GOAL: Continue repetitions of fielding ground balls properly and introducing proper technique of catching pop flies.

First 5 Minutes

Have each coach and player say his name to the team again. Talk to the players and encourage them to work hard and have fun.  Concentrate on better technique today than the first practice and tell the players what will be done during this practice.

Next 5 Minutes (Stretching)

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.

Some more stretching examples:
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Jumping jacks.

Next 10 Minutes (Proper Throwing Mechanics)

Pair the players with adults and line them up 8 to 10 feet apart. Make sure there is enough room to consider errant throws. With the players on the knee opposite the throwing hand, have them toss the ball to the adult, forming an 'L' with the arm. Throwing 20-25 balls should have the arms loose. By spreading the player and adult further apart, this helps to strengthen the arm.

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.
  • Accuracy and form are more important than velocity. 

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 15 Minutes (Fielding)

Pair off the players and line them up 50 feet apart, rolling ground balls to each other. They will form a fielding triangle, with the feet even with each other and outside the shoulders (the base of the triangle) and the glove touching the ground and at the front of the triangle.

Coaching Point
  • In the field triangle, gloves should be out in front of the body with the rear down low. Have the players step into the grounders and step up into a throw. 

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 10 Minutes (Throwing)

With the players staying paired off, allow them to throw short pop flies to each other. Pop flies should be caught with the glove in front of the face, not to the side. This is a new drill that is fun for the players.

Coaching Points
  • Stress the technique so the younger players will not be afraid of the ball coming toward their face.
  • With younger players, you may want to use tennis balls to help them gain confidence catching fly balls above their head.
  • Make sure your players are catching the ball between their shoulders and not off to the side.  

End of Practice

End practice with a lap around the bases (remember the banana turn into a base). 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. Always finish the talk in an upbeat, positive way. Tell the players the next practice time and follow up with an email to their parents.

Remember to place hands together and yell, '1, 2, 3 (with the team name)!'