Many coaches’ approach to baseball practice is frenetic. They cram hitting, catching, pitching and fitness into every baseball session, dedicating at most a sliver of time to each. While using stations can be an effective way to develop athletes’ skills when the exercises do not complement or elaborate on each other, the message can be lost in the noise.
To help your players develop and retain skills, the best way to run practices is to focus on a particular technique at a time. Rotate the activities among whole practices rather than trying to get a bit of them all into each. A focused practice will be much more likely to teach your players a skill, and provide them with additional time to practice the new skill. Be sure to always stay focused on the fundamentals of the game and keep it interested.
This is a lot like looking at the big picture, which during a season coaches do all the time – one loss, or even a losing streak, does not mean a failed year, after all. The important thing is that you develope young players into kids that enjoy playing baseball. To often coaches will overwork their players in attempt to win, but instead the kids lose interest and get burned out. Keep the drills fun and moving and your kids will enjoy learning the game.
If your league, for example, trains three days a week, you can drill hitting one day, catching/throwing the next, and fitness the third. Every coach knows there are hundreds of youth baseball drills for each baseball skill out there, so change up the players’ activities. If they are struggling in a particular area, incorporate a quick recap or use it as a warm up during a follow-up session. The next week, repeat until they’ve mastered it.
In this way, you are building on skills through practices and over time, by forcing the athletes to recall what they learned a week ago. As they improve, you can either incorporate more difficult activities or new techniques entirely.
Your players will put it all together during games and fit the puzzle pieces themselves, providing an organic incorporation that can be a huge benefit. Rather than having a rote mentality about when to use certain skills, these athletes can develop an instinct about the sport.
If you’re going to work on the intricacies of your teams’ swings, make sure you have the right baseball equipment, like batting tees, plenty of baseballs and at least one L-screen.
There are four basic baseball skills children need to work on to stay on top of all elements of this America’s favorite game. The four basic baseball skills are catching, hitting, throwing and base running. These four are collectively called as baseball drills. As a teacher, it is a challenge to make children learn baseball drills as it is detrimental to their appreciation, enjoyment and safety practices in the game. Here are some essential tips for coaching basic baseball skills:
1. Throwing – Children need to warm up often to help them learn the skill of throwing. The act of throwing is not a simple baseball skill. It requires the whole body to work together to accurately send the ball at specific target. The proper position of throwing should be front shoulder facing the target, lower body lined up in the same direction, back foot perpendicular to the target, and hips closed. The motion the arm makes when throwing a baseball is circular motion. Asking children to practice throwing through circular motion is an effective technique to make children experience natural momentum of sending the ball at specific target. Check occasionally if children throw with a circular motion by asking them to freeze after pulling the ball out of the glove.
2. Catching – Playing catch helps children appreciate baseball more and know the basics of safety in the game. Catching baseball involves preparation. The most important tip you can give to kids learning baseball is to expect that the ball won’t be thrown to them. In that way, they will be challenged to make a good play. The right position of catching baseball should be knees slightly bent and weight on the balls of the feet. Ask children to move into the position that will give them the best opportunity to catch the ball. Make the playing catch interesting by turning it as a little competition during practice.
3. Hitting – Making children learn hit baseball is the most difficult skill a coach needs to learn. Children need different set of instructions as every student has different set of skills, style and approach on baseball. The best approach on teaching children how to hit baseball is to be open-minded and recognize that each student needs individual hitting instruction. Take time on teaching each beginner on hitting baseball. Analyze each problem, take notes on how each player does hitting, or even take videos of their practice. Many players don’t figure out what they are doing wrong until they see their rehearsal or practice videos. Allocate enough time to discuss to each player how to improve their hitting. Another important technique for children to learn baseball hitting is to help them build confidence. Motivate players through pep talks and praises each time they make good points.
4. Base Running – This skill is very important in scoring opportunities. As a coach you need to give your students many base running experiences. You should teach players to run every ball out and run it out hard. You may want to make a penalty for breaking this rule. Children may get bruises while they learn baseball base running. The best place to practice base running is in grass and unobstructed area.