PRACTICE 11  Focus: Catching/Throwing, Hitting, Team Defense Infield/Outfield

 

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

 

  • With a glove, player shuffles left and when in front of the ball, breaks down into the proper fielding position and then shuffles to the ball opposite and repeats
  • Encourage staying athletic
  • Do this 3 times to each side
  • With a glove, player starts at bottom right cone and sprints forward to the cone ahead, back pedals to bottom left cone and approaches the ladder and ball breaking down into a proper fielding position

Catching/Throwing (10 Min)

  • Knee wrist snaps with glove
  • Throwing from the knees
  • Regular throws starting close and slowly move back.
  • Add a competition for fun having the players attempt to throw into a bucket from 10-12 feet
  • The focus is on elevating the ball with a proper release point and wrist snap
  • Catching and moving through the ball
    • Player sets up in an athletic position​
    • The player steps forward with her glove foot as she receives the ball fingertips up and throwing hand to the side
    • The player continues working through the catch by carrying her momentum forward as she crosses over with her throwing hand foot
    • The players momentum continues through the ball as she plants her throwing hand foot
    • Her glove foot strides toward the target finishing in a throwing position
Infield Dailies (10 Min)

Hitting  (25 Min)

 

  • Tee
    • Athletic stance with no stride approach
    • Feet positioned straight or slightly inward with weight on the inside
    • Feet are positioned just outside the shoulders with equal weight on each
    • Have the player just get to contact and through to extension starting slow then progressively getting faster maintaining proper form
    • Focus on staying athletic through to extension with chin staying down
    • Have the player take a full swing finishing high at the shoulder
    • Position the tee to the middle contact point and have the player take a full swing
  • Soft Toss
    • Coach kneels to the side and slightly in front of batter
    • Coach slowly tosses the ball to batters strike zone
    • Batter swings through with focus points above
  • Front Toss
    • Coach pitches from 12-15 feet away
    • Keep focus on proper mechanics
    • Make necessary adjustments

Infield/Outfield Defense (60 Min)

 

  • Infield/Outfield
  • Situations/Positioning
  • Bunt Coverage
  • Force Play/Tag Play
  • Covering Steals
  • Covering Pick Offs
  • Relays/Cut Offs
  • Infield/Outfield Warm Ups (20 Min)
    • Split the team in to two groups ​
    • Have one coach work with outfield fundamentals throwing or hitting fly balls and grounders
    • Have another coach work with the infield rolling or hitting grounders
      • You can have the players stay in one position or can rotate them through the infield from third, to short stop, to second, and then first ​
      • Work on force plays to first, second, third, and home and explain defensive positioning and coverages 
      • Stress the fundamentals of good footwork, working through the ball, staying athletic, and good throws
    • After 10 minutes, the infield goes to the outfield and outfield goes to the infield

Infield/Outfield Defense (40 Min)

 

  • Coach places the players in positions
    • The coaching starts with the outfield hitting to the left fielder, center fielder, then right fielder (Work on relays as well)
    • The coach hits each outfielder 3 balls with the outfielder throwing to second, then third, then home
    • When the outfield is throwing to 2nd base:
      • The second baseman covers 2nd base on all balls hit to the left side of 2nd base
        • When the second baseman covers, the right fielder is the backup and gets in to proper position if the ball gets passed​
        • The short stop is the cut off on all balls that get by the outfielders on the left side
      • The short stop covers 2nd on all balls hit to the right side of 2nd base
        • When the short stop covers, the left fielder is the backup and gets in to proper position if the ball gets passed
        • The second baseman is the cut off on all balls that get by the outfielders on the right side
    • When the outfield is throwing to third base: 
      • The third baseman covers third base
        • The pitcher is always the back up​
        • The short stop is the cut off on all balls fielded by the left and center fielder with the second baseman covering 2nd base
        • The second baseman is the cut off to balls hit to right field with the short stop covering 2nd base
    • When the outfield is throwing home:
      • The catcher covers home
      • The pitcher is always the back up​
      • The short stop is the cut off on all balls hit to the left of 2nd base with the second baseman covering 2nd base
      • The second baseman is the cut off on all balls hit to the right of 2nd base with the short stop covering 2nd base
    • The coach then hits balls to infielders
    • Each position receives 4 balls all at once or staggered (Work on both force plays and tag plays and explain proper positioning of the receiver for each)
    • Go through 3-4 cycles of the above with the infield and outfield
    • Next, work on situations with runners on various bases and let them know how many outs there are
    • Bunt coverage and rotations
      • With a runner on 1st base​
        • The corners and pitcher sprint to the bunted ball​
        • The player that fields the ball communicates by calling "ball, ball, ball" and throws the ball to 1st base
        • Either the third baseman or pitcher returns to cover third base (whoever can get back the fastest)
        • The second baseman covers 1st base
        • The short stop covers 2nd base
      • With runners on 1st and 2nd base
        • The corners and pitcher sprint to the bunted ball​
        • The player that fields the ball communicates by calling "ball, ball, ball" and throws the ball to 1st base (an advanced team can attempt force outs at 3rd base by the catcher communicating where the play is)
        • The short stop rotates to cover 3rd base
        • The second baseman covers 1st base
        • 2nd base is left uncovered
      • With the bases loaded
        • The corners and pitcher sprint to the bunted ball​
        • The player that fields the ball communicates by calling "ball, ball, ball" 
        • The catcher communicates whether the play is at home or to 1st base
        • The short stop rotates to cover 3rd base
        • The second baseman covers 1st base
        • 2nd base is left uncovered
    • Catcher's Throws/Covering Steals
    • Catcher's Throws/Covering Picks (Advanced Teams)
      • Have the catcher work on throws to 1st base and 3rd base​
      • Have the first baseman cover throws to 1st base setting up in a position to tag with her body facing the field (not foul territory)
      • Have the third baseman cover throws to 3rd base setting up in a position to tag with her body facing the field (not foul territory)

Pitching (20 Min)

 

  • Wrist snaps restraining pitching arm shoulders stay isolated
  • L Drill
    • Glove pointed to target
    • Body is open with glove shoulder facing target
    • Pitching arm is straight up with ball
    • Feet are positioned at a 45 degree angle towards target
    • Back heel starts raised
    • Player takes a small step with the front foot
    • Then the back leg drives towards the target
    • Back knee finished close to front knee
    • Glove arm and pitching arm drive down together
    • Wrist snap to target
  • Knee Arm Circle (Right Handed Pitcher)
    • Right knee is on the ground at a 90 degree angle to the target
    • Left leg is extended to the target
    • Glove and front shoulder are facing target
    • Pitching arm is elevated above and out over the body
    • Player starts by driving the pitching arm down in a circular path
    • The ball is snapped toward the target by the hip
  • Lunge Leg Drive

Catching

  • Setup/Positioning
    • Feet are shoulder width apart
    • Knees fully bent
    • Back is straight
    • Glove arm is at 90 degree with glove opened towards pitcher
    • Throwing hand is behind back
  • Framing/Receiving
    • Glove arm stays flexed and out in front
    • For an inside pitch, upon catching the ball the catchers thumb is up
    • For an outside pitch, upon catching the ball the catchers thumb is down
    • For a high pitch, upon catching the ball the catchers palm is down
    • For a low pitch, the catcher receives the ball finger tips up
  • Blocking
    • Feet are kicked out behind catcher
    • Body/Chest is over the ball
    • Shoulders are square to the plate
    • Glove is positioned on the ground between legs
    • Throwing hand is placed behind the glove to protect it
    • Chin is to the chest
    • Goal is to have the ball hit the chest and drop straight down towards the plate
  • Throwing
    • Upon catching the ball, the catcher pops up staying in an athletic position
    • Feet touch down on the balls simultaneously
    • Glove shoulder is facing target
    • Glove is pulled towards ear and ball is transferred to throwing hand
    • The ball is separated from the glove in back of throwing shoulder

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