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Fun Baseball Drills


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#1 Husker Fan

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

Getting ready for another season of baseball and was wondering what drills other coaches use that the kids really enjoy. A couple I use are provided below. These all have some competition in them and the kids have always really enjoyed them.

Football - I'll have one or two players line up as recievers and each will have a defensive player covering them. They will run pass patterns and I'll throw them the ball to score a TD. The defensive player tries to intercept.

No Name for the Drill - typically used this one as part of pre-game warm ups and during practice. After the players do warm up throwing in two lines we will start the ball on one side and on the coaches call, the players throw to their "teammate on the other line and then on coaches call the player throws back. If anyone drops the ball, that team sits down. After the first round, the coach moves one line back to increase the distance and repeats. we do this until their is a winner. Sometimes we start with an underhand throws to reinforce that. After each game, we rotate the players in one line down a person so we keep mixing up the teams. We also add in a coaches team to have the kids compete against them.

Relay Races - A number or relay races that we typically do at the end of practice or to work off some excess energy. One is to set half the team at 2nd and the other half at home and have them try to catch the other team. We also do other relay races where they have to run down to a glove and either put the ball in the glove or retrieve the one left by player that was in front of them. Also have them run down and tag a coach or circle him. Whatever the race, they will pass a helmet, a ball, or tag the next player before he can start. We also mix it up by having them run backwards, put the helmet on backwards, having to wear a glove and pass the ball while wearing the helmet backwards, etc.

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#2 Coach Larry

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:54 AM

This is probably the all time favorite drill for the teams that I've coached-

The Bucket Game - Set up a stack of two buckets on home plate. Divide your players into two teams. One team goes to play the 2b position and the other goes to the SS position. Have a coach up the 1b line rolling grounders to SS and a coach up the 3b line rolling grounders to 2b. Teams compete to try and field the grounder and make a throw to hit the buckets. If they knock the top bucket off, they get 3 points. If they hit either of the buckets in the air, they receive 2 points. If they hit either bucket on a bounce they receive 1 point. You can choose any number to try and score to for the win. Usually we do 15, but lower it based on player skill level, or you can move players in to the cut of the grass, etc. to make the throw easier.

We have added some additional rules- you must try to get rid of the ball quickly. If you hold it too long or take too many steps toward home, your throw does not count. If you miss the ball, you must go get it and make the throw from where you pick the ball up. And -5 points if you hit a coach(has not happened yet).
My coaching motto: Tell me and I'll listen, Show me and I'll watch, Involve me and I'll learn.

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#3 Hank

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:24 AM

I've been coaching 7-9 year olds the last couple of years and I've managed to find a few drills that the kids seem to enjoy.
I think they're favorite is using a pitching machine to practice catching fly balls. I aim it real high and set the speed to a reasonable level and then have the kids track it down. (Because my kids are young, I use tennis balls to keep the concussions to a minimum).
At the beginning of the year I have them stand right where the balls will land. As they gain some skill, I'll use an orange cone as a starting point, and place it a few feet away from the landing zone. This way they learn to run into the fly ball and learn how to track while on the run.
One practice, I think we did this for over 20 minutes. They couldn't get enough.

Another drill I have is where I place a number of balls in the dirt between 2B and 3B and then setup targets (stuff animal on a stool) against the first-base fence.
I separate the kids into 3 or 4 lines and then have the front player start on their belly. On my command they jump up, run to a ball, scoop and fire at a target. The team that hits the target most wins.

A good running drill that I start off every practice with is races around the bags.
I split the team into 2 and have half the kids line up at 2B and the other half at home.
On my signal, the runner at 2B has to get to home before the kid from home gets to 2B.

Hitting water balloons on a hot day is always a popular drill.

Another drill that I really enjoy because I think it targets a lot of different skills is a situational infield drill.
I split the kids into 3 teams. One squad goes to 2B, one to 1B and one as runners starting from home.
As soon as I hit a grounder to 2B, the runner takes off and 2B tries to throw them out.
For the age group that I coach, this really helps the kids learn how to play a bag properly. They start off 1B, then have to run to cover it.
Not only that, but the runners learn to run through 1B instead of stopping on it.
It's amazing to me how many kids who start at this level forget to run through first-base. Or, how many first-basemen forget to run to the bag to cover it in-case of a throw.
So this drill will help the kids in fielding, throwing, catching, running and covering a bag.
Over the course of the year, when the kids get comfortable with that, we'll shift over to covering 2B with a squad at SS and 2B and a runner at 1B.
It's a bit painful at first because most of these kids can't catch a ball (which is why I wait to introduce it by week 3 and I still use a soft-core ball).
But it was amazing to me how many outs we made by the end of the year. We're only house-league, but we were making plays other teams weren't.
It was a highlight of my season last year when one of our most inexperienced kids made a great play to get a kid out at 1B and afterward said "Just like we practiced!" She was extremely proud of herself.

And I always finish a practice with a scrimmage against the coaches. The coaches never hit, only field. We challenge the kids to score x-amount of runs against us and we don't take it easy on them.
After a 45-60 minute practice trying to hit all the fundamentals this is drill that seems to help the kids unwind and have fun.
It also gets them lots of reps off the pitching machine.

I hope some of those ideas help.

#4 Husker Fan

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:32 PM

Hank:

I used a variation of one of your suggestions tonight in a tunnel. Ball on the ground, kid starting a few steps away (tunnel narrow so not much room) runs to the ball, barehanded pickup and throw down to a kid at the other end of the tunnel andwho then throws it back. Had a coach run down and back and the kids had to beat him with the throw down and back. Beat the coach and its an out, don't and its a run. Kids loved it. I can see how these type of drills can really help on the fielding. Can't wait for the snow to melt and temps to warm up and get outside.

Thanks

#5 Hank

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 02:08 PM

Hank:

I used a variation of one of your suggestions tonight in a tunnel. Ball on the ground, kid starting a few steps away (tunnel narrow so not much room) runs to the ball, barehanded pickup and throw down to a kid at the other end of the tunnel andwho then throws it back. Had a coach run down and back and the kids had to beat him with the throw down and back. Beat the coach and its an out, don't and its a run. Kids loved it. I can see how these type of drills can really help on the fielding. Can't wait for the snow to melt and temps to warm up and get outside.

Thanks


LOL, I'm ready for spring to get here too. I'm all hockey-d out and want to get back on the fields.
Glad to hear that your drill went well. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, in my opinion baseball is the best sport to think of fun drills.
Especially when you can involve the coaches vs the kids. I think I have just as much fun (or more) than the kids out there, hahaha.

Good luck this season!

#6 coachjd

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:54 AM

this is fun drills that helps conditioning, and base running. Divide the team into two groups with one lined up at first base and the other at 3rd base. This is basically a relay race. The team on first base will run around the bases and when the arrive back at first base the next player runs around the bases until all players have completed the lap around the bases. The team on third is doing the same thing until all players round the bases. The team that finishes first is the winner. We usually do this at the end of practice and have the teams compete a few times. There a bunch of other great drills for tball and youth baseball. t-ball drills and youth baseball drills.
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#7 hollad6636

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:05 AM

Here are some more great youth baseball drills.