Video: Anatomy of a Swing
 
Video: Common Hitting Flaws & Drills
 
4 Corners Drill
Posted 03/29/12 - Defense / Infield

This is a great drill that incorporates two basic fundamental skills: throwing and catching.

Setup: Make sure everyones arms are good and loose. Start with 3 players at every base. Have 4 baseballs ready to go. ( Be ready to use these balls if there is an overthrow ) Give the first player at home plate the ball.

Drill:
  • Home throws to 1B
  • 1B throws to 2B
  • 2B throws to 3B
  • 3B throws to Home
  • Players rotate after every catch and throw from the base they are on. Try to go 30 throws with no mistakes, then rotate the groups of players to different bases ( 3b to home, home to 1b, etc)
Options:
  • After the players get good at this, the coach should then yell "Reverse" at different times during the drill. The players then simply reverse the current rotation of which way they are tossing the ball around the bases.
  • Coach can also have the fielders simulate tags at all bases except 1B.
 
Head Down Drill
Posted 03/03/12 - Defense / Infield

This drill is to intended to keep a fielders head down and stay focused while fielding a ground ball.

Setup: Number 4 baseballs 1,2,3 and 4 with a black sharpie. Make the numbers about one inch. During your infield practice, use these 4 balls for grounders to the players. Dont show them what ball you are hitting to them.

Make it a contest on who can tell what the number is the soonest on the ball that is hit to them.

There are many variations on this drill, so make it work for you. What you wlll get is infielders keeping their heads down, showing good form and making a lot less errors.
 
Teaching your players how to think in the batters box
Posted 01/30/12 - Offense / Hitting

Coaches should emphasize how important it is to bring the right approach and attitude to each at-bat. Here are some examples:
  • Come to the plate confident, expecting to put the ball in play.
  • ABSOLUTELY be ready to hit the first pitch if it is "your pitch". It might be the best pitch you see during that at-bat.
  • Have a plan. Is the pitcher struggling? Is he throwing strikes consistently? If the pitcher is struggling the hitter should be very selective in what he swings at. If the pitcher is on, the hitter is looking for a mistake from the pitcher, something down the middle or slightly inside.
  • Be disciplined and know the strike zone. Take it a step further and figure out your strike zone according to the count.
  • Be a good 2 strike hitter. Always protect the strike zone with 2 strikes. If the pitch is close you should be swinging.
  • Be VERY selective when ahead in the count. Why swing at a low and outside fastball when the count is 2-0 ? Let the umpire call it a strike and look for something you like on the next pitch
  • Not all strikeouts are bad. Which AB is better? An 8 pitch AB that results in a strikeout or a first pitch pop-up to the first baseman? I will take the 8 pitch AB every day.
  • Lay off the curve ball. The only time you should swing at a curve ball is with 2 strikes on you. Think fastball every pitch.
  • Accept the fact that the best hitters in the world fail 7 times out of 10. Enjoy the base hits and forget the ground outs and pop ups. Encourage your teamates when they are hitting. Have a positive attitude and you will be successful.
 
Follow the Ball

Posted 01/28/12 - Defense / Infield

Setup: Place a defensive player at every position except Pitcher and Outfield The rest of the players line up behind the SS
  • Coach hits a grounder to SS who fields the ball and fires to 1st base
  • 1st baseman throws to 2nd base
  • 2nd baseman throws to 3rd base
  • 3rd baseman throws to catcher
  • All players rotate to the position they just threw to (SS to 1st, 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to catcher and catcher to back of line at SS)
  • Coach hits a grounder to the next player in line at SS
Note: Drill should be fast paced with emphasis on good throws, simulated tags at each base and continues until all players field a ball at SS
 
2 Strike Drill

Posted 01/17/12 - Offense / Hitting

This is a great drill to end practice on.

Setup: Players line up next to fence on 3rd baseline near the dugout. Allplayers are ready to hit, having their bat in hand and helmet on. Getyour best strike throwing coach on the mound

  • 1stbatter comes to the plate with an 0-2 count. Batter must make contact with astrike to stay alive
  • After a swing and miss or a called 3rd strike, next batter hustles to the plate

Note: This is a fast paced drill designed to go thru the lineup 2-3 times

 
Instructional Hitting Video

Posted 01/11/12 - Offense / Hitting

Coach John Holloway would like to share a video that really breaks down the fundamentals of hitting.

LINK

 
Rotational Infield drill
Posted 01/11/12 - Defense / Infield

This drill keeps the kids moving while working on the most basic skill in baseball -- fielding and throwing. If you have enough coaches, the pitchers and catchers can get thier work in off the mound at the same time.

Setup:
  • 1 player at 3rd, SS, 2nd and 1st base ( 2 players at one positon is OK).
  • 1 coach and one catcher 10' up the 3rd base line from home plate in foul ground.
  • 1 coach and one catcher 10' up the 1st base line from home plate in foul ground.
Drill:
  • Each coach hits grounders to the players on his side of the field, not across.
  • Players field grounders and throw to the catcher who is near the coach.
  • After each player has fielded 4-6 grounders, all players rotate clockwise one position.
  • A pticher on the mound (with a coach) and a catcher behind the plate works well while this drill is being performed.
  • Rotate players from fielding grounders to pitching and catching as needed.
Note: Encourage correct fielding form and good throws.
 
Force at 2nd / Lead Runner drill

Posted 12/8/11 - Defense / Infield

This is a great drill for teaching footwork around 2nd base and the importance of getting the lead runner.

Setup: have your infielders line up at SS and 2B, coach is behind the mound and rolls ground balls to SS and 2nd basemans left and right. This drill can be done with a 1st baseman or without.

  • SS fields grounder to his left, going towards the bag, and easily underhands to the 2nd baseman covering for the force out.
  • SS fields grounder to his right, going away from 2B, plants right foot, makes an overhand throw to the 2nd baseman covering for the force out.
  • 2nd baseman fields grounder to his right, going towards the bag, and easily underhands to the SS covering for the force out.
  • 2nd baseman fields grounder to his left, going away from the bag, squares his body towards 2nd base, plants his right foot, makes an overhand throw to the SS covering for the force out.

Note: This drill should be run at the same time as an outfield drill and pitchers/catchers getting work off the mound.

"I hang my hat on getting the lead runner." Coach John Holloway