Alright, so far...

Validation BP I really liked. Only done it once so far. Need to limit swings to no more than 5 for sure. Tried it with a few more and it bogged down some. Very good drill though. Fun to see a 4-hole hitter smoke one to the fence and then lay one down under pressure.

Worked groundballs with a throwdown base at about 80 feet and it became very competitive. Will mix in the OF piece next time but I think it is going to be a hit.

The 4-man scrimmage from kdog is great. Used it twice and kids enjoyed it.

Speed T-ball is great, BUT I gotta find a way to make it safer. Kids still getting on the field when some kids are ready to swing. I'll tweak it somehow, but we'll do it again for sure.

Keep 'em comin'.
We also finish practice a lot with a "Bottom of the 7th."

We put a runner at first. We call him the game wining run. No one out and we intrasquad for 3 outs. I pick 4 or 5 hitters I wanna see handle the pressure. One group of kids ends up celebrating either way.
Here is one of the best infield drills I have used. It is simply called turn two. We use the infielders at their normal position. We place two at each spot except pitcher, one in position and the other backing up. The outfielders are the hitters. Place a batting-T at home plate and the infielders have to hit a ground ball and sprint to first. The object of the game is to get the out at first or the hitter gets credit for a run and clears the base. There are no other base runners. If you make it to first you are safe and it counts as a run. If the defense can turn a phantom double play, they get to subtract a run. The goal is to play for about 15 minutes and challenge the defense to keep the outfielders to a zero score. If a player makes an error, the fielder backing him up takes over until he commits am error. Any ball that travels in the air beyond the infield arc is an automatic out. This is a great way for the infielders to get a lot of ground ball work under pressure. It forces them to determine when they can go for the double play and when they must take the out at first. You can also play in teams of four or five and the hitting team gets nine outs.

P.s. kdog, I would love your power point as well. Thanks.
We do an infield drill called 2-1-2-1.

It is a way to get lot of ground balls and double plays pretty quickly. Basically you start with your 3B and his number is 2. This means he turns a double play. The SS is 1. He fields the ball and throws to first. 2b is 2, double play. 1B is one and he works on a flip to another 1B like a PFP. Now you go back to 3B and he is a 1 now (If you have multiple players at positions you can keep it like the original until they all have gone). I'm sure you get the point. Everyone turns DP's and throws to first.

The kicker is we put a number on it they have to get in a row. We may say 21 in a row or whatever for that day. They must be perfect. Any bobble or bad throw starts over and adds a consequence (whatever you want).

You can also tweak it how you want. I have done it with a stopwatch to make sure we get the proper "motivation" to be quick and clean. I've also put pitchers on the mound for the flip and 3-6-1 DP (PFP).

The kids love it. It challenges them and puts pressure on them to execute. No one wants to be the guy to bobble on our #19. Thy WANT to be perfect the first time. Never had it happen, but that is our goal. On a good day we can get it done if 15 minutes or so. On a bad day, well I get upset and we move on. Smile
I was talking with my nephew who just finished up his college playing days last spring about some of their drills and he told me they did one called "Steal Game"

They would gear up the catchers. Split up teams and the pitchers are throwing (game speed) with a runner on first, working on holding runner and throwing to spots. You have a hitter up who will almost never swing, but the coach can give him the swing sign (like a secret word for that team)... the runner has the steal sign. You get points for stolen bases, catchers get points for throwing runnrs out, pitchers get points for throwing strikes or a pickoff. Middle infielders get points for making the play (big negative points for letting a ball into CF)

I think i'll give this one a try this year.... sounds pretty good. It wouldn't tie up your whole field. The outfielders could be getting work done in the OF when they are not baserunning.
Fungo scrimmage. Batters toss it up for themselves and get one swing. Automatic out if they whiff or don't hit a fair ball(ground or fly) that reaches the clay, unless it's touched. Batters must stand square in the box. To go oppo, it's got to be with their hands, not their feet. Moves real fast. Puts pressure on getting it done with one "pitch". Standard leads, no stealing, losing team has to crawl 360ft. around the bases.

Some of your better hitters may be lousy at fungo ("infield in!"), which makes for lots of laughs and team chemistry.

I bark enough to make sure these games stay serious, and keeps moving.

1/2 hour (this is realistic) of this at the end of a long hard practice keeps the boy in the boy. At any age. Maintains the love of the game. While giving your defenders a pressure workout.
KDOG....one more to carrollbaseball@aol.com. Thank you very much! And I'll add one more:

This is a conditioning drill we do called the Hustle Drill. Coach pitching, three teams with equal numbers. Team one at 1B, Team two at 3B, and team three hitting.

Coach pitches and hitter hits it. He takes off running the bases. The first players from Team one and Team two take off after the batted ball. When they BOTH can touch the ball, the play is over and the hitting team gets a point for how far their hitter goes (1 base= 1pt, halfway to 2B= 1 1/2 pts, etc.) Then rotate the teams so each teams gets to chase balls from 1B, 3B and gets to hit. Total the points.

Hope that all makes sense.
quote:
Originally posted by kdog:
Does anyone know how I can post my power point on this forum. . . so many requests and with practice in full swing I an not online as much as I would like. This would make it more efficient.



Hate to bother you K-Dog, but I'd love it to when you have time. Sounds great! nodderman@gmail.com
Alright, I tweaked the 4-man scrimmage a little. It's been great for us all year, but I was trying to suit our needs a little.

We've struggled some with bunting runners over and driving runs in, so I made a few changes to the scoring.

Each 4-man group hits for XX min. Start with runner at 1b. Batter must sac runner to 2b. He gets one chance, if he fails next man up attempts the same thing.

Once runner is bunted to 2b, the team has 2 attempts to drive him in. First hitter could score him with a ball in the gap or could advance him to 3b and next hitter could score him. If he fails to score in 2 hitters, runner goes back to first and it starts all over. Always less than 2 outs.

1 run for each time a run crosses the plate.

Hope that makes sense. Worked pretty well for us.
ironhorse I like it!

I've modified it some was well, but think I like your idea better.

What I've done is adjusted it and called it pressure BP. I've combined the 4-man scrimmage and the validation BP into one I guess. One thing I've learned is that we don't function well under pressure. So when they are successful on a particular situation I will make them validate ALL of them with a sacrifice.

Say we are working get 'em over / get 'em in. They must execute it 3 times (or whatever you want). However many they get, at the end of the round they must validate all of them (1, 2 or 3 depending on how they did). It puts a lot of pressure on them to be successful on the bunt. If they get the bunt down their group gets those points. If they don't, they lose all of them (it has happened more than once that a team loses 3 because of the bunt).

It has been amazing how much more they concentrate on that sacrifice when it means points for their team! They continue until they get the 3 they need for that situation. The next time up, they only get the number of chances they need for that situation. If they get 2 the first time, they only have 1 chance the execute the next time.

This goes on for X minutes. I have a preset number of situations they must get. So lets say there are 4 in a group and they hit for 10 minutes. They will have to go through Hit 'n Run, Get 'em overs, Runner on 3rd (or whatever I want to work on that day). Once each player gets the 3 they move to the next. Only the player that is successful advances. I've had it happen where 1 player is on situation 1, two are on situation 2 and 1 has finished. For each one they don't get, that is 1 pole for the group (I'm trying to come up with other forms of "punishment"). They not only have to work hard for themselves, but there are 3 other guys they are working for too. I want them to feel the pressure and make BP as game like as possible.

Oh and if a player finishes all 3, they get to chose a situation in which to add "bonus" points to help their teammates.

I know this was a ramble, and I hope it makes some sense. Smile
quote:
Originally posted by kdog:
I got this drill from the ABCA Coaching Digest many years ago. Best team practice I have. Every phase of the game is worked: Defense - Offense - Baserunning.

The practice is set up like BP and there will be a coach or other player throwing BP using a small screen (using this small screen allows more balls to get up the middle versus the regular "L" screen. You can work on any situation you desire.

Now break your players into four groups: group 1 and 2 will be the 1B, 2B, SS and 3B players and group 3 and 4 will be LF, CF, RF and C players. You will need a player at each positon (if you are from a small school get your best JV players to help you out).

The rotation is as follows:

RD Hit Baserun Defense Defense
1 1 3 2 4
2 2 4 1 3
3 3 1 4 2
4 4 2 3 1

You can see there are four rounds - a group hitting, a group base running and an entire team on defense minus a live pitcher. Create what ever situation you want and work it. I usually rotate the groups every 12 minutes and have 1 out the entire practice (this keeps the coach from always yelling). Now the first 3 min. there is a runner on 1B, the second 3 min. there is a runner on 2B only, the third 3 min. there is a runner on 3B only and the fourth 3 min. there is a runner on 1B and 2B. Again, 1 out the entire practice. After twelve min. the groups rotate as seen in preceeding chart. When the groups rotate they have 20 seconds to get where they need to be and off we go again.

To speed up BP I give each hitter one swing. Either make contact or lose your turn. Now they only swing at strikes.

If you want further info let me know and I will email a power point I have when I presented this at a local clinic.


Would love to see this...
Providencebaseball@gmail.com

This is a great thread! I've used many of these ideas since it started with great results.

 

We've recently started doing a defensive drill with three tees (inspired after watching Marc Rardin's Championship Drills DVD) that is up-tempo and very effective.  Two tees are set up at home on each side of home plate.  Like double fungo type drills, the tee on the third base side hits to short and first, the tee on right to third and second.  An additional tee is set up on the left/right field foul line and is hit toward center field.  Full buckets of baseballs at each tee.

 

The players are divided into 4 groups:  two groups of infielders and two groups that include outfielders and catchers. One group of infielders fields ground balls hit off the tees by one of the catcher/outfielder groups, while the other group of outfielders fields ground balls hit by the other group of infielders.  Then the groups switch.

 

We have our infielders do this routine: 2 min of box, 2 min of throwing to first, and 2 min of double plays.

Our outfielders/catchers: 2 min of one-knee fielding, 2 min of break down fielding, and 2 min of do or die w/ crow hop.

Hitter hit one ball and move to the end of the line of hitters, then rotate back up to the tee.

Equipment – empty ball bucket at first, full ball bucket at home, Coach who can handle a Fungo Bat hitting

 

Players – 4 infielders (all positions), 5 pitchers, 1 catcher

  1. (Pitcher 1)Ground ball to 1st base 3-1 play.  Pitcher 1 goes to the back of the pitcher line
  2. Ground ball to 3rd base 5-4-3 double play.  Pitcher 2 runs out to the mound
  3. Ground ball to pitcher 1-6-3 double play.  Pitcher 2 goes to the back of the pitcher line
  4. Ground ball to 2nd base 4-6-3 double play.  Pitcher 3 runs out to the mound
  5. Bunt to pitcher throws to third tag play.  Pitcher 3 goes to the back of the pitcher line
  6. Ground ball to Shortstop 6-4-3 double play. 
  7. Bunt to Catcher throws to first.  Pitcher 4 runs out to the mound
  8. Ground ball to 1st base 3-6-1 double play.  Pitcher 4 goes in back of line.  Pitcher 5 to mound
  9. Infield in, ground ball randomly infielder throws home catcher throws to first double play

Restart sequence with pitcher 5 starting number 1

Restart sequence with pitcher 4 starting number 1

Restart sequence with pitcher 3 starting number 1

Restart sequence with pitcher 2 starting number 1

20 Minute Drill

 

Great for inside a large gym.  Usually takes longer for the JV/9th teams. 

20 Minute Drill

 

Stage 1:

C→3B  Steals          Outfielders  in middle of field rolling DP

P→1B  Pickoffs          balls to SS and at a short pitcher in

SS→2B  Dbl. play feeds          front of plate throwing to catcher for steals. All pitchers have their own ball.

 

Stage 2:

C→SS  Steals at 2nd base          Outfielders rolling bunts to 1st baseman

P→3B  Pickoffs          and at short pitcher throwing to catcher

1B→2B  Bunts to first w/2nd baseman covering          for steals. The pitchers must move their

line to the 3rd base side of mound.

 

Stage 3:

C→1B  Pickoffs back door from plate          Outfielders rolling DP balls to 2nd , at

2B→SS  Dbl. play feeds          short pitcher for catcher to 1st pickoffs,

P→3B  Bunts w/pitcher covering left side          and rolling bunts to 3rd base side for pitchers.

 

Stage 4:

P→2B/SS pickoffs at 2nd base          Outfielders rolling bunts to 3rd baseman

3B→1B Bunt plays to first          and throwing to catchers. Catchers take

C→ Blocking balls/Foul balls/Framing          stage off from throwing.

 

 

Stage 5:

1st and 3rd defense with C,3B,SS,2B          Outfielders at short pitcher throwing to

Pitchers covering first base on ground ball          C  for 1st and 3rd defense, rolling balls to

1st baseman w/ P covering, and as base runners at 3rd base. Pitcher line must be on  1st base side of mound.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: All but the feeds for Dbl. plays begin on the pitchers movement. Pitchers should always have a ball

in their hand. Pitcher should always work off the stretch. Outfielders should always have a ball in their

hand.

20 Minute Drill

 

Stage 1:

C→3B  Steals         

P→1B  Pickoffs         

SS→2B  Dbl. play feeds

Outfielders  in middle of field rolling DP balls to SS and at a short pitcher in         

front of plate throwing to catcher for steals. All pitchers have their own ball.

 

Stage 2:

C→SS  Steals at 2nd base         

P→3B  Pickoffs         

1B→2B  Bunts to first w/2nd baseman covering line to the 3rd base side of mound.

(Outfielders rolling bunts to 1st baseman and at short pitcher throwing to catcher

for steals. The pitchers must move their line.)

 

 

Stage 3:

C→1B  Pickoffs back door from plate         

2B→SS  Dbl. play feeds         

P→3B  Bunts w/pitcher covering left side

(Outfielders rolling DP balls to 2nd , at short pitcher for catcher to 1st pickoffs,  

and rolling bunts to 3rd base side for pitchers.)

 

Stage 4:

P→2B/SS pickoffs at 2nd base         

3B→1B Bunt plays to first         

C→ Blocking balls/Foul balls/Framing          .

(Outfielders rolling bunts to 3rd baseman and throwing to catchers. Catchers take

stage off from throwing.)

 

Stage 5:

1st and 3rd defense with C,3B,SS,2B         

Pitchers covering first base on ground ball

(C  for 1st and 3rd defense, rolling balls to

1st baseman w/ P covering, and as base runners at 3rd base. Pitcher line on 1st base side of mound.)

 

 

Note: All but the feeds for Dbl. plays begin on the pitchers movement. Pitchers should always have a ball

in their hand. Pitcher should always work off the stretch. Outfielders should always have a ball in their

hand.

Suggestions:

Stage 6:   Bunt coverage to all bases with outfielders rolling bunts and running bases.

Stage 7:   Pitcher PFP to all bases with outfielders running bases.

Stage 8:   Pop ups on infield. Communication.

 

Depending on gym size, these can be somewhat chaotic.  Make sure you emphasize being alert and paying attention!

Great idea, ironhorse.  Our program has used many of these drills since this thread originated (as a matter of fact validation BP is on the practice plan today) and I've love to see it take off again.

 

One of my favorite up tempo/competitive BP's is called "Six Outs BP".  It is detailed in Andy Lopez's book Coaching Baseball Successfully and goes like this:

 

Set Up:  Players should be divided up fairly equally into 3-4 hitting groups.  They will compete against the other groups so in order for the drill to be competitive the groups need to be as equal as possible.  Players not hitting should be at their defensive position and the defense should be two deep at each position (excluding pitchers and catchers).  Coaches throw BP.

 

The Routine:  

1) Each group's goal is to hit for as long as possible.  The timer/stopwatch will start when the first pitch is thrown and continue until the group makes six consecutive outs.  We don't make our players run the ball out (but you certainly can) - but we do use a "play" stopwatch and infielders must have the ball to first under the minimum time or the ball is considered an infield hit. 

2) The outs build up until a player gets a hit and the outs reset at zero.  If the group makes 6 consecutive outs the watch stops and the groups total time is recorded. The next  group will then take their turn and this continues until all groups have hit.

3) We give each group an equal number of rounds to hit (usually three).

4) After 5 minutes the coach throwing BP will mix his pitches up to make it more challenging on the group hitting.

5) Any ball that hits the L screen on a line or one hop is considered a hit.

6) Some days we play the highest single round wins and on other days the winners will have the highest cumulative total.

7) Winning team gets a prize (sports drinks, gum/candy, etc.)

 

This BP is extremely competitive and fun for the players.  You will see great effort from your defense because they want to get the hitting group out of the cage ASAP.  You'll have to keep an eye on the defense to make sure the "appropriate" player makes the player (if we don't watch ours there will be six "live" outfielders!).

 

kdog posted:
To all of you who have requested the 4 man game and to all who have emailed me I think you for your positive comments. I see you love the practice segment as.much as the kids in my program do. Try to use it in off season class next fall. Rotate the groups every seven minutes and you will be surprised how much work you will get in. Best of luck this season. I'll post some more practice ideas later.

I'd love to have a copy of this! joeykil@gmail.com  thanks for posting.

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