PRACTICE 3   Focus: Agility, Pitching/Catching, Throwing, Fielding/Footwork, Hitting

 

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

 

  • Player starts at bottom left cone with glove tucked and sprints forward

  • Once past the top cone, the player back pedals in the opposite direction
  • Player continues until through all cones
  • Player start at bottom right cone with their glove and shuffles feet athletically until outside bottom right cone
  • Player sprints forward until past top right cone and shuffles left until outside top left cone
  • Player then back pedals to bottom left cone
Throwing  (15 Min)
 
  • 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 Infield Dailies (20 Min)
  • Have a coach introduce and demonstrate each daily
  • Dailies are performed by two players that are 5-7 feet apart
  • For the first few practices, split the team in to 3 groups (assuming you have 3 coaches/helpers) and have them feed dailies to the players 

Agility Competition  (15 Min)

 

  • Player starts at front left cone with their glove and shuffles laterally to the right in an athletic position
  • Once past the front right cone, the player sprints forward until past the cone ahead
  • Once past, the player shuffles to the left
  • When the player reaches the front of the ladder, they move forward with quick feet stepping one foot in each
  • When player exits the ladder they use the proper footwork to enter the second ladder breaking down into a fielding position and extending the glove to the ball

Review Catching  (10 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 an athletic position, the player now moves their feet to the ball
    • If the player receives the ball glove side, her glove foot leads, followed by back foot lead foot to get in to an athletic throwing position
    • If the player received the ball hand side, her throwing hand foot leads, followed by her glove foot to get in to an athletic throwing position
    • 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 comfortable distance and rotate
    • The players will give a target using two hands
    • In an athletic position, the player now moves their feet to the ball
    • If the player receives the ball glove side, her glove foot leads, followed by back foot lead foot to get in to an athletic throwing position
    • If the player received the ball hand side, her throwing hand foot leads, followed by her glove foot to get in to an athletic throwing position
    • After the player receives the ball have them quickly get to an athletic throwing position and freeze

Review Hitting  (40 Min)

 

  • Tee
    • The player sets up 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
    • Have the player just get to contact for 5-7 reps 
      • At this point, the back foot and belly button should be pointed to the contact point​
      • The back arm should be close to a 90 degree angle
    • Next, have the player get through contact and to extension for 5-7 reps 
      • Have the player focus on making contact with the inside of the ball which forces the knob to the ball
      • At extension, the back shoulder should be underneath the chin which is down ​ 
      • At extension, the barrel of the bat should be facing the pitcher
    • Move the tee to the middle contact point and have the player take a full swing
    • Make necessary adjustments to a player’s 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
  • Introduce Sacrifice Bunts
    • Have the coach demonstrate the proper fundaments of a sacrifice bunt
    • The player sets up in an athletic stance with feet opened up towards pitcher
    • The bat starts at the top of the strike zone
    • The bat stays as close to eye level as possible using the legs
    • All pitches above the bat, the bat is pulled back
    • All pitches in the strike zone, the legs get the bat to the ball
    • The players arms are flexed and upon contact a small push can be made to the ball
    • Bat is slightly angled for placement down 3rd and 1st

Review Pitching (20 Min)

 

  • Have a coach review 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 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

Review Catching

 
  • Have a coach review 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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