08 July, 2011
Youth Baseball Warmup Drills
When it’s game time, you want to make sure all your players at every position are loosened up and ready to take the field -- which is where warm-up drills come in. Besides getting the blood flowing, warm-up drills help your players focus on the fundamentals of the game just before the first pitch is thrown.
Pitcher Warm-Up Circles
For your pitcher, it’s critical to get his arm warmed up before he heads out to the mound. However, having him throw practice pitches limits the number of pitches he can throw during the game. Try warm-up circles instead. Have your pitcher stand with his legs more than shoulder-width apart. While holding a 5 pound dumbbell in his pitching hand, have him bend over at the waist, allowing his pitching arm to hang loose. He should then make large circles with his pitching arm, 10 large circles clockwise and then 10 counterclockwise. While still bent over, have him lift the weight up above the head and swing it back through his legs 10 times. Finally, have him swing the weight side to side in front of his body to complete the warm-up drill.
Around the World Infield Drills
Getting your infield mentally ready to play defense takes only a few minutes of warm-up, but it can help them stay focused for game time. Have your starting players go to their infield positions, except for the pitcher. Hit or roll a ball to the second baseman, who then throws it to the third baseman. He throws it over to the first baseman, who throws it immediately to the catcher. The catcher then throws it to the shortstop, who drops the ball. Do this drill several times, then switch and hit the ball to the third baseman, who begins a series of throws “around the horn.” The third baseman throws to the second baseman, who throws to the first baseman, who throws it to the catcher. The ball continues around the horn for several passes until players are warmed up. Have players focus on proper form and accurate throws.
This drill will get your players’ hearts pumping and blood flowing to help them warm up before the game. Have one player at first base with a bucket and all your other players at the shortstop position lined up single file into the outfield. Hit a ground ball to the first player in line and have him quickly throw the ball to first base as if he was trying to out-throw a runner. Once the first baseman catches the ball, have him drop it in the bucket and run to the shortstop line. Have the shortstop who just threw run to first base to catch the next ball. Repeat the drill until all players have been through the line at least a few times.
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