GOAL: Continue defensive practice and improving baserunning technique.
First 5 Minutes (Stretching)
Today we go right into stretching because we have some key work ahead.
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.
Next 10 Minutes (Tossing)
Pair off the players and line them up 10 to 12 feet apart.
Make sure there is enough room to consider errant throws. Have them toss the
ball back and forth. As the arms become loose, the last 10 tosses should be
long tosses – as far as can be thrown.
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
Next 20 Minutes (Infield Position Starters With Players Running Bases)
With infield positions determined, all other players will run the bases as
the coach hits ground balls to the infielders. This drill allows game-type
situations for the defense and the base runners.
In youth baseball, making routine
plays are a must, so stress this point. Also, make sure there is a coach
watching only base runners to make sure they are rounding the bases
Any time you can use game-type
situations, your players benefit greatly.
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
Next 20 Minutes (Rundowns)
Keep in mind that rundowns happen a lot at younger ages because both the
runners and fielders are prone to mistakes. So work on them.
Usually in a rundown, chaos reigns, in part because many teams neglect to
work on them and the players aren't sure what to do.
It's really quite simple. For the fielders: Rule Number 1: Don't panic. Rule
Number 2: Always start the rundown by trying to send the runner back from
where he came. Rule Number 3: Stay inside of the runner, so you never have to
throw over the runner. Rule Number 4: Follow your throw. That way you'll
never be caught out of position, possibly obstructing the runner. A key
point: The less throws the better.
Here's how it works: The pitcher turns and sees the runner caught off third
base. He takes an angle to run him back to third. At the proper time, he
flips the ball to the third baseman. He continues to run past third and gets
in line behind the shortstop, who has moved over to cover third. Teach the
fielders to hold the ball in the throwing hand and pump fake a throw to
freeze the runner. Of course, when they go to tag the runner, it's best to
place the ball in the glove and tag with both hands. If the third baseman has
to toss the ball to the catcher, he does and then continues down to get in
line behind the first baseman, who's moved down to back up the catcher, who
is now running the runner back to third.
Follow your throws. Use the pump
End of Practice
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 (or game) time and follow up
with an email to their parents.
Beef up your baseball season with 20 hour-long practice plans full of youth baseball drills, skills and coaching tips developed for beginner and intermediate baseball players. These practice plans are perfect for coaches, parents and volunteers coaching kids on how to play baseball.