Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Coach and Player Training



Coach and Player Training

Presented here is a collection of video links to help get your team up and going for the baseball season.  Majority of the links are 2 minutes or less and are meant to provide some quick ideas for effective drills to run during practice.

Practice Tips

  • Take advantage of your volunteers (parents and assistant coaches) and run several drills in parallel with smaller groups.
  • Limit each drill to 5 - 10 minutes as needed.
  • Start practice with some base running drills. This not only gets the kids loose, but makes them better base runners. Practice running through first and running around the bases. Teach good fundamentals like touching the inside corner of the bases and rounding the corners.
  • Make the throwing warm-up repeatable and structured (see throwing drills below). Incorporate fun competitions into practice drills.  Who can catch the most fly balls, most completed throws to 1st base, etc.
  • Find a fun rewarding way to end practice each time. Consider breaking the team into two teams and running a 20 min coach pitch scrimmage.  Mix it up instead of coach pitch hitting team gets one swing at a ball on the tee or soft toss from the side.
  • Use tennis balls for players that are not comfortable catching the ball.  It is much easier to teach proper technique when the kids are not afraid to get hit by a ball.

Throwing

Breaking throwing down by isolating parts of the body is a good way to strengthen proper throwing form.  These videos are good examples of incremental use of the body to develop good throwing mechanics.

ProSwing's Top Gun Throwing Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9XCX3_MNyg
Eliminating Lower Body Movement Drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n7reOeGCvg

Fielding

The most important elements to enforce when running fielding drills include: glove out in front of the body, forming a triangle with the feet, lateral movement to keep in front of the ball, and body motion towards the throwing target. 

Fundamentals: Receiving Ground Balls & Transitioning to Throw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Krz-SjRzo
Technique: Fielding Ground Balls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfqSNwFVv1s

First Base Drills

Fundamentals of Playing First Base: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0NEYy3A8K8
Receiving Throws at First - Proper Positioning and Form:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj5lYbBniV4
Receiving Throws at First - Picking Balls Out of the Dirt:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fj8UXEBP2g

Throwing to First Base

In Field Throw - Proper Body Motion Towards Target: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2SsVCqmmb4
Drill for Generating Throwing Motion Towards First Base: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9txBL8QOaE

Pitcher Covers First

Pitcher Covering First Base: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZjihadKZL0
Winning Baseball - Pitcher Covering First Base: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pss8tFhJdh4

Relay

Outfield Relay Drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj7IWfXFoxw

Outfield

Outfield Drop Step - Running Down a Fly Ball https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvwkdxepqTk

Underhand Flip

Underhand Ball Flip - High 5 Drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfTfwxWZhlM
Underhand Ball Flip - Box Drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gI04rzOHP0

Hitting

Too many swing thoughts and descriptive words will simply confuse young batters.  What we want to enforce is a good starting posture, simple load - bat pointing to catcher, small timing step towards pitcher and strong swing that begins with an explosive hip turn.  Start by encouraging a hard swing and work from there.  Best to avoid traditional sayings like - swing level, back elbow up, etc.  Tee work is a great way to improve a swing but it must be supervised to ensure bad habits are not forming.  Kids love to swing up at a tee thinking that is how to hit a homerun.

Common Hitting Flaws - With Corrective Drills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS-PcxmaHmQ
Seven Steps to the Perfect Swinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JSMEOv4dXQ&t=15s
Hitting Off the Tee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hc62aLrmp-s
Proper Tee Drill Techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vfpw7Kolx8
Greatest Batting Tee Drill Ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcNGT6ZcH1s
Tee - Walk Up Drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TH3S7ydbino&feature=youtu.be

Pitching

Pitching should be an extension of the good throwing mechanics introduced above.  Pitch from the stretch is a better place to start with the kids. Less starting motion enables them to focus on the pitching / throwing mechanics.  Enforce the use of the rubber to push the body forward to help generate good motion towards the plate.  Most important, focus on the follow-thru of the throw.  Many young pitchers like to release the ball high and limit their follow-through so they can watch the ball.

Ripken - Pitching Drills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubBS0T6FxGU