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Barrington Little League

Barrington Little League

DIVISION A PRACTICE TEMPLATE

Meet – Talk about what you will do at practice today.

 5 MINUTES - WARM UP EXERCISES

  • Have each player sprint through first base. Then sprint through 2nd. Then 3rd and home.
  • Coach starts each player 5 secs apart running around bases, and players try to pass each other.
  • Make two lines at home and have pairs of kids race through first base.
    NOTE: Have them swing a fake bat (e.g., their glove), take a step, then drop it in a bucket on their way to 1st.
  • With players in catcher's squat position along 1st base line, have them hop forward on coach's signal. Continue across the infield.
  • Any other exercises or stretches you like

 15 Minutes - THROWING

Explain and emphasize proper technique all season long:

  • Grip ball with two (or three) fingers, thumb underneath with space between hand.
  • Emphasize that fingers must always be on top of the ball.
  • Demonstrate arm circle: down, around and up into an L-shape with hand above head.
  • Line up toes, knees, shoulders, and hands with target (8-eyes to target).
  • Turn feet, hips and throw.

One-knee Throwing Line players along 1st base line and throw to coaches (or a bucket placed toward Short stop)

  • Players start with glove knee up and throwing knee on ground and both feet lined up to target.
  • Players drag ball on ground from front knee around and up to make an L-shape arm position.
  • Hips and shoulders turn so elbows align with target.
  • Turn hips and shoulders and throw

Circle Toss

  • Align players in wide circle, facing coach.
  • Coach turns and points to a player in the ready position and tosses the ball.
  • Player catches ball with proper technique.
  • Player hops into throwing position with toes, knees, shoulders, and hands aligned with coach.
  • Player throws ball back to coach.

Play Catch

  • Players pair-up along the 1st or 3rd base line (one player on the line, the other 10' into the field).
  • Players throw to each other with proper footwork (8-eyes to target, turn and throw).
  • Coach helps players individually with their technique.
  • Players count how many catches they make in a row.

Pitcher's station

  • Take one player at a time to work with a coach.
  • Discuss pitching technique.
    • 8-Eyes to plate with ball in hand in glove.
    • Lift glove leg to be parallel to ground.
    • Slide-step glove leg forward as hands separate and body stays balanced over throwing leg.
    • Turn feet toward batter, turn shoulders and throw.
    •  
  • Practice throwing by breaking down each stage of pitch (e.g., learn to balance on one leg before adding the next step).
  • Practice full motion by throwing to a coach or at target.
Advanced:Crow hops

 

  • Players back-up to 10' and continue to throw.
  • When they can no longer reach, they start to use a crow-hop.
  • With glove foot forward, rear foot hops in front while hips and shoulders turn (8-eyes to target), then step, turn and throw.
  •  

 15 Minutes - GLOVE WORK

Describe glove/hand basics:

  • Above Waist: Windshield wiper arm motion. Catch with thumbs together
  • Below Waist: Catch with pinkies together
  • NOTE: Coach throws should be underhand or from knee so ball comes in low and flat.
  • Fly Balls: 10 fingers to sky, catch above and in front of forehead.

Bare-Hands Blocking Drill Use a bucket of tennis or sponge balls.

  • Throw ball to different locations above waist.
  • Block ball with catching hand fully open. (Don't push ball or catch it, just block it).
  • Throw balls more rapidly to establish reflexes.

Two-Hand Catching Drill Use a bucket of tennis or sponge balls.

  • Throw ball to different locations above and below waist.
  • Catch balls with two hands and drop.
  • Throw balls more rapidly to establish reflexes.

Fly-Ball Station

  • Players stand in a line an arm's length apart.
  • Coach points to player who gets ready with both hands above shoulders.
  • Coach throws ball.
  • ADVANCED: throw ball so that player catches while walking forward.

    Catcher's station using a bucket of balls

    • Take one or two players at a time in full catcher's gear.
    • Explain catching position (squatting, not sitting; throwing hand between butt and foot when squatting).
    • Explain how to catch balls (windshield wiper, receiving ball instead of reaching).
    •  
    • Discuss blocking balls in dirt instead of catching.
    • Then throw balls to different locations while correcting catching technique (drop balls in bucket).

     10 Minutes - GROUND BALLS

    Describe basic technique:

    • Relaxed position - glove on knee
    • Ready position -  hands out front
    • In-Play -  Creep step forward
    • Catching position -  glove hand on ground, butt down, throwing hand above glove like an alligator.
    • Reset

    Fielding on Knees (Encourages placing the glove on the ground and extending it forward)

    • Both knees on ground, glove on ground in front.
    • Coach rolls or lightly bounces ball.
    • Player catches ball with throwing hand on top.
    • Player places ball in bucket with throwing hand.
    • ADVANCED: run the same drill with players standing up and vary the direction and speed of the ball.

    Fielding from infield ready position

    • Make a line with one player at the edge of the 2nd base outfield grass and everyone else behind.
    • Player at front of line takes five steps forward and gets in ready position.
    • As coach starts to hit the ball, player creeps forward.
    • Coach hits ball softly and player runs in to catch it.
    • Variations:
      • Player runs and drops ball into bucket.
      • Player throws ball to coach (or player) at 1st base.
      • Put runners on base and throw to nearest force out base, or tag runner.
      • Line up players at SS and throw to 1B.

     15 Minutes - HITTING

    Demonstrate basic technique (and then cycle players among stations):

    • Knuckles (Knocking Knuckles Line Up)
    • Feet & Shoulders Straight to Plate and both pointing at the pitcher.
    • Bat on Shoulder
    • Legs Bent.  Belly button in front of toes
    • Elbows Down (Back elbow is never higher that their hands!)
    • Raise bat from shoulder (3-4 inches in front of arm pit and slightly back.  Bat points at plate)
    • Head never moves. Chin starts above front shoulder, ends above rear shoulder.
    • Discuss “Squish the Bug.”

    Batting T Station

    • Line up ball with front foot (not center of body).
    • Keep players close to the ball and require hip rotation and leading with butt of bat.
    • NOTE: resist urge to move players farther from the ball to make it easier to hit with barrel as this will create hard to break bad habits.
    • ALTERNATE: Instead of wiffle balls, use a dodge ball or soccer ball to encourage swinging through the ball.
    • ALTERNATE: Player holds bat behind back at waist level (hands behind bat facing forward) and swings with hips.

    Soft Toss Station

    • Using a bucket of balls and a screen if available (otherwise hit into the outfield).
    • With coaching sitting on opposite side of plate as batter, coach flips balls in air to batter.
    • Batter swings and coach corrects form breaks.

    Live pitching

    • Coach throws flat underhand pitches (or kneels down and throw flat overhand pitches).
    • Coach should use L-Screen and stand about halfway between home plate and pitcher's mound.
    • Coach watches for form problems while swinging.
    • ALTERNATE:If players step away from plate on pitch:
      • Use tennis balls to build confidence
      • Start with front leg away from plate and step toward plate on pitch.

     5 Minutes - FUN CLOSING

    End practice with a fun activity:

    • Hitting for distance competition.
    • Relay races.
    • Fly Ball contest (players are knocked out if they drop a ball).
    • Pitching contest (players take turns throwing at a ball on a T).
    • Last Man Catching (use sponge balls, coaches throw at players, player is out if they drop the ball).
    • Race to First. (Using a pitcher and 1st basemen. Roll ball to pitcher who must throw to 1st basemen before runner gets there).
    • Sprint around the bases. (Use a stopwatch and time each player around the bases, or break into teams and do a relay).

     5 Minutes - WRAP UP

    Kids and assistants pick up gear.  When done, everyone meets at 2nd base or right field– Hand out any paperwork. 

    *Always end your practice on time.


    Contact

    Barrington Little League
    P.O. Box 282 
    Barrington, Rhode Island 02806

    Email: [email protected]

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