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Coaches, by now most of you have contacted your teams and have set up a winter workout schedule.  Each week check the web-site for weekly tips or practice drills that may assist your player development or indoor practices. 
Week 1 Basic Hitting

Week 2
Over the last couple of weeks I've seen a few common mistakes that kids are still making in their swings.  Here are a few tips to look for in the first two steps of the last hitting link.
1.  Posture- 
- Make sure the player can cover the whole plate with their bat.
- Their feet should be even before  loading or separation.
- They should be stacked (chin over belly button).
 -Hands relaxed and about 6 inches away from the face.
2.  Load/ Separation
- Front foot should move towards the pitcher (not to the side).
- Once the front foot touches down it should be at a 2 o' clock or less position. (if the foot gets to a 12 o' clock or more position the front shoulder opens up and the head will follow).
- The load/separation should happen when the pitcher is breaking his hands. 
- During this step the body should remain stacked!
Check in next week for more helpful tips.
Week 3

Drill: Sacrifice Bunt

This drill helps players work on the mechanics and timing of a sacrifice bunt. It also allows a coach to evaluate the bunting mechanics of a number of players at one time.


This drill is best done as a group drill.

Have a group of 5 to 6 players spread out about 20 feet in front of you.

Each player will take their stance and get ready for the pitch.

Coach will simulate a stretch and deliver an imaginary pitch.

Each player will work on the proper timing of getting in position to bunt.

Things to look for:

  • Does the player look balanced.
  • Is there a chance that they are stepping close to where the plate would be.
  • Is that bat at the proper angle and at the top of the strike zone 

Week 4
Soft Toss Drill
I see a lot of coaches looping or arching the ball during soft toss.
  1. You can use a regular size ball or a smaller ball to intensify the drill.
  2. Position yourself to the batting side (right for right handed batters) and ahead of the batter.
  3. Toss the “ball” at the hip of the batter. You want them to impact the ball in front of their body. This is the “contact point”. The toss is important!!
  4. You do not want an arching toss. The toss should be crisp, but not too fast and out in front of the batter.
  5. Practice this to get it correct.

The 10 "Must Do's" of Coaching Baseball
1. I MUST..."Always remember that I am a role model, on and off the field, for all players and kids. I must remember that everything I do is observed. Everything I say is heard.

2. I MUST..."Always remember that something I say or something I do not say can have an profound positive and negative affect on a player. I am a coach because I care! I care about the game. I care about my players. I must act like I want to be there! My player will observe and emulate my attitude. My attitude must show my dedication, excitement, and enthusiasm!

3. I MUST..."Constantly remember that the safety and well-being of my players is my responsibility and the old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", is never truer than when it applies to sports accidents. Youth coaches should apply a team rule that that at practice no player should swing a bat, unless the coach has given them permission to do so.

4. I MUST..."Be fair to every player. I will treat every player equally with the same respect. I will always be honest with my players. I will be mindful that praise is a great motivator. I will at times use constructive criticism but I will always maintain a balance between correction and praise. I will speak "one-on-one" with every player, every day. This may be something as simple as the question, "Jon, how is your day going?".

5. I MUST..."Demand and receive respect from every player at all times. Disrespect will not be tolerated. I will remember discipline is a vital part of the game. Team and self-discipline is something I must teach and reinforce. Kids expect and love discipline. Many players do not get enough discipline at home."

6. I MUST..."Dress and look the part of a coach. I will keep a clean and neat appearance at all team practices and games."

7. I MUST..."Remember that to be a good coach, I must first be a good teacher. It is my responsibility to teach the fundamentals, rules and skills of the game. I will structure and organize every practice and pre-game ritual so that my players will know what to do, will know what to expect, will be focused and stay busy." I must remember "idle" time is "trouble" time when one is dealing with kids. I will always be the first to arrive and the last to leave all games, practices, meetings, and all other team events!"

8. I MUST..."Coach the details during the game to help my players learn and perform to their highest level". I will work hard at all times during practice and games. I will instill in my players the value of hard work and preparation.

9. I MUST..."Remember that character development and self-confidence are what youth sports is all about. Kids do not have to play. They play because they want to have fun! I must have fun, know how to laugh, and enjoy every minute along with my kids!"

10. I MUST..."Remember, that "WINNING is NOT EVERYTHING" but "EXPECTING to WIN" is. I must instill hope and confidence as I prepare my team for each game!

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Week 6

Drill: Pitch Trajectory

Develop base runners ability to read the trajectory of the pitch to determine if it will hit the dirt. Allow the defense to work on defense in the same situations.

Baseballs, catchers in gear, batting helmets

Have a complete infield including a couple of catchers in gear. Coach will pitch. Have the rest of the team with helmets on to run the bases. You don't need a hitter.

Vary the situation by changing how many runners on base. Start with a runner on first, then first and second, first and third, finally bases loaded.

Coach will throw pitches to the catcher. Every few pitches he will throw one in the dirt.

Each runner should be watching the delivery of the pitch and try to read the trajectory to determine if the pitch will be in the dirt. If the runners read that the ball will be in the dirt, he should be more aggressive taking his secondary lead anticipating that he can advance to the next base on a passed or blocked ball.

With a runner on first only, have the runners steal when they determine the ball will be in the dirt. If they read it correctly, it should be an easy steal even if the ball is blocked and/or caught on the bounce by the catcher.

When on 2nd and 3rd the runners will be aggressive in taking the secondary lead and determine if they should go or stay. The goal is for runners to get used to reading the pitch and avoiding the hesitation that often happens when a pitch bounces in the dirt.

Defensively this drill gives catchers practice at blocking pitches in the dirt with game situations. Encourage the catchers to throw the ball when runners get too far off. This is a chance for them to learn when to throw the ball and when to run someone back. It also benefits the runners as they learn how far they can get off and how to get back quickly