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Baseball Drills

Baseball Drills

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Published by Cj Freedman

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Published by: Cj Freedman on Aug 18, 2011
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Two teams of even number players, one team hitting, other fielding. Coach pitches FIVE balls to each batter. First FOUR pitches are free pitches. The 5th pitch is the MONEY BALL. If you hit it and reach base safely your team scores a point (run). If the defensive team catches on the fly or gets you on the bases, or you miss the 5th pitch or hit foul the defense gets the run. You can also deduct points for lazy defensive play on the first 4 pitches, and lack of hustle in returning the balls from the backstop to the bucket at mound.

Set up the defense and a hitter gets one soft toss from plate to put the ball in play, the harder the better, no bunting. It is the job of the defense to field it and throw to first, second, third, and home plate in succession before the runner gets around the bases. Fouls are outs. The way it develops is the kids try to hit liners where no defender stands, placing their hits and run like crazy....meanwhile, the defense is incredibly efficient at getting the ball in and throwing around the horn. The kids not playing a base all communicate and line themselves up in a good backup position in case of a bad throw...but to get an out each base must be tagged while in possession of the ball before the next base can be thrown to. If the runner scores the entire defense for the play must drop for 5 pushups and if the batter is out he must do 5.

Place some of the flat cones at the ideal spots with a candy bar in the center. Everyone gets 3-5 bunts and marks the bunt that's closest to a cone. After everyone goes, the person closest to each cone gets that candy bar.

Take an empty ball bucket and set it upside down on home plate. Everyone lines up in center field. Then take a regular cone, put it on top of the bucket and place a candy bar on the cone. Throw or hit a fly ball (or ground ball). The fielder must catch the fly ball and throw to home plate. If they hit the bucket or cone and knock the candy bar off, they get the candy.

Divide into 3 teams of 4. One team hits, one plays infield, and the other plays outfield (with one player remaining at the backstop an undressed catcher). Coach pitches from the mound behind an L-screen. The trick is to have players line their helmets and bats up outside the dugout so you can changeover quickly, because each batter only gets one swing. When the players come to bat with 2 strikes against them, they instantly become more careful to put the ball in play. Also, running kids in and out moves the game along rapidly and also teaches them to hustle on

They aren’t necessarily the ones moving the fastest. Place the balls in similar areas for the first baseman and catcher. (Don’t call the player out if it’s a bad hop). keeping your eyes on the ball. When the coach yells. the player making the fielding error is out. The winning players will always be the one using two hands to catch and making good throws. he calls out ONE. set up five balls in a line extending from the foul line toward the pitcher’s mound approximately 10 feet away from home plate. This is one complete revolution. glove side. The players should quickly see how expensive it is to miss a throw. This will disturb the pairing and will allow better players to help weaker ones. about 6 players to a circle. For example. the play begins. backhand. then runs to surround the first ball and throws it to first. How many complete revolutions did they make? Don’t count half revolutions. For middle infielders. GO. The play continues until the coach yells. Make sure the players understand this. place the balls to one side of each player and have them practice their throws to each of the bases. Repeat the drill at all practices so that other players get a chance to de-throne the champ. Focus drills on the fundamentals of quick feet. QUICK HANDS/GOOD THROWS With partners about 20-25 feet apart. after the players have each selected a partner and are on the line ready to begin. hot potato in the hole. Each player fields and throws two sets of five balls placed in slightly different locations. The fielders make sure they use their feet to square off their shoulders to make strong throws to their partners. When the player who threw the ball first receives the ball. Put your players into circles. You might want to have everyone watch the winning team. Keep going until one player is left. where the fielder would pick them up for a bunt. STOP. place five balls in a line in an area where that player would likely field balls. . He then runs back to his starting position and quickly turns back to field the next ball.and off the field. centering the ball. FIVE BALL DRILL For each position. Every once in awhile. tell the players on one side to move down one player and have the player at the end come to the front. Hand a ball to one player. the partners catch and throw the ball back and forth as quickly as possible. the player is out. Start with all the balls on one side. The players will throw a short hop to anyone in the circle. If the throw is good and missed. Repeat until the fielder throws all five balls. SHORT HOPS Practice all kinds of short hops: Straight-on. Keep working all the players until you have a team champ. moving to either side. The third baseman starts in his normal ready position and depth. to help the third baseman practice fielding bunts. You can even put a timer on them so that they will collect an out if the batting can't put a batter to the plate within 90 seconds of the retired team's final out. If the throw is poor.

separating the bunting zones into three sections: right side. The cones give the hitter two specific areas their bunts must reach: either the left or right side. stop and give the ball back to him so he can get it to the correct player. As each pitch approaches the plate. and quick feet. Next player in the field comes up to hit. Each kid gets 10 swings. they grab a glove and go out in the field. The bunter at the plate must push the ball toward either line and hustle down the line toward 1st base. 1 behind the shortstop and 1 behind the second baseman. Properly calling out the location and hitting it in the right direction results in a point. give the catcher the ball. If they're not successful. They have to call the pitch and hit it to the correct area. out. middle. Players than run to the next base: c-3b. from the plate lined up in the middle section. Repeat this four times until the original catcher is back at home plate. accurate. EXECUTING AND DEFENDING THE BUNT Infield take their positions with the exception of the pitcher (drill can also be ran with a pitcher). Also. The 1st and 3rd basemen charge the bunt and throw it to the 2nd baseman covering the bag at 1st. and left side. Another version: Each player gets up to bat with a 2 strike count. 3b-2b. 2b-1b. Stage 1: The coach. the hitter must call out the location as he starts his swing (in. The coach. then on the third catch. After four repetitions of this. The coach sets up two orange cones. an empty bucket needs to be placed at all three bases.AROUND THE HORN SIDEWAYS Position a player at each base and home. has a bucket of balls about 50 ft. The fielders must play . on a knee. properly thrown balls. insuring constant repetition to players. with the bucket. Whenever a player throws to the wrong person. Place 2 strips of tape from the front of the plate to the back to divide home plate into 3 equal sections. that player throws across the diamond to the player diagonally across to him. pitches the ball toward the catcher. 1b-c. If they're successful they go to the end of the batting line and wait for their next turn. These buckets allow infielders to easily deposit fielded balls. the players run to the next base and start again. This divides the field into 3 areas. HITTING TO ALL FIELDS Place 2 cones on the edge of the outfield grass. middle) and hit the ball to the appropriate part of the field. The players make three throws around the horn. Here's how it works: • • • • • C-3b-2b-1b-across to 3b 3b-2b-1b-c-across to 2b 2b-1b-c-3b-across to 1b 1b-c-3b-2b-across to c who makes a sweep tag. Keep track of who has the longest streak of staying up to bat. Emphasis is on good. proper catching technique.

the 1st baseman must throw to the 2nd baseman covering the bag at 1st. moves to the mound. Place the bucket in foul territory next to 3rd base. A heavy emphasis should be placed on communication between 1st and 2nd baseman.the ball out. comes to the set position. If the ball is not fielded cleanly. Place the bucket in foul territory next to 3rd base. The goal is to make it through the drill without any errors. While fielding during Stage Three. . During the stretch. except second base and pitcher. and 3rd. either to the left or right side. 1st basemen charge the pitch and look to get the force or tag out at 3rd base. Next ground ball to the SS with the throw to 1st and then to the catcher who this time will throw it down to 2nd and then over to 3rd and in the bucket. The coach either throws over or goes to the plate. This drill focuses on the 3rd baseman attempting to force the runner at 2nd base. 1st baseman will then throw to the catcher who will throw it to 3rd and the 3rd baseman will put the ball in the bucket. half the position players bunting split up and practice running from 3rd base. the 1st or 3rd basemen must attempt to get the out at 1st base. Heavy emphasis should be placed on infielders to quickly transfer the ball from glove to hand. BUCKET OF BALL WITH RUNNERS Start with a player at each position. Furthermore. Stage 4: In Stage Four. fielders have no time to mishandle a transfer and still get the out at home. the 3rd baseman must practice holding the runner on at 3rd. If you have two players at each position you can have two teams and compete between the teams. Stage 3: In Stage Three. The coach will simulate the situation before the pitch. The coach. Keep track of any errors that occur or don't place the ball in the bucket. Make sure all the infielders get back to normal depth before the next pitch is delivered. Empty the balls near home plate and count them before the drill starts or keep track of errors. in Stage Two. the 1st and 3rd basemen charge toward home plate. Stage 2: The hitter. 3rd basemen must work on getting in front of bad throws in the dirt or off the base and work on swiping the tag in front of the bag. Empty the balls near home plate and count them before the drill starts or keep track of errors. On the squeeze play. Have runners at home. even if it is not fielded cleanly. Start the drill by hitting a ground ball to the 3rd baseman and have him throw to 1st. The catcher must apply the tag to the base runner coming to the plate. hitters are focusing on placing the bunt on the right side. The bunter’s objective is to put the ball on the ground. When the bunt is successful. BUCKET OF BALLS Start with a player at each position and the drill proceeds much like a standard infield. During the pitch. is working on pushing the ball to the left side. 1st base. If the ball is not fielded cleanly. the 1st or 3rd basemen must field it and toss it to the catcher.

2-3 players are in a line at SS ready to receive a ground ball.Start the drill by hitting a ground ball to the shortstop and have him throw to 1st. It is a great sort of game as the goal is to beat the runner home…infielders are then working hard to not make errors. Keep track of any errors that occur or don't place the ball in the bucket. We use this as a warm up drill to work on several different items quickly. who throws to 3B who throws home. You want to simulate game type of situations and you can't do that if the runner from home is leaving before contact. STAR GAME Place 1 player at each infield position except pitcher. Runner at home and 1st will run on contact. You can also make it a game by counting errors for throwing and catching (fewest points is the winner). This works on good throwing and catching techniques. The goal is to make good throws and catches to beat the runner home. 1B to 3B. The coach hits the ball to SS (runner begins running the bases). who throws to 2B. while also working on running and conditioning in quick sprints. This drill can be modified for any team by changing where the base runner starts from. Catcher will throw it to 3rd and the 3rd baseman will attempt a tag on the runner and then put the ball in the bucket. throw and run during the drill/game. Rotate players so that each person gets to field. After each throw the player goes to the base they just threw to for the next round. 1st baseman will then throw to the catcher who will attempt to tag the runner going home. . 2B. and the catcher goes to the back of the line at SS (thus follow the ball). while also working on proper base running. catch. Good way to get the blood flowing at the start of a practice. SS throws to 1B. Make sure your base runners are helping the drill by not leaving too early. FOLLOW THE BALL Coach hits a ground ball to the SS who throw to 1B. 1B should be focused on a proper step and catch. 3B and Catcher should receive the ball in the correct manner so they can place the tag quickly. The goal is to make it through the drill without any errors. and 2B to home. and 2-3 players have their helmets on at home ready to be a runner. If you have two players at each position you can have two teams and compete between the teams. while the base runners are working extra hard to make good turns and hit the inside of the base every time. In all cases the focus is on good throws. Runner at 3rd will hold until the ball is thrown to 1st and then will break for home. The runner who started at 1st will always attempt to make it to 3rd base. 3B to 2B. proper catching technique and tagging. One way to prevent this is to have the runner at home turn his back and run when he hears the ball being hit.

PERFECT INNINGS Two teams compete against each other: one on defense. The bunting team is pressured to make good bunt to advance runners. one coach fungoes. . Players at their spots. The bunting team gets one point for safely reaching first base. but have a pitcher player standing next to him). If the catcher knows where the ball is this is not applicable. A team must make nine consecutive outs. The other team is bunting. Coach hits the ball wherever he wants. It represents the average runner's time to first base. You can make the time whatever you want. a second point for reaching second base. left or down as he is moving to the catcher.WILD PITCH DRILL The objective of this drill is to make the pitchers redirect the catchers in the event of a passed-ball or wild-pitch in which the catcher loses sight of the baseball. BUNT SCRIMMAGE Split your squad into two teams. Any mistake pulls the team off the field and the other team goes on defense. Players must make 50 straight plays in less than 4. The pitcher should be on the mound. The coach throws the ball left. This baseball drill/game has been a player favorite for the last two seasons. Any mistake returns count to zero. It is especially important with a runner on third base. right or to the back or on the front.5 seconds each. another times how fast the fungoed ball reaches first base. The first movement should be for the catchers to look directly at the pitcher and he should signal with the right hand (if its to the right). "50" This is an infield drill. The fielding team must use the proper bunt defense based on where the runners are (i.e. That team is up until three outs are recorded. You can do variable as having an actual runner on third or time the drill. You also can decide the number of successful plays needed. And yells “go!” and retires out of the way. if there is a runner on second the third baseman needs to hold). and a third for reaching third. Make the catcher bend his knees head down (not looking forward) in front of home plate. The baseball coach should be positioned in front of the catcher with the ball on hand. It doesn't have to be "50". Try to simulate all routine situations that come up in a game. One team takes the field (infield only – I use a baseball coach to pitch. one running the bases.

For example. 5) an attempted squeeze. these and many other situations will arise. Coaches back off. 6) a first and third play and 7) score a runner from third with less than two out. the ball bounds into the outfield where the center fielder make a "do-or-die" scoop and then fires the ball to home on a long hop to the catcher who blocks the plate and tries to tag the second baseman who is sliding into home. Second Base. the second baseman takes off as if he is trying to score from second on a single to center (as he rounds 3rd he flips his glove toward the dugout).) Coach throws. Catcher comes up and fires to second base as if a runner is stealing from first to second (no one is covering second). Center Field The 5-6 remaining players feed into the center field position from Left field. We usually station a coach in Left Field to keep the non-participants busy working on ground ball technique or turning to run down fly balls. You decide the situations you want to work on and let them play. Since no one is covering second. Third Base. The drill begins with a coach at home plate hitting a ground ball to the shortstop Shortstop fields the grounder and throws to 1st base. 3rd base fields the throw on the bag then fires to 2nd base to start a 5-4-3 double play (Second baseman after throwing to first becomes a baserunner at second). Teams coach themselves. The players rotate as follows:        Second baseman/runner to Left field to the end of the feeder line Catcher to 3rd base 3rd base to SS SS to Second base/baserunner First base to catcher 1st in line in LF becomes the center fielder CF sprints to first base As the centerfielder arrives at 1st base. Shortstop. the coach hits another groundball to the shortstop and the sequence begins again. (Timed or number of innings. 3) a two-out nobody on rally to score a run. If Coach lays the ball in there. As the catcher fields the throw. Players try to win the game and complete all ingredients to success that are used that particular day. “COUNTY FAIR” The drill starts with 6 players: Catcher. 4) a two-out RBI hit. .INGREDIENTS TO SUCCESS Teams of eight compete against each other in a timed game. First Base. 2) an attempted hit and run. 1st base throws to 3rd base. 1st baseman then throws to the catcher in his stance behind home plate. today during the course of the game you must have each of the following: 1) an attempted sacrifice.

he loses that pitch plus an additional penalty pitch. With strike 2: Emphasize 2 strike hitting and being a tough out. Explain to your players that your call on a pitch is a judgment call. If the player swings at a pitch outside the strike zone. With 0 strikes: have the player stick out the bat over the plate showing you their favorite pitch. so they are not to argue the call. it will also help them be more aware of the strike zone. Tell each hitter how many strikes they have before stepping up to the plate. If he lets a borderline pitch go by there is an additional penalty pitch. If they master the drill with 10 pitches. keep the same number of swings left in his turn prior to the pitch. With strike 1: If the player swings at a strike. If the player swings at a pitch that is outside his 'hitting zone'.PLATE DISCIPLINE Each player will get up to 10 pitches. decrease his cuts by 1. . If the player swings at a pitch in his 'hitting zone'. The goal is to always have the hitter get all his cuts. he loses half of his remaining swings as a penalty. If he takes a pitch outside his 'hitting zone'. This will give you an idea of the general zone that they like the ball in. If he swings at a pitch outside the strike zone. If he swings and misses that’s okay unless the pitch is way out of the strike zone. move up to 15. Not only will this drill help your players with an approach at the plate based on count. his batting practice turn is over. The hitter will then adjust their approach to the strike count. If he lets an obvious strike go by. he loses that pitch plus an additional penalty pitch. decrease his cuts by 1. If that's the case there is an additional pitch penalty. just like it is when an umpire makes a call.

it's not a bad idea to have your coach occasionally make a move to pick off one of the runner. as well as pitches that will bounce. this is not a game situation in which a runner going from first automatically forces the runner from second. Take a lead.if the ball gets away from the catcher. get a good crow hop as the ball nears the plate. Station a baserunner at each base . Baserunners on first should automatically go if they know the ball is going to bounce . making sure that they don't lead too far. and players tend to like the excuse to yell. just to keep them honest.. second..if they wait to see if the catcher has blocked the pitch. pitching a variety of pitches . and third. they are too late. to avoid tiring one out too much. .Balls in the Dirt A big part of successful baserunning involves properly reading balls in the dirt. Any time a pitch is about to bounce. Have a coach on the mound.first. It's also a good idea to keep two catchers for this drill. the entire team must yell "Dirt!" This lets you know if everyone is paying attention. whereas if the catcher blocks the ball. Emphasize that each base is independent of one another. Emphasize your runners' lead techniques. or are caught leaning the wrong way. since the responsibilities for each base differ slightly. they should stay put. Runners on second should read the pitch and decide whether it is safe to go . then react to the bounce of the ball. the runner on third should read and react.mix in balls and strikes. This is a drill to teach the different reactions needed from each base to a pitch in the dirt. Similarly. This drill will help your players to learn to properly judge the trajectory of a pitched ball that bounces in the dirt. Runners should be independent of one another. they should go.

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