ALL STAR PRACTICE 5  Focus: Agility, Catching/Throwing/Fly's, Infield Dailies, 4 Corners, Fielding, Pitching/Catching, Hitting/Bunting, "Stinger" Hitting Game, Infield/Outfield: Situations/Positioning, Bunt Coverage, Covering Steals, Covering Bunts, Relays/Cut Offs 

 

Agility Warm Up  (10 Min)

 

  • Player shuffles laterally right and left around the outside of the cone with glove tucked
  • Running with their glove tucked in and out of cones
  • Every other time, have the player drop step around the cone

Catching/Throwing/Fly’s  (15 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
  • 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
  • Drop step left (right handed player)
    • Player sets up in an athletic position
    • Player drop steps with their left foot while tucking the glove
    • The player crosses over with their right foot
    • The proper angle is then taken towards the ball
  • Drop step right (right handed player)
    • Player sets up in an athletic position
    • Player drop steps with their right foot while tucking the glove
    • The player crosses over with their left foot
    • The proper angle is then taken towards the ball
Infield Dailies (10 Min)
4 Corners (10 Min)
  • In groups of 4, the player's form a square roughly 7 feet apart (small 4 corners)
  • The rotation of the ball will start clockwise.
  • The player's are positioned in an athletic position to receive the ball with both hands giving a target
  • With their feet stationary, they will call for the ball, "Ball"
  • Their shoulders will be square to the ball upon catching
  • Upon throwing, the players will simply pivot their feet to the target without stepping 
  • The throw will be a dart throw with the ball not coming past the ear and using mostly the wrist
  • This should be very controlled and accurate
  • Go around 6-7 times and then reverse to go counter clockwise
  • In groups of 4, the player's form a square roughly 20-25 feet apart (big 4 corners)
  • The rotation of the ball will start clockwise.
  • The player's are positioned in an athletic position to receive the ball with both hands giving a target
  • With their feet moving in place, they will call for the ball, "Ball"
  • Their shoulders will be square to the ball upon catching with momentum moving towards their target
  • Upon throwing, the players using quick feet will have momentum to their target throwing to their targets glove side
  • Have the players work on quick transfers with the ball coming out of their glove and it to a throwing position 
  • This should be move quickly with lots of communication
  • Go around 6-7 times and then reverse to go counter clockwise
  • In groups of 4, the player's form a square roughly 20-25 feet apart (big 4 corners)
  • The rotation of the ball will start reverse clockwise.
  • The player's are positioned in an athletic position to receive the ball with both hands giving a target
  • With their feet moving in place, they will call for the ball, "Ball"
  • Their shoulders will be square to the ball upon catching with their glove foot stepping towards the ball (right handed player)
  • Upon throwing, the players will drop step with their back foot to align their bodies to the target
  • Have the players work on quick transfers with the ball coming out of their glove and it to a throwing position 
  • This should be move quickly with lots of communication
  • Go around 6-7 times and then reverse to go counter clockwise
Fielding (10 Min)
​​
  • Have the players line up at short stop in a single file line
  • A coach will be in front with a bucket of balls about 15 feet away to feed them ground balls
  • Another coach will be in line with first base but about 10 feet in front to shorten the distance to receive throws 
  • The player at the front of the line will receive a ground ball rolled to them, throw it to the coach in line with first base, and then run to the end of the line
  • The coach feeding ground balls will roll them balls: 
    • Directly to so the players can work on coming through the ball
    • To their glove side to work on lateral movement and angles to the forehand side
    • To their hand side to work on later movement and angles to the backhand side
    • Slow rollers just outside their hand side so they can work on throwing on the run
  • The focus should be on proper footwork and fielding positions

Infield/Outfield Defense (30 Min)

 

  • Infield/Outfield
  • Situations/Positioning
  • Infield/Outfield Warm Ups (10 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 (20 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

Hitting  (25 Min)

 

  • 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
  • Sacrifice Bunts
    • Athletic stance with feet opened up towards pitcher
    • Bat start at the top of the strike zone
    • Bat is at eye level
    • All pitches above the bat, the bat is pulled back
    • All pitches in the strike zone, the legs get the bat to the ball
    • 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
  • Base Hit Bunts
    • Have a coach demonstrate the proper fundamentals of a base hit bunt
    • Player sets up in an athletic stance
    • As the pitch is delivered the player starts to drop step with their back foot
    • The players back foot touches the ground on the drop step as contact is made with the ball
    • All pitches above the bat, the bat is pulled back
    • Bat is slightly angled for placement down 3rd and 1st
  • Hitting - "Stinger" Game (20 Min)
    • This game can be played individually or in groups​
    • For the sake of this description we will split the team in to two even groups
    • Group 1 is at bat first while group 2 is shagging in the field
    • Each player in group 1 will have two rounds of at bats
    • A coach front tosses from roughly 20 feet
    • The batter should be selective on pitches to swing at only swinging at pitches they can hit hard
    • During an at bat, the batter will continue to hit for every hard hit ball with the coach being the judge
    • When the batter hits a ball that is not deemed a hard hit by the coach, she steps out and the next player steps in
    • This continues until all batters have had two rounds
    • Group 1 keeps a cumulative count of balls hit hard by their team
    • After group 1 completes their round they shag on the field and group 2 bats
  • The focus on this game should be pitch selection and concentrating under pressure to hit each ball hard

Pitching (20 Min)

 

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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