Importance of Little League Baseball Drills
I am often asked by youth baseball coaches what drills they can do to maximize their time when there is limited time to practice or for pregame drills.
After considering those, following are some suggestions for pregame practice or for practices with very limited time. It is never a bad idea to begin with some easy running and stretching. It is best to have this led by one of the team members; as long as coaches supervise so that players treat the time seriously.
Pregame Little League Baseball Drills – Hitting
* The goal of line drives with backspin to the field where the ball is pitched, dropped, or located on the batting tee, should always be stressed by coaches.
- Batting tee – Eight swings with tee set at the knees followed by eight swings with balls set chest high, followed by four more swings with ball back at the knees. Driving the hands to pitches at the knees is always a good priority; thus, a few more swings at this height is advised.
- Dropped Balls – Coaches give each player ten to fifteen dropped balls from eye level and after the hitter strides. This drill promotes hand quickness along with a separation of stride and swing.
- Pregame Batting Practice – Two bunts followed by five hits to the opposite field and twelve to fifteen regular swings at game like speeds, with occasional speed changes. Of course, having whiffle type balls available for pregame batting practice may be necessary with limited space.
Throwing and Fielding Little League Baseball Drills
- Some easy throwing drills like the point game for accuracy, the around the horn drill for footwork are good for warm-up as well as working on good catch and throw fundamentals.
2. The line drill is a great team fielding drill so players get repetition. The same drill is useful for some easy fly ball work too.
Base running – Closer to game time is the time to be sure players’ legs are very loose, so some breaks and leads with a few hard sprints are a good idea.
Coaches can adjust this schedule based on the needs of the team at that particular point of the season, including working on any game type strategy that the team needs to cover. For example, teams that are struggling defensively should perform more fielding work during this limited time. Finally, as implied, coaches should be careful that pregame practice is not so intense that players get spent physically or mentally before games, especially as the season progresses and for younger players.