Video of the Day
On my command they jump up, run to a ball, scoop and fire at a target. The team that hits the target most wins. 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. 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. 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. 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! 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 minute practice trying to hit all the fundamentals this is drill that seems to help the kids unwind and have fun. 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. 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.
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.
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.
The great thing is that this is all happening at the same time! The bottom line is that there is strength in numbers and so much more can be accomplished with more help. There is nothing that can raise the anxiety of a youngster or their parents for that matter more than inconsistency. If the coach says practice is at 4pm then coach better be there at 4pm. Practice should be held at least twice a week before the season starts and at least once a week when the season starts.
Practice should only be cancelled for extreme circumstances such as poor weather. The same practice shouldn't be run every week but aspects of practice can become routine. Examples of this would be a 15 minute break after the first hour of practice, taking a lap around the field to begin or end practice, talking about the upcoming week's games at the end of practice, etc.
Creating solid rituals and routines for your team will give the young players the organization and structure that they need. One of the worst things a new Little League coach can do at a practice is simply not know what to do next. The new coach has just completed a great batting practice with the team that has lasted about an hour and there is an hour left in practice.
He calls the team in and sits there with coaches trying to figure out what to do next. While coach is trying to figure things out, "Little Johnny" just kicked "Little Tommy" and "Little Timmy" just ran off the field because he's bored.
This could all be prevented by simply planning practice a head of time. A new coach should have a note book with practice drills and ideas for practice. Always plan ahead because practice time is valuable time that should never be wasted. Only five players showed up to practice this week and you are thinking about sending them home. Don't send them home, don't get frustrated, and don't panic. First, with this kind of poor turn out you may want to contact parents preferably before they leave the park if they are dropping off and returning later and let them know that practice will only be an 1 hour or an hour and a half.
Run a small batting practice, run some small drills, or have a game of hits, runs, and errors. You might even be able to do all three. Having some practice plans for smaller groups is also something that can go into that practice notebook that was discussed earlier.
Baseball at the Little League level should be about mastering fundamental skills like throwing, fielding, and hitting. Fundamental skills should be included in every practice. You may not have time at every practice to practice advanced skills like executing a proper rundown, stealing bases, delayed steals, double steals,etc. Often both infielders on the side of the field the ball is hit to will go after the ball and neither will cover the corner base first or third.
As stated earlier, we will not drill the pitcher in this responsibility early on. Our time will be used to get the four infielders to develop their base coverage habits.
This does not mean we will not teach the idea, verbally, of the pitcher covering a base. We will point this out each time it comes up.
The reality is that verbal instructions are not nearly as effective as the players drilling the actual actions. Later in the season, once the four infielders are demonstrating they are getting the concept of covering the correct base we can then start investing practice time on drilling the pitcher position. Half of practice time is drills and skill development and half of practice is playing the game. Playing a game scrimmage is fun - and it is what the kids expect when they signed up to Play.
Base Running - this is a great group activity that also has an important socializing benefit. It is a fun way for kids to develop base running skills and become familiar with this fun aspect of the game. It also tires them out a bit, so they will pay attention to the instructions for the drills and skills segment of practice.
Below are a few different base running activities. Only plan on each player having repetitions in the warm-up base running activity each day. Over time they will develop their base running skills. When accounting for getting the kids organized before and after the warm-up, the actual activity only lasts about 3 minutes. Run Around the Bases.
Place a kids at each base. A second or two later yell for the next player to at each base to go, and so on. After they are all running, let them run around the bases times. Save this activity for later in the season. Divide the players into two evenly matched groups; one at home, one at second base. In the relay race the players run all the way around the bases, returning to tag the next player on their relay race team. After tagging their teammate that runner sits down.
For this segment of practice we divide the team into groups; two groups if you have an appropriately sized team of seven players. If you have nine or more kids, make three groups. There are three drill stations: Playing Catch, Defense and Batting.
Each group spends minutes at a station, then rotates. If your team only has two groups, one station will not be used during each stage of the rotation.
Under each station below is a list of activities. These are very small children and there is a limit to how much they can learn in one season. The fact is, even at higher levels of play, practices are not real detailed they just move faster. The key is for our kids to gain familiarity with the activities and get massive repetitions in order to gain some level of mastery of the skills.
The drills are listed in sequence; those that are introduced first, down to those introduced later in the season. Each day, one to three activities are run at a given. Point being is that a group of kids can go directly into the Batting or Defense station without playing catch first. Trying to coordinate 7, 8, 9 or more little ball players playing catch at the same time can become chaotic very quickly.
Ideally we have two Tees available and use wiffle balls. We have two kids batting and kids chasing the balls they LOVE chasing the balls. When using wiffle balls two kids can hit at one time and nobody will get hurt if a flying wiffle ball hits them in the side of the head. When two kids hit at the same time, the players gets twice as many swings - more repetitions means greater skill development.
If you only have one tee, hard balls can be used. Give each batter swings while the other players field the hit balls. This will keep the activity moving and get the kids more practice.
No helmet is needed when there is only one batter, but be sure the on-deck batter is standing far enough from the batter hitting off the tee, so they are safe.
Also, have an adult standing between the two batters - better the adult gets hit than the child ;. Later in the year, when the kids know the batting drills, we can go straight into the Tee work and have the on-deck batter do batting drills during the seconds they are waiting.
In this case we can increase the number of swings to for each batter. Have an adult at the tee s with a bucket of balls who places the ball s on the tee. It is critical that the kids fielding the balls are paying attention when the next ball s is being hit. Finally, have a line that the players fielding are not allowed to cross. Often the batter s will not hit the ball far from the tee.
This slows the activity down waiting for the fielding player s to run back to a safe distance from the batter s. The line might be something already on the field, otherwise cones, hats, hoodies or some other objects can be used to indicate the line.
If a stronger batter is up, move the tee back creating a greater distance between the batter and fielders. An adult plays the catcher position and also sets the ball on the tee for the batter.
The gloves of the kids batting and running the bases are placed in foul ground near third base. There are different options If you chose an actual rotation, the following is a simple suggestion: On each play we want to give feedback to as many players as possible. First and foremost we are constantly looking for actions the players do correctly or are making an effort to do what they are being taught.
When we see these things we want to point them out. Nothing motivates a player more, to keep working to improve, than acknowledging that they did something correctly or that we saw their effort to do an action correctly. Of course there will be plenty of things to correct and teach. The key to correcting is to talk about actions not results. The kids will get their actions correct much more often than the end result. On the occasions the kids do get the desired result we still want to talk about their using the proper actions, examples: We want to shoot for a ratio of acknowledging things done correctly to making corrections of 3: If the kids hear us telling them they did something right more often than us correcting them they will learn to trust us and recognize that we are wanting them to get better.
With that trust in place they will respond better when we are correcting them. They will be confident in us and know we are trying to help them. During infancy children can only catch large balls rolled directly at them. If a smaller ball is thrown directly at them they tend to close their eyes, turn their heads, and stiffly extend arms and legs. It is not until seven ot years of age that children develop the capacity to track flying objects, make appropriate leg and body adjustments, and prepare their arms, hands and fingers quickly enough to catch a three inch ball.
This is just a sample excerpt of one article. There are many written by child development researchers that state that seven or eight is the age that kids become better able to judge and catch. Keep in mind that in this research they are likely not testing kids in a park with other kids and additional distractions. The Tee-Ball practice environment, very likely, makes catching a thrown baseball more challenging than in a research atmosphere. Human beings' eyes work together as part of a process called 'Binocular Vision'.
When the eyes work together the brain is able to process the information resulting in depth perception and the ability to track a moving object. In the human brain, this coordinating of the two eyes to work together and transmit information does not develop until ages 7 or 8.
Line your kids up in a row or two and instruct them to stand with their feet wider than shoulder width and with their hands and elbows held out in front of their body. We remind our kids that the ball does not always come straight to them. Next, we point out that by reaching forward with our hands, towards the ball, we can see the ball heading towards our glove making it easier to catch. We "Reach Forward to Catch". Line your kids up in a row or two and instruct then to get in a "Ready Position".
Tell them that when you say "Move Your Feet to Catch" they are to move three feet to their left to catch and imaginary ball. Then you point to your right their left and holler "Move Your Feet to Catch". As you point and give the command, you quickly move three feet to your right leading them in the movement , then holler "Reach Forward to Catch" and extend your hands and arms in front of you.
Repeat by having them move to their right. Repeat back and forth times or more if you have time and they remain engaged No ball is used in this drill. This drill trains the proper body movements of the throw.
We run the kids through the drill to train their movements. Later we put a ball in their hands, so they can test how well their body has learned the movements. In all throwing actions the legs initiate and provide most of the power. The throwing arm takes the power generated by the legs and conveys it to the ball. To some extent they will grasp the concept of the momentum created by using their legs to move them toward their target.
The most important part of teaching this drill is to keep the initial instruction simple and to get on with running the drill. Subsequent instruction is primarily for the purpose of correction and keeping them on track towards executing the actions properly. Many kids will wait too long to toss the ball; they will get within about five feet of their partner before tossing. You might also place something a bit beyond the half way point that indicates the time to toss the ball.
Early on some kids will struggle with the physical challenge of combining the two actions of running and tossing. These kids will run all the way to their targetand Hand the ball to you. Kids learn a lot form observing their peers. We still have the players, "Follow Your Head" keep their momentum moving toward their target After throwing the ball and then run around the adult they are working with.
The drills and content on that page will be addressed in slightly greater detail consistent with these older players' ability to digest the concepts and execute the actions. The four drills below are just a sample of variations of this same concept. Other than the ' Play' at home, each drill could be run with the coach rolling to either player.
There is a wide variety of drills that follow the same concept that our found on the Skill Building Warm-up page under the Defensive Responsibilities heading and the Pitchers Fielding heading. Also refer to the Defensive Responsibilities page where the complete though brief set defensive concepts are detailed. The drills and concepts are introduced at the Tee-Ball level, but our expectations for the kids' ability to consistently execute and full grasp the concepts must remain low.
However, these actions represent how the game is played and it is important that they be exposed to these actions and drilled in them. Our primary objective is that they are introduced to the fact that on defense, all players must move once the ball is put into play and that each player has a specific responsibility.
At the Tee-Ball level we will not address the pitcher's responsibilities. This are a bit to complex for this age of ballplayer. This same drill can be run with players reversing roles of who is fielding and who is covering the base. The objectives of the Two Players, One Base series of drills: Players come to recognize that the momentum of running towards their target is what powers their throws.
They also need to learn to continue running towards the target during and following the throw which enhances the power behind the throw and improves accuracy.
It will take quite a while to get the idea of momentum generated by their legs to compute in their minds. Given that the ball is held in the hand and he hand is connected to the arm, kids understandably see the arm as the power source for the underhand toss. Coaches understand that as simple as the drills are, it will take a number of weeks and for many, the duration of the season for the kids to grasp these concepts.
As they start getting it the movements on the field become pretty amazing to watch. They will still miss most of the time on their throws and catches. At the Tee Ball level we want to position the second baseman and shortstop halfway between the corner base and second base. These players are learning to understand that they could cover either base depending on if the ball is hit to their right or their left. By positioning them exactly between the two bases the kids establish a perspective that each base is of equal importance.
At this level we are exposing them to the concept of movement. They will seem perplexed at times and make mistakes, but these experiences will pay off over time. Also, getting them moving and giving each position a purpose on each play makes the game more interesting and fun, which will increase the probability that the kids will want to come back and play the following season …which is our primary goal as adults involved at the Tee-Ball level.
The drills at the third base bag and home plate are less about preparing the kids for recording an out in a game and more about them learning about coordinating movements of two adjacent players, recognizing that sometimes a player gets the ball and sometimes gets a base.
Most importantly they are gaining an understanding that movement is required each time the ball is put into play. The drills establish the habit of moving each time the ball is put into play. Place two cones at shortstop, one for the player who will be fielding the next ground ball and the other cone 5'' away for the next player.
Players positioned next to the coach at the pitching rubber:
Football grid odds | Politics vegas odds | Cricket bowling tips yorker | Super bowl 16 spread | Entertainment weekly oscar predictions |