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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Defensive Drills For Coaching Youth Baseball Middle Infielders

Defensive Drills For Coaching Youth Baseball Middle Infielders
By guest author: Nick Dixon

Drill - DIRT LINES "Ground Ball Drill" Great Drill For Teaching Ground Ball Fundamentals.

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 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 feet must stay behind this line. The players roll the ball and catch it while making sure to:

•Get extension by getting the glove out in front.
•Keep the elbows off the ribs
•Funnel the ball in using the top "bare" hand.
•Work their feet as they bring the ball up to the correct "T" throwing position.
•Roll the ball back to your partner
•Repeat the process.
•Players should catch and roll 50 to 100 ground balls each practice.
•The distance can be changed to accommodate the speed of the ground ball work.

Drill - Make Believe Infield Drill Great warm-up for certain situations The teams takes perfect infield by allowing every player to make a perfect catch and throw. The way this drill is conducted is the coach does not use a ball. He hits a "make-believe" ball. Each time the player goes through the correct motion of fielding the ball and making a perfect play. Each time the player receiving the throw will pat his glove to simulate a catch. Emphasis is placed on talking, following through, and making everything look perfect. No one will mess up or make a bad mistake. I have used this drill many, many times in practice and before games. It is especially good with young kids to emphasis correct body mechanics. It is also useful if you get to a field for a game and the playing surface is too wet or rough to take a "good" round of infield. Sometimes it is better not to use a real ball in warm-up if there is a risk of the ball taking a terrible bounce. Bad infield and warm-up may bring down "team esteem". I've never had a team take "make believe" infield that was anything less than great! It's always perfect!

Drill - Ground Ball Pair Work Drill for Infielders This drill is actually a method of taking a lot of ground balls with out having your players make any throw. The drill requires 36 baseballs, two buckets and a fungo bat. The coach will be hitting ground balls to at least 3 players. 5 or 6 players can be worked at a time using this drill. The coach will place the two buckets about 45 feet apart. All of the balls are in one of the buckets. This is the bucket that the coach will get his balls from. The players are lined up single file with one behind another, on the end with the empty bucket. The coach hits grounders. The players field each ground ball and get in proper throwing position. They then sprint to the empty bucket, drop the ball in and get in the back of the line. There is no throwing of balls during this drill. When all balls have been hit, fielded and dropped in the bucket, the coach and players swap ends and the drill starts over.

Drill: Cut-off Relays Great drill for building skills, speed, accuracy and confidence This drill is a great skill builder. There will be at least 5 players on a team. They line up about 30 feet apart and stretch about 120 feet across the field. You will have two teams or "lines" competing against each other. Make sure to have you catcher, first baseman, and third baseman on one end. Have an outfielder on the opposite end. Your middle infielder should be in the middle. The drill will start for both lines at the same time. The first team to take the ball to the other end and get it back is the winner. The ball must be caught and thrown by each player in the line. Teams may not skip a man. The catchers should practice catching and tagging a runner. The middle infielders should be taught to properly "round" the ball, make a proper relay catch and quick throw. We often do this drill and the losing team must do 5 or 10 pushups or squat thrust.


The distance between players should be matched to the age of the players working. You may also have the outfielder let the ball go and hit the fence, before he goes retrieves it and makes his throw to the cutoff man. You may also want to make this a "total team" drill with the whole team having to catch and throw the ball to cover a long distance. If you have the room to do this, it is great to have the team work together to beat the clock. They must beat a set time or they "pay". You may also want to have the "line" make more than one trip down and back. It is great to make each "line" take the ball to the other end three times.

Visit the Baseball Coaching Digest Blog for daily post and articles on every aspect of coaching baseball. The Baseball Coaching Digest Blog. Check out the Bat Action Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Baseball Drills - Outfield Drills for Game Day Skills

Baseball Drills - Outfield Drills for Game Day Skills
By guest author: Kenny Buford

There is more to developing outfield skills than just playing catch. Outfielders need baseball drills that will prepare them for conditions they will face on game day. The following outfield drills help players become comfortable with any situation they might encounter during a game.

Sun Drill

For this drill, the players line up facing the sun and take turns catching fly balls from the coach. The players can wear sun glasses, but often the glare is still too much. Outfielders need to get used to using their gloves to block the sun while watching for the ball. Over time, the players will develop an approach for using the glove to see while also preparing for the catch and will feel confident in the outfield on sunny game days.

Fence Drill

This outfield drill teaches players how to correctly go for a catch against the fence. A lot of factors will come into play in this type of situation during a game, like where the ball is, how hard it is hit, and its elevation as it approaches the fence. However, with practice outfielders can become more comfortable going for the fence.

In this drill, the outfielders should start 10 to 15 feet away from the fence. One at a time, the coach throws high fly balls either above or against the fence. The outfielder takes his ready steps and rushes to the fence, keeping his eyes on the ball and his throwing hand outstretched to guide him and protect him from running into the fence. The player then makes the catch, jumping in front of or leaning against the fence.

Line Drive Drill

Line players up in the outfield and have them take turns running the drill. The first outfielder takes his ready step as the coach throws a line drive toward his knees. The player runs directly at the coach, keeping his palms up and his glove in basket form. When he catches the ball, the player shoots his glove up in the air to show the umpire he got it.

Backup Drill

This drill emphasizes communication in the outfield and prepares players to back each other up on fly balls.

For this drill, the players form two lines in the outfield, about 90 feet apart. The coach hits or throws a fly ball between the first two players in each line. The players have to communicate who is going for the catch, making sure not to run into each other while still watching the ball. The player going for the catch should yell "got it" and the other player should respond "take it." The second player should still back up the first player in case the ball gets through.

And if you'd like to see more free baseball drills and coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:

Kenny Buford is a youth baseball coach, and the owner and publisher of, the web's #1 resource for baseball drills, tips, and practice ideas for youth and high school coaches.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Basic Baseball Throwing Mechanics

Basic Baseball Throwing Mechanics
Uploaded by thesportingspirit

How to hold and throw a baseball correctly.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Little League Baseball Practice Drills - Hitting Practice

Little League Baseball Practice Drills - Hitting Practice
By guest author: Chris Campbell

If you want to get good at anything, it's usually just a question of time. A little persistence, blood, sweat, and tears may help as well. There are a number of motivational quotes I could throw at your here, but let me just use a couple. First quote: "Persistence is omnipotent". Second quote: "Success is a result of one percent inspiration, and 99 percent inspiration". I know I'm paraphrasing somewhat, and I'm not sure exactly who the original author is for those. But, I think Emerson is responsible for the first. Either way, they both apply to many sporting endeavors, and baseball is no exception.

If you or your favorite little league baseball player has the desire, and is willing to put in the time, there no reason for them or you not to become a great baseball player. Of all the roles a player undertakes in the sport of baseball, the most fun packed one has to be hitting. It requires the most focus, concentrating, nerve, timing and skill. It's much more engaging than shagging fly balls, or base running.

It's a good thing, that hitting is so much fun, since that makes hitting practice even more fun, as you get to do it for even longer. With that in mind though, there are good ways to practice, and bad ways to practice. No sense in ingraining bad habits, when a few simple points to keep in mind will make you a big league hitter in no time.

Keep Your Eyes On The Ball

The number one thing to remember in batting practice, is to keep your eye on the ball. And even before the ball is thrown, keep your eyes on the pitcher. Studying the pitcher can reveal clues as to what pitch he'll be throwing next. Knowing you've got a curve ball or change-up, or fast ball, will affect the timing and speed of your swing.

Be A Smart Batter

Know what the count is, and where the other runners on your team are. Know how many are out, and know who's coming up to bat next. It's not just the coaches job to keep track of all these things. A strategic batter is a better batter.

Get A Good Grip On The Bat

The grip on your bat is were your swing starts. Don't tense up too much my holding on too tightly. You need to start of semi-relaxed, and then "load" and tighten up as you swing through the ball. Hand placement is important, and try to line up your middle knuckles from both your right and left hand.

Little League Baseball Drills is a great resource for helping your little leaguer get the most out of his or hers favorite pastime. With a little good training, amateur or even professional ball players will see a dramatic improvement in the way they play.

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