Baseball Drills for Youth that Guarantee Success
Baseball drills for youth help avoid one of the main reasons kids stop playing baseball at a young age. You may have noticed that kids often get bored when playing baseball. This is especially true when practicing baseball and not as much when playing baseball games. This is common because many coaches and parents do not know ways of making practice fun and competitive. Coaches and parents can prevent this boredom with the following baseball drills for youth so that youth ball players remain interested as they work on the skills of hitting, fielding, throwing, and pitching.
Baseball Drills for Youth: Throwing
* Point game for throwing accuracy
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How to play: The player throwing the ball gets 2 points when the opposing player catches the ball directly in front of their face and 1 point when caught from their waste to their shoulders, between their arms. The player catching the ball does not move in front of balls but remains standing in a set position when catching balls. Players begin at a short distance until a player gets to 5 points (winner). Players then back up a few feet and play again. The matches obviously get tougher as players get farther apart.
* Back of glove drill for teaching kids to catch with two hands on good throws and with glove only on inaccurate throws. A softer ball is necessary for inexperienced players for this drill.
How to play: Players squeeze the glove together and catch good throws on the back of the glove using two hands of course (only way to catch it). Throwers are instructed to throw the ball firmly but not at top speed. Players receiving the ball open the glove and catch with glove only on off target throws. A contest can be made of it by seeing how many they can catch in a row in this manner.
* Quick hands catch for promoting quick feet and hands.
How to Play: Players get a designated time (one minute, for example) to see how many throws are completed with their throwing partner, with the more the better, of course. Players try to have the most completed throws in the allotted time by working their feet and hands as quickly as possible. This is a great drill for team contests or players trying to achieve their personal best. It is best to start this drill at a close range before backing players up.
Baseball Drills for Youth: Fielding
* Rapid fire fielding drill for developing glove work and quick hands
How to play: Coach has a number of balls in front of them and from a short distance away from fielder, coach rapid fires balls to player’s immediate right, left and at them. After catching players quickly take ball out and flip it off to side, being ready for the next ball. This drill works with players taking short steps or no steps and with line drives and/or ground balls. It is an excellent drill for first baseman as well.
* No look fly ball drill for outfield practice
How to play: Players begin with their eyes closed until coach throws ball up in air and yells “now,” when player opens eyes, finds ball and sprints to catch it. Good drill for promoting good first steps and aggressiveness to the ball.
Baseball Drills for Youth: Hitting
* Dropped ball drill to create a quick, compact swing
How to play: Coach stands slightly out front and to the side of hitter and drops ball into the hitting zone after hitter takes stride.
* Rapid-fire hitting drill for balance, bat speed and head control
How to play: Coach flips 5 balls in a row at hitter, giving hitter just enough time to complete swing and return bat to hitting position between pitches.
Baseball Drills for Youth: Pitching
* Advance retreat drill for throwing accuracy
How to play: Pitchers begin at the halfway distance between the mound and home plate and move one-step towards the mound on each strike thrown and one-step closer to home for every non-strike. The object is to get to the mound in as few of throws as possible.
* Point game for pitchers for teaching accuracy and pitching mechanics
How to play: Pitchers deliver ball to catcher and the coach gives them a number 1 through 10 based on an evaluation of the pitching motion and pitch accuracy. For example, a perfect strike and great pitching mechanics equal a 10, where as a good strike but average pitching mechanics may be a 7. Players add their scores after each pitch.
These are just some examples of great baseball drills for youth that keep them interested and can be made into contests among team members. Many of them also serve to get a great number of repetitions done while performing baseball skills in the correct manner.