PRACTICE 2  Focus: Agility, Catching, Throwing, Base Running, Pitching/Catching, Fielding/Footwork

 

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

 

  • One foot in each moving forward
  • Two feet in each moving forward
  • Two feet in each moving laterally
  • Running with their glove tucked in and out of cones
  • Every other time, have the player drop step around the cone
Review Throwing  (15 Min)
 
  • Have a coach review 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

Review Fielding/Footwork  (20 Min) Circuit

 

  • 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
  • Lateral Shuffle
    • Set up two balls 7-10 feet apart
    • Have the player start in the middle of the two balls in an athletic position
    • The player will shuffle laterally until they get to the ball which will be in front of them
    • The player will break down into the fielding position that was demonstrated earlier
    • Have them shuffle twice to each side and then rotate
    • Multiple stations can be setup for this footwork
  • 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
  • Fielding Footwork II
    • Set up three cones as shown below
    • Have the players start outside the far right cone
    • They will run forward with their glove tucked past the cone in front
    • Once past they will back pedal to the far left cone
    • Once past they will approach the ladder, break down entering the ladder reach for the ball and freeze

Review 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
    • After the player receives the ball have them quickly get to an athletic throwing position and freeze
    • 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
    • After the player receives the ball have them quickly get to an athletic throwing position and freeze

Review Base Running  (25 Min)

 

Introduce Hitting  (15 Min)

 

  • Have a coach demonstrate the fundamentals displayed in the images step by step while the players are circled around with a bat
    • Player is in an athletic stance
    • Feet positioned straight or slightly inward with weight on the inside
    • Feet are positioned just outside the shoulders with equal weight on each
    • Load and stride into an attacking position
    • Front foot heel plant and back elbow slot
    • To the contact point 
    • Through to extension
    • Finish

Introduce Pitching (20 Min)

 

  • Have a coach discuss and demonstrate the proper pitching fundamentals
  • 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 45 degree angle to the target
    • Left leg/foot are extended at a 45 degree to target
    • Glove and front shoulder are facing target
    • Pitching arm is straight down
    • Player starts rotates arm 360 degrees snapping wrist and ball to target
    • Shoulders do not rotate

Introduce Catching

  • Have a coach discuss and demonstrate the proper catching fundamentals
  • 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

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