Saturday, April 25, 2009

Baseball Practice Drills

By Frank LaMorte
There is nothing worse than having a baseball practice and players are standing around waiting their turn to field a pop up or ground ball or even take batting practice. During practice it is essential to introduce drills that will provide repetition necessary to improve players skills. The only way to get better at a sport is to practice and repeat the proper behaviors to learn.
A critical component to any successful baseball practice is repetition, repetition and more repetition. As such I would like to introduce several drills that I have used that improved all my players' skills while having a fun time.

Head to Head Ground Ball Drill

First,break the players down into four groups. For purpose of this example let's say there are 20 players. Put players in groups of 5 making 4 distinct groups. A group of 5 will face another group of 5 at 11 to 15 yards apart depending on the skill level. Set the width of play at no more than 4 yards and expand the area as skill levels increase. Have the lead player on one side throw ground balls to the player on the other side. Once the player throws the ball he rotates to the back of the line. The player receiving the ball will throw to the next player in line. Repeat this for as long as you like. Each player in a short period of time can easily field 100 ground balls or more.

Pop Up Drill

This is one of my favorite drills that has the added advantage of increasing endurance. Once again break players down into 4 groups of 5 players. You can use other players or coaches to help. Designate two areas of play that is anywhere from 10 to 15 yards away and at least 4 to 6 yards in width. These areas should be opposite of each other. These areas can be expanded depending on the skill level of the athletes.

Have at least a dozen balls handy and have the player enter the field of play as you toss a fly ball to him, over his right shoulder, left shoulder, left side, right side and as he runs toward you. Toss the balls at a brisk pace to keep the player running and concentrating on making the play. This will allow him to work on technique while increasing range over time. When the dozen balls are used have the player retrieve them and return to your bucket. Then turn to field two and repeat with a new player. Keep doing this and in less than a half hour each player would have fielded at least 100 fly balls. You will be amazed at how effective this drill is and no one will be standing around for long.

Dirt Lines Ground Ball Drill

This drill is used to teach young players to get their hands and glove out front when fielding a grounder. The young player often gets in the habit of catching grounders close to his or her feet or slightly in front of the toes. As coaches, we want infielders to extend their arms and get the glove out in front so that they can see the ball into it. The player should "lay" the glove on the ground out in front of his body . Each players distance will vary. However, a good rule of thumb is to try and extend the length from the players arm or from the tip of the fingers to the armpit. Another good measuring scale is they should be able to extend the length of the the bat they use. This distance is measured on the ground from the back of his heel outward. For this drill we pair two players. The players will roll grounders to each other from about 6 to 8 feet. The coach draws two lines in the dirt about 8 feet apart. The players must catch the ball out in front of this line. The coach will then draw a second line for each player - this is the "feet" line. The players feet must stay behind this line. The players roll the ball and catch it while making sure to:

1. Get extension.
2. Keep the elbows off the ribs.
3. Funnel the ball in using the top "bare" hand.
4. Work their feet as they bring the ball up to the correct "T" throwing position.
5. Roll the ball back to your partner.
6. Repeat the process 50 to 100 times.

There are many drills to be used in baseball for pitching, hitting, fielding, running, bunting, etc. There are more drills then one could imagine. Employ a few new drills with each practice and watch your players enthusiasm and desire to return to practice. More importantly watch the development of your athletes, while they have lots of fun.

Keep the practices exciting and games stimulating and players will wait with excitement for the next opportunity to be with their team.

Coaching sports requires a set of skills acquired over time. Regardless of ones natural talents and instincts in dealing with the athlete there is much to learn in terms of how to become an effective coach. Learning how to run practice, use drills, techniques, and much more is an important part of coaching and learning any sport. For more information on coaching sports visit

Article Source:

No comments: