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PRACTICE 5  Focus: Agility, Catching, Fielding/Footwork, Base Running, Hitting


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

Hitting  (35 Min)

  • Main focus point should be the player using their hands more than their body
    • Young players aren't strong so they'll want to lock up their arms and use their body to swing
    • Focus on the arms staying flexed, the knob to the ball, and the player hitting the inside of the ball
    • The most difficult age group to teach hitting so keep it simple but effective
  • 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
  • Hitting Drill
    • Set up the tee for a middle contact swing​
    • Set up two cones 10-12 feet in front that are spread 10 feet apart
    • Have the players take swings trying to hit the ball over and inside the two cones
Throwing  (10 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

Catching  (10 Min)

  • 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)

    • If the ball is above their knee have them catch it finger tips up using their legs, below the knees catch finger tips down

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

  • Have the coaches toss balls just outside their glove side or and side

    • 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 move their feet to the ball

      • If tossed glove side, the footwork is glove foot to the ball, back foot plants, lead foot to the target​

      • Have the player finish in an athletic throwing position

      • If tossed hand side, the footwork is back foot plants, and glove foot leads to the target

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

  • 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
Fielding/Footwork  (10 Min)
  • 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

Agility/Footwork/Base Running  (15 Min)

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