Coaching baseball, especially youth baseball, can be extremely fulfilling. But you also need the right training approaches and drills to make sure you’re giving athletes what they need. Baseball requires both physical, and communication skill, and finding the proper techniques to get your players working as a unit can mean more wins as a team, and on a personal level for your players.
While baseball drills are numerous, which ones get your players in the best shape mentally, and physically? Take a look at some drills and training approaches your youth baseball players are going to appreciate.
1. Using Positive Statements to Build Player Mentality
Some of your youth baseball players may feel like they lack in proper skills to play baseball. A preliminary training tip to use is finding the right way to communicate with young athletes to encourage a positive mindset.
As many baseball coaches say, uttering certain positive-minded phrases start shaping attitudes quickly. Phrases like "Today is our day" or "I will never give up on you" proves your sincerity in wanting your athletes to excel.
They'll know when it's coming from your heart and they’ll take it seriously.
2.Coiling Drill for Hitting
You'll find a lot of hitting drills out there. But sometimes it’s critical to go back to the basics. This is a good basic hitting drill to start with to work on a player's coil and freeze after a pitch. It's possible to do this in an imaginary batter's box where you can study the athlete’s bat grip.
In addition, make sure you can evaluate whether or not the player looks relaxed and can see the ball well.
3. Learning Discipline on the Plate
A young hitter needs to learn some discipline on the plate, in how they approach hitting the ball. To do this, taking it back to a batting tee is a good idea for younger players. Doing this helps establish what kind of pitches the hitter likes and how well they hit with this approach.
Set this up so the hitter can hit into a fence or any backstop. It may require moving the batting tee a few times until the player finds the best pitch suitable for them.
4. Drills for Learning the Ready Position
When paying in the field, young athletes need to learn proper form to catch a fly ball. The ready position is basic, but even Derek Jeter knows how important teaching this body position is, especially for shortstops.
Basically, you have to teach your players to stand on the balls of their feet so they're ready to move to the left or right quickly. We recommend trying this drill during batting practice so infielders and outfielders learn real game scenarios.
5. The Knee Drill
Another good drill for outfielders is learning how to catch a ground ball properly. Knee drills are very popular, and will teach players how to keep their hands out front for catching.
One thing your outfielders learn here: Keeping their hands out front while on their knees will let them know they caught the ground ball in their glove.
6. Throwing a Ball at a Balloon
This drill is a unique one, and it can help your players focus better on throwing direction. By tying a balloon to a batting tee, you give a target for your youth athletes to throw toward.
Now you'll be able to better analyze how an athlete uses their body when throwing. For instance, assuring a player keeps their elbow above the collarbone reduces injury when they make throws.
7. Relay Race to Test Running Skills
To help your players gain proper form in baserunning, consider a relay race. This way, you’ll get an idea of how well your students make turns. Working similarly to a regular relay, your players carry a ball around the bases and hand it off to the next runner, much like relay batons.
8. Soft-Toss Scrimmage
After some individual drills, take some time to do team drills so everyone can get involved in a faux game. Soft toss scrimmage is a good one for playing a quick game and learning various positions, especially for young players who are learning the game.
Playing in two squads, you can shift the defense in different positions after each runner. Every player can get experience playing different roles to test their skills. The "soft toss" comes in as you are “soft-tossing” pitches to each hitter.
These are just a few drills that will help you get back to the basics with the youth players at your next baseball training program.