Youth baseball: The best practice drills

Coaching a youth baseball team can be challenging. Personal experience has taught me that practice drills need to be fast and easy. Children have short attention spans and will get bored easily.

I recommend doing a variety of practice drills and changing them on a weekly basis. There are several sites that provide videos of practice drills, but many of them have to be modified to fit the needs of your youth baseball team.

A little leaguer bunting.

These are my top five practice drills for youth baseball:

Youth Baseball Drill for Concentration

This is a good practice drill for beginners on a youth baseball team. It is simple and will teach them to follow the ball during a game. First, one player goes to each base and the left and right field. Another player goes to the first base.

Then, the coach hits the ball to the right field. The runner on first base moves to the middle—between first and second base. He must watch the ball and determine if he should run to second base or remain at first. The runner returns to first if someone catches the ball, but he can run to second if no one catches it.

Youth Baseball Drill for Hitting

This baseball drill is good for learning to make quick hits and practicing hitting skills. One player on the youth baseball team stands 12 feet from a fence with the bat. Another player throws the ball underhanded while kneeling on one knee. The first player tries to hit as many balls as possible while maintaining proper form.

The goal of this practice drill is to hit fast.

Youth Baseball Drill for Throwing

The players separate into groups of two. Each group gets a ball. The two players stand about 10 feet apart. They practice throwing and catching the ball at this distance. Then, the distance between the two players is increased in increments of two feet. They continue throwing the ball, and the distance between them continues to grow. The goal of this practice drill is to increase the players' ability to throw at long distances.

For very young players on baseball teams, the distances may need to be shorter.

Youth Baseball Drill for Catchers

This practice drill teaches concentration and focusing on the baseball. It is very important that everyone wears proper safety equipment during this drill. Two players stand in front of the catcher. One player throws a ball into the air, and the second player throws a ball at the catcher. The catcher must try to get the ball thrown in the air.

The goal is for the players to learn how to follow a ball during a game.

Youth Baseball Drill for Sliding

The purpose of this drill is to practice running and sliding into bases. Some young players will hesitate during a baseball game and need to learn not to be afraid to slide. The players line up at first base. Each player takes turns running and sliding into second base. They should quickly get up and continue running to third base.

Additionally, they should slide into third base once they are close.

Everyone on the youth baseball team should practice this drill.

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Updated Friday, Mar 11, 2011