minutes
Talk to the players and encourage them to work hard and have fun. Concentrate on better technique today and tell the players what will be done during this practice.
Next 5 Minutes (Stretching)
You have been letting a player lead his teammates through stretching, right?
Stretch legs for two minutes and stretch arms for two minutes. Stretching prepares the muscles to prevent injury. The last minute should be used to jog around the field once.
- Jumping jacks.
- Jugging in place while bringing the knees up high.
- 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 and bend the right arm with the elbow touching the back of the head. Grab with the left hand and pull toward the left shoulder. Hold for a 10 count, then mimic with the other arm. This stretches the shoulder joint.
Next 10 Minutes (Proper Throwing Mechanics)
Players should now have the hang of the proper throwing technique. Not all players will have the same arm strength so the adult should adjust the distance to what is comfortable for the player. The player should stand and throw to the adult. Coaches should continue to monitor the technique.Coaching Points
- Players should vary their grip according to the size of their hands. Place either two or three fingers across the seams with the thumb directly underneath the ball.
- Be sure the players are in line with their partner while incorporating movement, momentum and proper footwork into each throw. It is critical for players to focus on being accurate as they throw toward their partner's chest.
Next 3 Minutes (Water Break)
Give the players time to break for water. It is extremely important for the players to remain hydrated at all times. But have them hustle back to the field.
Next 25 Minutes (Hitting and Baserunning)
Where pitching is applicable, the coach should start working with the pitchers and catchers, having the pitchers throw 40 pitches each per practice. Rotate the pitchers between hitting and pitching. Within this time frame, three pitchers should be able to throw the 40 pitches. During upcoming practices, work with the pitchers by having them throw 40 pitches.
Divide the players into two groups (even number, if possible). One group will hit using a batting tee. The other group will be baserunning, showing the proper time to leave the base once the ball crosses home plate. Allow 10 swings per player before rotating.
The tee represents the middle of the strike zone, so have the batter stand in correct relation to it (his front foot should be even with the front of the plate). The swing technique includes:Stance
: Players stand in an athletic position. Their feet should be shoulder-width apart with their hands around the back of the shoulder.Stride
: Players should keep their weight and hands back while striding into the swing.Swing
: Players should keep their hands in and execute a smooth swing.Finish
: Players will have a balanced follow-through.Coaching Points
- This drill teaches how to keep their eyes on the ball and to swing level. To ensure safety tip, the only player who should have a bat in hand is the one hitting and that the tees are spread far enough apart for wild hits.
- Remember, the more fun the players are having, the better the results.
End of Practice
End practice with a lap around the bases. Then, while the players are drinking water, huddle them together for a talk. Take this time to recognize the work that was done well, but also discuss what needs improvement. Tell the players the next practice time and follow up with an email to their parents.