New Youth Baseball Drills to Try With Your Team
Mark Anderson - May 23, 2019
Keeping your youth baseball team in top shape is always important if you want to succeed throughout the season. However, that doesn't mean that training can't be fun! Youth teams often respond well to friendly competitions during practice, and competitions can help build camaraderie among the players. Here are a few things to try.
1.) During batting practice, there are a number of ways you can jazz up practice to make it fun for everyone while still learning the fundamentals. Have a few players out in the outfield while others come up for batting practice. The kids in the outfield learn how to field grounders or fly balls, and you can even keep track of who gets the most.
Another fun tip we've seen is to run a sort of “home run derby” for your team. Instead of actual home runs though, the hitter must call out where each hit they make is going to go. If they hit the ball to that area, they get a point. The player with the most points at the end of batting practice wins. The kids will strive to do well, especially if they're rewarded with a title or other reward at the end of each practice. Just one example of how youth baseball drills can be fun!
2.) For baserunning, try setting up an impromptu relay race. Split the team into two separate squads with an equal number of players on each team. The first person of each team has a baseball, and once this whistle is blown, must run the bases to the next player and hand off the baseball. The first team to have all players run the bases wins!
3.) For infielders, a fun drill to try is a game of accuracy when throwing to first base. Set cones around first base that narrow the closer they get to the base. Players will field balls from the shortstop area and make a throw to first. The closer they get between the cones, the more points they get. The widest cones get one point, middle cones get two, and the closest cones get 3. Points are tallied at the end of the drill, and any ties can have a throw off. It's a great way to use competition to get the kids more interested in practice!
4.) Scrimmages can be mixed up to provide the kids something fresh every time they play. One great game to play is splitting the team up into two groups, one on defense and one on offense. Since there probably isn't enough for a full team on defense, the players must decide which positions can be sacrificed. After each hitter, the players on defense must rotate to a different position. It's a great way to see how excels at what, and it lets the kids try new positions they may not have played before.
These are just a few examples of some youth baseball drills you can try with your team this upcoming season. Practice doesn't have to be boring or a chore, and when you make it fun, the kids respond well. Fun practice is a great way to build a solid team!