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Friday, September 10, 2010

Baseball Practice - Running an Organized Practice

Baseball Practice - Running an Organized Practice
By guest author: Rick J Miller

The key to running an organized baseball practice is planning and consistency so players know what to expect each and every practice. Early in the season practices will always seem less organized but as the players become accustomed to the routine your practice sessions will run more smoothly and the players will receive much more benefit in less time and your players will have more fun.

If you are running a youth practice you may not have assistant coaches but enlisting parents to help will get parents involved giving them more time with their children and build their support. Parents that help must have clearly defined instructions on each drill and clear instruction on being impartial. I have found a preseason meeting with parents with a handout explaining the goals and instructions for each drill is a great way to organize parents and will help you organize your practice schedule.

Having a consistent practice schedule helps organize your baseball practice. Divide your practice time into time slots where you work on different facets of the game and always keep these time slots in the same order just changing the drills. For instance having players show up and start playing catch down one of the outfield foul lines, then go to stretching, then move to team defensive drills, then individual defensive drills then individual hitting drills and finally conditioning. Structuring your practice this way will help players learn a routine and know where they should be and what to expect next.

Dividing your players into small groups during stretching and using a drill station practice organization for individual drills keeps players busy during practice and is more efficient. To give an example of a station practice plan for individual fielding drills would be to divide players into groups of four. Setting up one station for fielding ground balls on the third base line and making throws to first. In right field set up a station for outfielder drills catching fly balls and hitting the cut off man. In left field set up a station for players to work on fielding bunts and making a short throw. The size of your groups should not be more than four, the time spent at each stations and the amount of stations depends on time available, and the amount of players.

Running a station style baseball practice limits dead time for the players keeping their interest. Just as much care should be taken to plan for safety as well as the drills, consider where the balls will be flying and position your stations accordingly. Make sure helmets are available in hitting drills. Practice will seem a little confusing at first but you will find a station type baseball practice will take less time and be much more organized once players have been through the drills the first time.

Rick has been a baseball coach and has experience running a baseball practice for over thirty years. Rick has been fortunate in his coaching career to work with several high major league draft choices plus several division I college players as well as scores of players that have played junior college. Rick has built a website teaching parents how to run an effective baseball practice. Don't worry if you don't have the experience and knowledge to run fielding drills or batting drills doing this is very easy. Visit my website by clicking the links below.

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  1. Great Post, Nick...Those early season practices are tough but necessary...I totally agree that drills station is great especially keeping the players active and out of trouble...

  2. Thanks Tom for using this article I am flattered. Consistency is very big for younger players. Mixing in new drills that build on prior drills slowly during the season will help prevent confusion. Thanks again.


Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick