How To Plan & Design A Quality Baseball Practice Routine
After this 90-minute baseball practice plan template the players should have accomplished most if not all the items on our baseball lesson plan list at the beginning of this baseball article page.
Practice time should be heavy on action and light on coach lecturing. Transitions are very important in order to keep the fun baseball drills flowing at a steady pace.
Infield And Outfield Fundamentals Drills
Although you may have done some work on fundamentals during your offseason workouts, it has no way of matching an actual on-field drill. Players should be practicing fielding ground balls or fly balls and working on the proper fundamentals of each. For infielders, players should practice a variety of different plays. This includes balls hit right at them, to their forehand or to their backhand. Work with them on fielding short or in between hops and how to charge a slow roller. As the drills get more involved, theyll need to practice covering bases, rundowns, making tags and going back on pop ups.
For outfielders, drills should include judging fly balls, keeping balls in front of them and making good throws back to the infield. Players should focus on the fundamentals of their position and should also learn the value of communication between other outfielders and the infielders.
Coaching Little League With Baseball Practice Plans
These plans are aimed at 7 to 14 year-olds.
Although coaches with younger teams and older teams have successfully used these plans, the sweet spot is for baseball coaches coaching 7 14-year-olds. The same set of plans work for this age span because the focus is on baseball fundamentals. Coaches might decide to shorten the scheduled time for younger ages and not include the whole agenda while implementing everything for older ages.
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Baseball Drills And Practice Plans
- Fielding Ground Balls Learn the proper footwork and what is necessary to field routine ground balls. Take the time to teach them the actual skill.
- Double Infield Drill Save time and get more ground balls to your infielders using this infield drill!
- Double Play Drill A Pitchers Best Friend! Teach your youth baseball team how to turn a double play.
- Baseball Bucket Game Kids love this game! This baseball drill will help you reinforce proper throwing and fielding mechanics in a fun and competitive way. It is a great way to end a practice!
- Bunting Drills Very important part of the game and something EVERY player should be able to execute!
- Pitching Drills Some good drills to work with your pitchers on.
- Catcher Pop Up Drill This is the only drill for catchers I have on my site currently, but is a good one. I will need to spend some more time putting others on here. I would recommend blocking drills, throwing to 2nd, receiving the ball, how to set up, etc.
- Baserunning Drills Proper lead, rounding a base , stealing a base, how to read a pitchers pick off move, how to run through 1st base on infield hit, how to round first base on single to outfield, etc. I am sorry, I dont have all of these things spelled out on my site, but all have great importance in the game of baseball.
Baseball Practice Equipment
Give Your Players Physical Homework
At The Hitting Vault, we firmly believe that understanding and implementing correct body movements is key to unlocking your power. Thats why its essential to have stations and aspects of your practice that are devoted to learning these movements and sequences.
Physical homework is an opt-in strategy for players, as theyll get out what they put in. Members of The Hitting Vault can utilize our library of drills to help with mobility and rotational strength.
For elite players and teams, our SwingFit and SwingFit Elite program includes a baseline testing and lifting regimen. Our content can be a valuable resource for extending your players learning and development beyond the diamond or gym.
In the hitting section below, well describe a station based around basic movements that help improve mobility and power development. Whether or not you utilize THVs members-only content, you should make an effort to give your players a consistent stream of physical homework thats appropriate for their skill level.
This can include research and writing , or practice-based homework like indoor drills or exercises. Your coaching goal should be to empower your players to develop into the best possible athlete that their drive will allow.
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How To Run Baseball Practice Using The 3
First, divide your team into three evenly skilled groups as possible.
You will use these three evenly talented groups to flow through your infield and outfield drills, batting practice schedules and the scrimmage at the end of youth league practice or high school baseball practice.
This gives you the flexibility to keep practice fast moving, competitive and with little standing around. That equals lots of action, multiple repetitions, numerous batting swings, mini-competition and live game scrimmages. A recipe for success!
Plan Your Practice To Accomplish Your Objectives
Once you fill out your objectives for the practice, then it’s a matter of writing down drills and games that support those objectives. I try to place a loose time frame on each drill or game. Some things will go smooth and take exactly the time you think and others will take longer. I try to end my practice with something fun. I don’t want that to be left out because we run out of time. So I will try to have the drill right before it be one that can be very flexible in the amount of time spent on it.
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Triangle Drill With Tennis Balls
This drill helps teach communication skills and pop-up priorities in the outfield. Using this drill, especially with younger athletes, will help build confidence to go after balls that may be out of their comfort zone.
What you need to do is separate your outfielders into three groups and position them at cones arranged as shown in the picture below. This can be done on either side of the field.
The circled player has priority, meaning that if they call for the ball, the other two players must get out of the way. A simple way to help develop good on-field communication is to have each player converge on the ball if one of the X marked players wants it, theyll yell Ball, Ball, Ball slowly. If the circled player decides they want it, theyll call Ball! Ball! Ball! loudly and quickly. This allows the non-priority player to hear the priority player, even if theyre both calling for the ball at the same time.
For this drill, you can either throw balls or use fungo bats. Mix it up between throwing balls right at a player and placing the ball between the players to force communication.
Double Barrel Fielding Drill
After the short hop drill is completed, infielders should break into a double barrel infield. This alignment requires two coaches . Players will field ground balls for a total of 15 minutes, following the template below:
- Round 1: 5-3, 6-4-3 and 4-6-3
In this round, the third basemen are throwing across the field to first, so the second basemen and shortstops will field grounders and work on their feeds and footwork to turn a double play without actually finishing.
- Round 2: 5-4-3, 6-2
During this round, the second basemen are working on finishing double plays and turning around throws from third. The shortstops are playing in and making throws to home as if theres a runner trying to score. Be sure to alternate hitting ground balls for safety purposes that way, the shortstop doesnt get in the way of the throw from third to first and take a ball off the side of the head.
- Round 3: 3-6-3, 4-2, 5-2
Here, the first basemen get to work on fielding a grounder, throwing to second and then getting back to the base to turn the double. The second and third basemen will throw home.
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About The Author John Blissenbach
John Blissenbach has coached all levels of youth baseball from kindergarten through high school. He has coached and managed championship youth and American Legion baseball teams.
John began coaching baseball in 1979 at the age of 20. He started as a high school assistant varsity/JV head coach working with varsity head coach Hank Mauer Great Uncle of Minnesota Twins AllStar Catcher, Joe Mauer.
In addition to coaching baseball, John has also been a coach for his 4 childrens softball, football, basketball, track & soccer teams. During the past 20 years, he has had the great pleasure of coaching more than 50 youth teams.
John combines two essential elements into each practice: fundamentals and fun.
Tighten Up Hitting And Fielding Drills
Obviously, these two area of the game are extremely important and you want to continue to work on them. Coaches may want to tweak some of these drills as the games get more important. For instance, work with your hitters on making sure they put the ball in play and reduce strikeouts. Strikeouts can be an inning killer and in close games every run counts. Instead, move the focus to moving runners along or hitting the opposite way. Of course, you still want them to het balls hard but have them work the count and wait for their pitch if at all possible. Fielding drills should be targeted on the fundamentals with an emphasis on making the right play based on the game situation.
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Baseball Coaching Practice Plans
Having a plan ready for your baseball season can make a big difference. As Louis Pasteur said,Fortune favors the prepared mind.
Here are some reasons youll want this guide:
- Instills confidence in coaches and players by working with a proven system from experienced coaches who have been there and done that.
- Identifies and explains coaching concepts to address and the order to address them in the right stuff at the right time.
- It generates team improvement rapidly. The biggest winners are the players! Your team will be playing its best ball!
- Saves time. You wont have to start from scratch just review and tweak as needed for your team. Print out the plan for your upcoming field time and bring it with you to use as your guide.
- Enables you to coach in the moment by being focused on the task at hand vs. having to worry about what to do next.
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Why These Plans Are Game Changers
Heres what we hear from baseball coaches who use these plans:
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Warm Up The Right Way
Have your players jog, stretch, run through plyometrics or whatever warmup routine you have in place. From there, have them throw until their arms are loose.
Ages 12 and up should start doing long toss 2-3 times per week as part of their warmup regimen. Long toss helps open up the arm and is the best way to improve arm strength.
In general, youll want to limit this throwing duration to around 15 minutes. Your teams total warmup should take about 25-30 minutes.
After warming up, players should immediately break into groups of infielders, outfielders, pitchers and catchers.
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Baseball Practice Hitting Stations
As we mentioned earlier in this practice plan, understanding and implementing the correct sequence of movements is essential for producing power at the plate. As a coach, you should utilize hitting stations that help players learn, develop, and master these movements.
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There are four stations you should have in the hitting part of your practice to teach different movements, build good habits and develop muscle memory.
Hitting Station #: Movement Station
Having a good movement sequence is one of the keys to unlocking your power, so hitters need to start learning early how the body should move towards the ball for maximum impact.
Two great drills that can be done for this are the Resisted Separation Drill and the Separation Drill.
Resisted Separation Drill
The Resisted Separation Drill helps hitters feel the correct sequence, which is hips then torso, with the barrel of the bat getting on the correct plane as early as possible. If you have Jaeger Bands or similar bands, youll want to use those. If not, you can do the drill without the bands, or just tie some rope around the players wrist.
In the left picture , Coach Peterson is in a good launch position. In the picture on the right, shes moving towards contact. If youre not fully versed in the importance of launch position, you can learn more in this article.
Your hitters should not go further than Coach Petersons position in the picture on the right. She has created good separation in her launch position, and from there is turning her hips while getting the bat on plane. The feeling of her shoulders and hands staying back while her front hip opens to the pitcher creates the correct sequence .
Another effective drill is the Separation Drill. Here, the hitter starts in his or her stance, looking at the pitcher. From there, they will internally rotate their front hip. Notice the wrinkles in Coach Petersons shirt, which illustrates the desired rotation.
Full Turns Drill
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Why Use The 3
When you do not have enough players for two complete baseball teams then the 3-Team Format is what I use.
The practice plan is awesome with 12-15 players, but is versatile enough with almost any number of baseball players at any age level from little league sports all the way to the pros.
I first used the 3-Team practice plan format when I was coaching in the minor leagues with the Boston Red Sox.
Baseball Workout: High Energy Baseball Practice
I know running a baseball practice is not very easy. With my youth baseball practice plan you should not shy away from practice.
The top baseball coaches see themselves as teachers first. Teaching baseball basics is what we do.
You dont have to know everything about baseball to organize a good baseball lesson. You just need a good practice template to follow.
Youth sports parents expect youth coaches to work with their kids to improve their baseball skills. So, lets give them what they want!
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Tips For Using A Baseball Lineup Template
Consider the following pointers when using a baseball lineup template to organize your team:
- Always bring the template and a baseball position chart for every inning so as to save your team from confusion during the game.
- Allow your players to familiarize themselves with the lineup so they are ready when its their turn to play and understand their positions.
- Use visual aids to help younger players understand the lineup.
- Only post players to positions in which they have practiced and played before. Any impromptu changes could lead to low morale, bad performance, or even worse, injury.
- Always review the lineup before you distribute it to the team and the umpire before the game.
- Keep all your lineup templates for future reference.
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Hitting And Fielding Drills
Depending on what type of facility you have for your offseason workouts, its a good idea to build in some hitting and fielding drills to keep players practicing using their fundamentals during those non-baseball months. If you have access to an indoor facility, some simple ground ball fielding drills between players or off of a wall can keep things moving and help them practice their fundamentals. For batting practice, hitting off of a tee or into a net can help a player see how they are swinging and give them a chance to correct any flaws. Of course, these drills can be done with low-impact baseballs or plastic wiffle balls as well.