PRACTICE 6  Focus: Competition Day! Agility, Catching, Throwing, Footwork, Hitting

 

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

 

  • Player starts in the middle facing the coach with feet moving in place
  • The coach points to a cone and the player sprints and touches the cones and returns to the middle with feet still moving
  • The cones can be picked randomly and in no particular order
  • Do this for 5-6 touches
  • Player shuffles laterally right and left around the outside of the cone with glove tucked
Infield Dailies (10 Min)

Catching Competition  (15 Min)

 

  • Warm up by balls to players in various locations
  • After a good warm up, toss each player from a comfortable distance 10 balls
  • Award a player 1 point for a ball that touches their glove and 2 points for a catch
  • Reward players with a prize (i.e. a small piece of candy)

Agility Competition  (10 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

Hitting Competition  (30 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
    • Position the tee and the middle contact point and have the player take a full swing
    • Focus on staying athletic through to extension with chin staying down
    • Have the player take a full swing finishing high at the shoulder
    • Move the tee to inside and outside contact points
    • 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
  • After a good warm up…
  • COMPETITION.. 
  • Players setup at home plate
  • Have the players take 10 swings off of front toss
  • Award a point for every ball the reaches the outfield

Catching/Throwing  (15 Min)

  • Players start throwing to each other
  • Knee wrist snaps with glove
  • 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
  • Stay athletic when receiving moving the feet to the ball
  • Attempt to catch every ball in the center of the body
  • Coaches toss short fly balls directly to the player
    • Focus should be catching ball above the shoulder finger tips up
    • Player’s left foot should be forward when catching if possible
    • Encourage the player to communicate “ball”, “ball”, “ball”
    • Start with short fly balls and progress higher as appropriate
  • COMPETITION.. Toss 10 challenging fly balls
  • Award them 2 points for a catch and 1 point for every time the ball hits the glove
  • Reward players with a prize

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
  • Full Motion

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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