Sunday Setting Sights On Success
Baseball Practice Philosophy – What’s needed followed by What’s Fun
“Coach, when we going to hit?” As a baseball coach, I have heard that question often from young ballplayers. Of all parts of baseball, hitting is the most fun part of the game for most players. Often, kids cannot wait to hit at baseball practice, so they get antsy to hit and ask coaches when they are to do it.
Unfortunately for those wanting to hit, there are so many other facets of baseball that require practice, as pick off plays, cutoffs and relays, bunt defenses, double steals, etc. Of course, offensive execution for bunting, double steals; hit and runs, etc. also require coaching and practice.
Because it is the most fun, not to mention that it is not as physically demanding as running and fielding, I generally save batting practice for later in practice. A good plan for setting up the practice agenda is to practice things that are necessary at the beginning and saving the most fun things as hitting and games for the latter part of practice. By necessary, I mean the things that the team is struggling with based on game play, along with strategic, tedious baseball plays, as pick offs and defensive bunt strategies. This baseball practice philosophy usually helps kids remain interested, knowing the best things are yet to come. Once hitting, their favorite thing is over, players may lose interest in the rest of practice.
Other Baseball Practice Set-up Tips
- Analyze the team’s most recent game(s) to determine which aspect of baseball needs the most work and do that after warm ups.
- Save base running work for the end of practices so kids do not tire and as a form of conditioning.
- Coach the fundamentals during warm up time, so that time is not wasted.
- Keep things moving – do not spend too much time at one thing, especially when it is apparent that kids are getting bored.
- Turn skill work into short competitive games; this usually adds enthusiasm to baseball practice.
Coaches must take the age of players in consideration when designing their baseball practice, as young kids have a tendency to get bored and tired sooner.