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Draft And Practice Plans


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#1 Coach Larry

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 01:43 PM

Anyone have a good draft?

What about practice plans, anyone have a good resource for practice planning?
My coaching motto: Tell me and I'll listen, Show me and I'll watch, Involve me and I'll learn.

The Youth Baseball Coach

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#2 Hank

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:36 AM

I love this site. It has some great tips on how to structure a practice:
http://www.qcbasebal...ticePlans1.aspx

My practices run like this:

10 min - warm up by playing catch with partner
10 min - running the bases drill
30 min (10 for each station) - 3 stations (hitting, fielding, throwing, catching etc)
10-15 min - Full team drill (situational drills, throwing contests, dodgeball (great for teaching kids how to throw hard)
10-30 min - Scrimmage or scrub or hit against coaches, etc.

I love using the station method. Kids don't get bored, there's no standing around and you can get in all the fundamentals inside a 30 minute window.
The only downside is making sure you have lots of help. It's like pulling teeth getting some parents to volunteer for a few minutes each Saturday.

#3 Coach Larry

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 02:48 PM

Hi Hank,

Thanks for the input. Stations are usually critical in any successful practice and as you stated in another topic, pre-planning of your practices is essential to running a great one.

One thing we like to do with our warmups - Run a pole, Dynamic Stretching (8 exercises), Jumping Jacks, Arm Stretches (4) then play catch. At the younger ages, kids may not like the arm stretches but, if we can teach kids arm care from the very beginning and make it a habit, they will be much better off throughout their baseball career!

I also like to always end the practice with some sort of game/competition. The players are always wanting more when we are finished and it keeps them motivated to be there next practice.
My coaching motto: Tell me and I'll listen, Show me and I'll watch, Involve me and I'll learn.

The Youth Baseball Coach

#4 Hank

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:44 PM

Hi Hank,

Thanks for the input. Stations are usually critical in any successful practice and as you stated in another topic, pre-planning of your practices is essential to running a great one.

One thing we like to do with our warmups - Run a pole, Dynamic Stretching (8 exercises), Jumping Jacks, Arm Stretches (4) then play catch. At the younger ages, kids may not like the arm stretches but, if we can teach kids arm care from the very beginning and make it a habit, they will be much better off throughout their baseball career!

I also like to always end the practice with some sort of game/competition. The players are always wanting more when we are finished and it keeps them motivated to be there next practice.


Totally agree.
We usually ended practices with the kids against the coaches. We'd challenge them to score 3 runs against us and we would actually try our best to get the kids out. We never hit, only fielded.
With only 3 or 4 coaches in the field, I think we got worked as much as the kids, haha.
We were allotted 90 minutes of practice time but we never tried to use all 90. It's a house-league team so we didn't want to ram the sport down their throat or overwork them on hot afternoons. So we usually tried to wrap it up after 70 or 75 minutes.
But most of the time the kids refused to leave. Almost all the kids would stay till the very end because they were having so much fun.
When that happened we knew we were on the right track.

And you're not kidding about being prepared.
My first year coaching rookie ball (7-9 year olds, with pitching machine) I was supposed to be an assistant but our head coach went AWOL two weeks into the season. So me and another father took the reigns and did our best.
It was a sloppy year, to say the least, but I learned from my mistakes. For starters, we only had 3 practices all year (you can thank the convener for that). But in our 3 practices we did the worst thing any baseball coach can do - we ran the infamous pitch-and-field drill. You know, where one kid hits and the rest field? Every other team was doing that. No wonder so many kids quit ball. That's a terrible drill.
So for Season Two I created a complete 8-week practice well in advance to make sure I was prepared for the year and I made sure to never run that old, horrible drill again (side note: the league added way more practices. We would have had 11, but with Holidays it wasn't possible).
I can't describe how much smoother things went. The kids paid attention, skills were developed faster and we had a lot of fun too.
In fact, we got accused of stacking our team because we trounced the other team most nights.
The other coaches and myself are hardly experts. But because we got ourselves very well prepared and had a plan in advance, the kids improved a great deal. We had kids that had never seen a baseball bat in their life suddenly going 4-for-4 or 4-for-5 by the end of the season. It was great to see. Meanwhile, the accusing teams were still running terrible practices, and most canceled theirs in the last month of the season. No wonder their kids never improved.

But like you said Coach, running stations, being prepared and ending with a fun competition can make a huge difference in developing the kids skills.
We did our best to make sure every station was FUN. By the end of the year we were still getting 90% attendance at our practices while others were getting only 2 or 3 kids, or like I mentioned, even cancelling them.
With kids that age, if it's not fun, they won't come back.