Essential Baseball Practice Plans that Work
The greatest coach of all, John Wooden, used to detail every minute of his practices. This may be a little extreme for coaches of youth baseball but, if it was so important to an experienced coach as Coach Wooden, written baseball practice plans are essential for youth baseball coaches. These baseball practice plans ensure that coaches are organized and prepared to get the most out of their practice time. Baseball coaches, who have their baseball practice plans mapped beforehand, do not waste practice time.
Preseason practices should cover as many fundamental aspects, offensive and defensive, as time allows. As the season progresses, coaches should prepare their baseball practice plans based on their teams’ needs at a given time. The habit of having a written plan for every practice will help coaches get the most out of their time, as well as keeping things exciting for kids, who often have short attention spans.
Baseball Practice Plans for Youth Coaches
1. Begin practice on time – parents, who bring their child late, will learn that player is missing valuable instruction.
2. Teach during warm-up time – this is often a wasted fifteen or twenty minutes for many teams when coaches should be teaching the fundamentals.
3. Use assistant coaches and interested parents to help with having small group stations, where different drills are done. Coaches should oversee all helpers to be sure they are remaining positive with the kids, though.
4. Keep stations relatively short so boredom does not set in and so many aspects of the game are practiced.
5. Save hitting practice and baseball games for the end of practice so kids stay excited the whole practice. Saving things that are the most fun as these, help when baseball players may begin to tire.
6. Give extra attention to fielding, base running and game strategy – kids often work on hitting and pitching at home but neglect the other areas of baseball.
7. Promote and adhere to safety at all times – setting rules of where to throw and when to swing, being vigilant for non-safe drills, and wearing helmets and other safety equipment, is of paramount importance to coaches.
8. Create competition and contests to enhance kids’ competitiveness and enjoyment of practice drills.
9. Use rewards for hard-working “practice players” – giving an award for best defensive, offensive and hustle players of each practice will spur a good effort.
10. Give equal attention to every player – giving kids a rotation order at each station helps and kids, who receive less time at one station, automatically go first at the next one or the next practice.
11. Give players things to work on at home and inform players’ parents of the baseball homework.
12. Give players a chance to play their favorite positions that they do not play or are not ready for in games, at least occasionally.
13. have coaching-free practices from time to time, when the coaches just let kids play without any instruction. Coaches can take some note if they want as they do for regular games. This is a great time for coaches to observe who the leaders are, too.
Early in the year, it is a good idea to have some breaks, so players can socialize and get to know each other better. Finally, not all coaches know how to make things fun, but keeping kids active, learning, and feeling good about their effort, almost always takes care of the fun part and make the best use of baseball practice plans.
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years. His playing, coaching and parenting stories create better experiences for athletes and parents. Jack has written over a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports. Jack is the author of “The Making of a Hitter” now $5 and “Raising an Athlete.” His third book “Creating a Season to Remember” is now available. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also find Jack Perconte on YouTube with over 120 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.