Games for Baseball Practice
Running a youth baseball practice is about teaching players the fundamentals of the game. The key to doing this is finding a way to hold your players' interests throughout the entire practice. You can go through fundamental infield, outfield and batting drills, but you must combine these basics with fun-to-play games that your young players will enjoy.
Line five of your players along the third-base line. Place one player at home plate, the next at third base, the next about 60 feet past the player at third base and two additional players at 60-foot intervals. This should put the last player fairly close to the left-field foul pole. Line two other groups of five players parallel to the original group. Give the first player in each line the baseball--the one at home plate or the equivalent spot in the other lines--and have him throw the ball to the next player on your signal. That player has to catch the ball and then throw it to the next player in line. The relay continues in this manner all the way to the end of the line and then it reverses until the catcher has the ball. The team that gets the ball back to the catcher first wins. There's one rule in this game: the ball cannot hit the ground. If any player drops the ball or makes an uncatchable throw, they must start the relay over again. This game helps players with their throwing and catching.
Piggy Move Up
This is a game that young players love in practice. Divide your team into groups of three or four. If you have three groups of four players at practice, send the first group of four into the dugout to prepare for a round of batting practice. Put another group of four in the infield and the third group of four around the outfield. Send the first batter to the plate for batting practice. He gets three strikes to put the ball in play. If he gets a hit, he stays on base. If he is retired on a ground ball or fly ball, he is out. Then, the next batter comes up. Each batter in the group gets three at bats. After the last at bat, the next group of four hitters moves in for batting practice. Then, the group in the outfield moves into the infield and the group that had been at bat goes to the outfield. Keep proceeding in this manner until each group has had a chance to hit the ball. The team that comes up with the most hits wins the drill.
This is a great game to help pitchers learn the value of control. Line all of your team up behind the pitcher's mound. The first player takes the ball and throws a pitch from the pitching rubber to a coach who is catching and calling the pitch. If it is a strike, the pitcher is "safe" and he goes to the back of the line. If it is a ball, he is on the "hot seat." The next player throws a pitch. If it is a strike and the previous pitcher threw a ball, then the first pitcher is knocked out. If the second pitcher throws a ball, then the first pitcher is safe and the second pitcher is on the hot seat. Continue along in this manner until all players have been knocked out and there is one "king of the hill" left. You may want to reward that player by letting him pitch in the next game.
- Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media