Free Youth Baseball Drills You Need To Know.
Today I want to give you 2 free youth baseball drills you need to use every practice. The first one is going to be easy it is a base running drill. It will keep every player moving and if they are not they are catching their breath so they can. The second drill will be a little more complicated but I used it with my T-ball teams. There are other versions of the drill that you can do as you coach older teams and we did a version of this one with the college team that I coached.
Drill 1 Around The World.
- To start this drill every player will line up at home plate. Each player will line up behind home plate and when it is their turn to start they will go to the batters box that they hit from and imitate a swing. Then they will run through first base as if they hit a ground ball to the infield.
- They will then line up in foul ground next to first base. Each player will take a turn running from first base to second base and sliding into the base.
- Once all players have completed they will line up to the center field side of second base and run to third base and you can either have them slide again or round the base and stop.
- Now the team will line up in foul ground next to third base and make the final sprint to home I prefer to have the players run through home plate at this point to speed things up.
- Round two all players start the same way. Then round first base and go back to the base. They line up in foul ground again.
- Next they will run from first base to third base without stopping I usually have the players slide into third but it is optional.
- Again the players will line up and sprint home.
- The Third round the players begin the same way but continue around first and go to second as though they hit a double.
- Then they will all line up to run from second to home.
- The final phase is going to be a round trip touch em’ all home run.
If my team had worked hard at this point I would make it fun and let them do there best big league home run trot. You will have a couple of very creative kids that incorporate a lot of the elements that they see on ESPN highlights. Bat flips the whole 9 yards. Great drill to get the blood flowing at the beginning of practice or to end practice on a good note.
Drill 2 Double Play.
The double play drill is fun for everyone even the players that don’t seem like they really want to be there. You will need a first baseman I usually use 3 or 4 different players if you have enough or a coach if you are not sure that your players are ready to handle a lot of balls being thrown at them.
You will then take the rest of the team and split them up into two groups one group on the 2nd base side and one group at the short stop position. A coach will kneel on the ground with a bucket of baseballs just behind the pitchers mound. The coach will roll a ground ball to the 2nd baseman. Then 2nd baseman will flip the ball to the shortstop and then the shortstop will throw on to first base. After they are done the second baseman and the shortstop will switch lines.
I like to have at least two kids at a time at first base that way if the ball gets missed the first baseman can chase it without the drill having to stop. Don’t forget to give your first basemen a chance to participate at the other positions.
Once every player has had a turn at both positions you can start rolling the ball to the shortstops and repeat the drill.
There are a lot of things that need to happen during this drill that as a coach you can correct. This drill is one of my favorites because I can control the pace easily it keeps players attentive and I can work on a lot of different elements at the same time.
We are catching ground balls working on footwork and glove work. We are flipping or tossing making short throws. We are working on catching coming across the base with both hands up to make a good target and for quick transfer to throw. So I get to work on footwork around the base and glove work. Then there is the element of the long throw from second base to first.
We also have the catching at first base that involves being able to catch the ball while keeping a foot on the base. I will be posting some things on footwork and glove work for each position on the field so you will know what to look for during this drill.
Add to the drill
As you get older you can add a group of players at third base. The way we run this drill with the college team is really fun. We put all the players at their respective positions. At the college level most player have one position that they play maybe two. A coach stands at home plate with the catchers and hits fungos to each position.
We start off with 5-4-3 then 6-4-3 then 4-6-3 then 3-6-3 then back to third basemen. Do it all again and add the catcher into the mix at the end going either 2-6-3 or 2-4-3. Then all the way around one more time but when you get to the first basemen they go 3-2-3 then the real fun because we hit a ground ball to the outfielders who are all at throw em’ out depth in center field they charge the ball and try to make that perfect throw to home plate.
Once we are done we do it again usually 3 to 4 rounds at every practice. ( A quick note for those who may not know when keeping score in baseball all nine positions on the field have a number. 1 is the pitcher, 2 is the catcher, 3 first base, 4 second base, 5 third base, 6 shortstop, 7 left field, 8 center field, and 9 is right field.) A 6-4-3 double play would be a ball fielded by the shortstop tossed to the second baseman for an out at second base and then thrown to the first baseman for the second out.
When you do this if your kids are getting good at the drill have them spice it up. See if they can do the no look toss to second to start the double play or jump off the base at second to make the throw to first. One of the things my kids can’t stand about me is how I don’t get really excited watching highlights of great baseball plays. They really get sick of me saying, “Done that.” The best way to find out what you can do is to try to do it. If you fail, so what, it is practice and that is what it is for. I was asked by my J.V. baseball coach why I would dive for balls in practice. I told him to see how far away a ball had to be before I couldn’t get it. You really don’t want to be finding that out during the bottom of the last inning of a tie game. Do you? Let the kids make things up and be a little creative it will keep things fun for them and let you know what the limits of their talent is.
I hope these free baseball drills will help you with your team. Please let me know how they work out when you use them.