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Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Take an Energy Packed Pre-Game Infield Practice

Advanced Skills Batting Tee by Muhltech

Baseball Pre-Game Infield Practice
By Jack Perconte

Pre-game infield practice can be extremely useful for youth baseball, where kids are still learning to play the game correctly. However, I've never understood the traditional infield practice routine. Hitting the ball to a player that knows the ball is coming is not very game-like. Of course, we want our fielders to expect and want the ball hit their way. In games though, players never know the ball is coming to them for sure, like it is done in the traditional infield practice method.

The traditional way of taking infield, where coaches begin by hitting the ball to the third baseman and continuing position by position, is often boring and "energy lacking" for players The traditional way serves to get players' arms loose and ready for the game, however, it can be done in a much more useful way. With a few modifications to the traditional infield practice routine, infield practice can be used to help youth baseball players learn the finer points of the game much quicker. With these modifications, more energy is created, as players become more alert fielders and more knowledgeable players.

Here are the modifications that may add a spark to infield practice. Adding the new dimension of hitting the ball to any position randomly, and at any time, makes players much more alert. This random infield practice method keeps players on their toes because the ball may be hit to them at anytime, as well as putting their mind in a game-like state. Additionally, coaches can call out where runners are on base and instruct players how to adjust their positioning depending upon the called-out situation. Over time, coaches will begin to see players know how to adjust their positioning on their own, which will carry over into games. Of course, having players learn the game and how to adjust on their own, until it becomes second nature, is the objective of good coaching and why this modified pre-game infield practice is so valuable.

Of course, this random approach can be done with outfielders also, where the ball can be hit to any field at anytime, and with called-out situations. When this is done, infielders will be learning how to line up correctly for cut-offs also. Outfielders will have to be thinking game-like also of where to throw the ball and of hitting the cut-off man. This alternative infield/outfield practice can be a valuable learning time. Coaches may find that it takes up more time than available. When that is the case, coaches can use this method in practice until their team is ready to use it pre-game.

Coaches do not have to totally abandon the traditional way of taking infield, but using this method can infuse energy into a team and help players learn the game much better. Finally, I have seen this pre-game infield practice get the competitive advantage over the opposing team. Often, this modified infield practice gets the attention of the opposing team and may served to psyche the opposing team out with the increased energy and innovative approach. Seeing players automatically reposition themselves and know where to throw balls depending on the situation will definitely impress the opposition.

Former major league baseball player, Jack Perconte gives baseball hitting tips and batting practice advice for ballplayers of all ages. His baseball playing lessons, books and advice can be found at
Jack is the author of two books, The Making of a Hitter and Raising an Athlete - his positive parenting advice and books can be found at

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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