PRACTICE 1   Focus: Understanding the Game, Agility, Catching, Throwing, Base Running, Fielding/Footwork

 

Team & Game Introduction  (15 Min)

 

  • Introduction of coaches and players
  • The dugout and it’s purpose
  • The bases, their purpose, and direction to run the bases
  • The positions on the field, where they stand, and the difference between infield and outfield
  • In game basics: What’s an inning, 3 outs per half inning, What’s an out, How is a runner safe, What’s a strike, What’s a ball

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

  • One foot in each moving forward
  • Two feet in each moving forward
  • Two feet in each moving laterally
  • Player starts at bottom left cone with glove and sprints forward
  • Once past the top cone, the player back pedals in the opposite direction
  • Player continues until through all cones

Introduce Catching  (20 Min)

 

  • Have a coach discuss and demonstrate the proper catching fundamentals

  • Start by having the coaches toss players a tennis ball up close with no glove

    • Have them start in a stationary athletic position with the legs flexed giving a target with both hands out front​

    • Feed them the ball and have them catch it with their glove hand with their throwing hand covering up after the catch

    • Feed them balls from your knee in different areas encouraging the use of their legs working up and down (but still stationary)

    • Have 3-4 lines and feed them 3 balls each and rotate

  • Forehands/Backhands with tennis ball without the glove
    • Coaches start close and lightly underhand toss balls to the various 9 catching zones
    • In a stationary position, player’s move their catching hand to the ball finger tips up/finger tips down
    • The focus isn’t on catching the ball, but to get to the ball the correct way
    • Slowly move back as the players get comfortable with getting to the ball
  • Now with the glove, have the player get athletic by bending at the knees and having the feet outside the shoulders
    • The coach will again feed 3 balls each from a close distance on their knee and rotate
    • The players will give a target using two hands
    • Focus on having them catch the ball finger tips up or finger tips down in a stationary position

Introduce Base Running  (20 Min)

 

Introduce Throwing  (20 Min)
 
  • Have a coach discuss and demonstrate the proper throwing fundamentals
  • Player’s throw to coaches
  • Start with wrist snaps on the knees
    • Glove knee up, throwing hand knee down
    • Throwing arm is at 90 degree
    • Glove hand supports throwing elbow underneath
    • With ball in hand, wrist starts forward, comes back, and forward to snap
    • Arm does not move, just the wrist
  • Throwing from the knee
  • Start with glove shoulder facing target
  • Glove to ear, ball separation behind throwing shoulder, elbow up
  • On the throw, glove is tucked, wrist is snapped, throwing hand finished at opposite pocket
  • Attempt to get the player’s to go from shoulder to shoulder with their throws
  • Throwing from the feet in an athletic position  
  • Utilize same mechanics mentioned above
  • Targets can be used for fun, i.e. Hula Hoops or Buckets
  • Start close and slowly move back.
  • Can add a competition for fun having the players attempt to throw through a hula hoop at various distances starting close and slowly moving back

Introduce Fielding/Footwork  (20 Min)

 

  • Discuss and demonstrate the proper fielding position
    • Feet a little wider than shoulders
    • Weight is on the inside of the balls of the feet
    • Bottom is down almost as if sitting on a chair
    • Back is straight
    • Glove is reaching out touching the ground with the arm still flexed not straight
    • The palm is towards the ball, not the sky
    • Throwing hand is over the top of the glove
    • Head is up
  • Fielding Footwork
    • Setting up in an athletic position with a ladder directly in front and a ball placed in front of the ladder that’s running horizontal.
    • A right handed player will put their right foot in a ladder square followed by their left foot (it will be the opposite for a lefty)
    • As soon as the player gets their left foot down, they will reach with their glove towards the ball in a good fielding position
    • Right/Left reach for a righty, Left/Right reach for a lefty
    • The two steps into the ladder should be in rhythm
    • Next, move the players back so they have to take multiple steps
    • Focus on short choppy steps until they get to the ladder

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