Practice in any sport can be boring and unproductive if not planned in advance. Having a clipboard with your written practice itinerary is just a solid good idea.
Keep your practices to 90 minutes when possible. I realize that early preseason practices will likely be canceled as the weather kills valuable time early on.
Break up the practices with a couple of water breaks, adding some instruction as a group. Review what you have been doing so far and what you are going to do next.
KEEP PRACTICE MOVING!
Practices can be divided into different stations. A station is a group of players and 1 or 2 coaches. The term station refers to whatever skill is being worked on in that “station”.
Usually, you will divide your players and coaches to better suit the exercises you are doing. For example, take 3 catchers and do a blocking exercise for 15 minutes. Then take your receivers to home plate and, along with 3 center infield players, pitch. and marking station. You can also work on backups at second base, along with throwing drills for catchers. GET PARENT INVOLVEMENT!
Obviously, you will need help running these stations. That is why in the letter from parents in tests or registrations, you must be clear when asking for help. Parents or family members do not need to have coaching experience, although it is helpful.
This is a good way to let parents see how much work you put into the team. Please make it clear who your assistant coaches are right away. NAME it in your letter if possible. Just because someone helps with the practice does not mean that they are now on staff.
I know some of this seems obvious, but trust me, it needs to be explained to avoid confusion.
GOOD PRACTICE SHOULD SEEM TO BE VERY FAST!
My nightmare practice scenario is this: a coach is trying to throw a batting practice to 1 batter at a time. The coach cannot go to the plate. There is no batter on deck to help scoop balls quickly at the backstop. of the players and coaches are standing on the field looking very bored.
This is a very common practice and one of the reasons kids don’t like baseball practice. It is very boring. Well, I’m here to help you take charge of your team with an energizing practice.
Or just use some old substitutes. Hit Stations, Launch Stations, Receiving Stations, Fielding Stations, or Launch Stations.
Rotate your coaches and volunteers to different stations at each practice to give them another station to learn. Keep track of which person worked which station so you can experiment across all stations.
KEEP THEM MOVING!
What is emphasized at each hitting station is good balanced posture, starting the swing with the lower hand, along with strong hip rotation and a balanced high finish or follow-through.
We like to use a drill called the Towel Drill. It is simply placing a folded towel under each batter’s back elbow. Several soft balls are thrown at each batter one at a time. Then each batter is trained to rotate the torso to hit the ball without the towel falling from underneath. his elbow. They quickly catch up after a couple of practices.
Another exercise is the balanced beam exercise. Using a 60-inch 4×4 floor on the ground, have players hit a ball off a tee or gently throw them to see if their swing is balanced. It will also show you if they are dating. of the dough box.
I use the soft release all season long. Try buying a blow net to place wherever you go during the season. With the soft pitch, you can watch the player’s shots to see if they are doing it correctly. All other batting stations work on a different part of the swing. The soft launch is where you can see the progress of the seasons.
REPEAT, REPEAT REPEAT
Baseball skills are learned through repetition, but we must guard against boredom by keeping the time of the stations at 15 minutes. Have players rush from station to station. While others man the stations, the manager can go from station to station and watch the players praise them.
Take a water break after all the players have gone through the stations and go over the basics of the drills again. Wait. Answer questions from the players if necessary, but stay on topic. 90 minutes go by fast.
Be sure to praise players who are exercising correctly on their skill level.
The 90-minute practices do not include the 15-minute pre-practice meeting and warm-up time. Please ask parents to bring the kids 15 minutes early, or if you are really focused, schedule the practice time 15 minutes early.
WARNING: COACHES MUST BE EARLY FOR GAMES AND PRACTICE!
Parents will not take players to games and will practice early if they see the coaches and manager are late.
My son had a coach who was always there when we arrived and we usually went 30 minutes before for practice and 1 hour before for the game, with no problems on that team about those who were late.
Getting to games early also helps to get good sides of the dugout if they are not marked. You can observe field conditions during uncertain weather. You can do some work in the fields if necessary or allowed. If it was a difficult place to find, you can let others know by phone so they won’t be late.
EXAMPLE OF PRACTICE
Practice is scheduled for 12 noon.
1150 or earlier: He arrives to make sure everything is ready, bases, pitching rubber, equipment, etc.
1145- Players arrive with luck, put them in parallel lines 20 to 35 feet. apart depending on the age group. Begin heating using proper mechanics. Any overthrow must be picked up and executed back on the line. This prevents more overthrows from happening further afield.
12 noon Call practice to order. Review which stations are being installed and which adults are running them.
If this is the first practice with stations, show the children what you want at each station.
Station 1 A drill called Fly
Players line up in single file, the coach throws a soccer pass over the player’s shoulder on the run to catch him. do this for 10 min.
Station 2 Fly ball exercise with tennis balls
With a tennis racket, throw flying balls at a single row of players, one at a time. Players must use 2 hands with tennis balls or they will have a hard time catching them. do this for 10 min.
Station 3 5 Gallon Bucket Drill
Place a 5 gallon bucket on your home plate or anywhere else you like. Arrange players in single file, hit them with a grounder or fly ball, using proper throwing techniques, try to throw the baseball into the bucket. Of course, place the bucket at least 100 feet away depending on the age group. Do this for 10 minutes.
Station 4 Cutting Man Drill
Have players rotate as a cut man, throw or hit the ball past the outfielder, ask them to chase, then pick up the ball, using good throwing form, hit the cut man. 10 minutes.
12.45 p. M.
Take a water break, review how the drills went. Highlight all the good things you saw first, then maybe touch on what needs to be improved. Above all, keep a fun and positive attitude.
Divide into 2 groups 1 in the 3rd, another in the 1st. Single Row Lines Have players set up some grounders and pop-ups, throwing coaches or receivers 15 to 20 feet at each end line. 10 minutes.
Put players in or near regular positions. Machine or Coach Throw: Give each player 7 strokes, then turn to the next batter. Each player hits 2 times, then goes out and throws balls. After hitting a second time, call another player. Always have 1-2 players ready to hit and have everyone ready to rush and collect balls between hitters.
125 p. M.
Gather the team, go over things, and announce the next practice or playtime.
BE CREATIVE BE FUN BE POSITIVE
There are many other ways to do a practice, I have given you a basic format that you can modify as you see fit. Variety is the spice of life and the same goes for baseball.
Sometimes you will have full fielding or batting practice. Schedule as many practices as team families will tolerate before the season begins.
Practice will make your team better. When you run varied and challenging workouts, players will develop their skills faster. Always encourage them to work hard on their games.