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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Are You a Good Youth Baseball Coach?

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Youth Baseball Coach
By Chip Lemin

Hello Coaches,

Are you ready for another season of watching your youth baseball team make tons of errors? Well, if your not,check out a few drills you can use winter work outs or spring training. These drills are fun for youth baseball players, along with helping them learn fielding fundamentals lacking many of today's youth baseball players.So print them up for for better results fielding the ball this year.

Outfield Bucket Drill

Place a large garbage can (clean one please) on its side, on home plate so that the opening faces second base

Players make 2 lines in right and left field. Coach is at 2nd base with bucket of balls. * Have the first two players in each line break away from their groups and assume a normal ready fielding position

Throw a soft pop fly into the air for the fielders to catch. * After the catch, they crow hop and throw the ball at cutoff-height to home plate. Instruct them to throw the ball into the bucket with the ball bouncing once or twice prior to home plate. Players rotate after each throw, and then
Change lines after 2 throws. Add grounders to the mix, showing them how to field balls along
With making proper strong throws home.

Throwing skills include aggressively squaring the body to the target, the crow hop; correct arm extension with fingers atop the ball and pointed straight back; grip the ball across the seams; hip roll and follow through.

Emphasize proper fielding techniques. The players should be catching the ball with there
Momentum taking them towards home plate or the base they are throwing to. Show them
How to run to the spot, step back some, and then come in on the ball. Receive the ball above the bill of their hat, slightly toward the throwing shoulder; glove fingers are pointed to the sky (not turned SIDEWAYS.

To improve focus of the players in this drill, make it a contest between 2 or 3 evenly matched groups. Make up scoring rules, and watch the focus improve. This always adds fun to a work
Out as long as the teams are even. Our Advanced course goes into drop steps, crossover steps, fielding grounders on the run, and much more.

Call out the Number Drill

Take 12 to 24 balls and put the number 1 or 2 on each ball, evenly divided as possible. Have players line up at shortstop, 2nd base, 1st base, and home plate with their gloves. Divide them evenly as possible; you can have whole team in on this drill if you want.

The thrower at home plate picks a ball out of the bucket, and rolls a pretty hard grounder to player at short. The player fielding the ball at short will call out the number on the ball, and throws it to 1st or 2nd base.

After ball is thrown to 1st base, that player will then throw ball to second base, where that player will run ball back to a bucket by shortstop. Each time a throw is made, the player must tag that base before the next throw is made. Errant throws must be retrieved and that base tagged before next throw is made. Any of the 3 players can go get the poor throw, but the throw must go back to the right base before the next throw is made.

The players rotate while ball is being put in the bucket (fielder goes to first, first baseman goes to second, and second baseman goes to end of line), or they can go to home plate and be a thrower. Thrower then would go to short to become a fielder.

The drill can be turned into a competition by splitting up into teams and simultaneously conducting the drill (other team starts in between home and first and throw to third for #1 and home for #2) or timing each team on how long it takes them to complete 12-24 balls. Emphasis should be put on setting the feet to throw to the proper base, along with a quick release with out taking an extra step, and that making good throws will avoid lost time chasing after wild throws. As players advance, make sure proper footwork for tagging a base and throwing to the next base is taught. Players should be taught to stay in low crouching position while making quick throws to 2nd base from shortstop

Circle the Bucket Drill

Helps player to use proper footwork (shuffling and rounding of ball) by circling the bucket before fielding ball. This will help them to use footwork that will square them to target, and provide momentum for their throws.

Need bucket of balls along with extra bucket.

Players line up at shortstop with a bucket 5 feet in front of them. The coach sets up at pitcher's mound with bucket of balls.

As the coach rolls slower speed grounders at the bucket, the player circles the bucket from the 3rd base side and fields the ball, keeping his footwork right, and momentum moving toward 1st base.

The speed of the grounders will increase, as players get better at this drill. This drill is about proper form, not how fast we do it. Increase speed only as players do drill correctly. To add more difficulty have players circle ball from first base side.

Have each player do this 5-6 times. You can have players be the rollers also, and then rotate back to fielding line.

I hope you find these drills helpful.The key to a good practice is that the kids have fun while they learn.You really don't have yell and shout if the team doesn't do it just right.Just look first for the effort.

Thanks Coach Chip

Hello My name is Chip Lemin. I'm a long time youth baseball coach who loves to promote this great game of youth baseball. Promoting sportsmanship in this game of youth baseball is something that really needs I feel. I have a free e-course that will give you some solid coaching information along with great help on the inter-personal relationships we must have to be good youth baseball coaches. Things such as parents, travel baseball, getting parents to help out, how to communicate better to parents and players, just to touch on a few. This course will help to organize practices like an elite coach. How to motivate players and other coaches with your positive attitude. It really is not very hard to be a great coach when you know what to do.Best of all you will learn how to have fun with these great kids that you have the privilege of coaching. Do yourself a favor and check it out, it's free,you will get 1 part every couple of days in your e-mail. Coaching can be fun and rewarding if you have a plan in place first, and you have an idea what you are doing.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick