1 HUDSON BOOSTER CLUB Hudson Boosters JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS LIST
2 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS AND CONCEPTS JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 1 The skills and concepts listed are the minimum skills that a person coming out of each program should possess. This list is not meant to limit the amount of skills that can be taught and demonstrated, rather, it is meant to provide a base of instruction for coaches. TEACHING SKILLS When you introduce a new skill, you should practice the IDEA method. I Introduce the skill. Explain what you re trying to accomplish D Demonstrate the skill. E Explain the mechanics of the skill. A Activate the drill that reinforces the skill. HITTING SKILLS Stance / Swing Hitting the Pitch Bunting BASE RUNNING SKILLS Base running rules Proper running techniques Sliding FIELDING SKILLS General Information Set Position Fielding Catching Throwing Infield Skills Infield Positions Outfield Skills Catcher Position PITCHING SKILLS Throwing Wind up and Delivery Fielding after the throw
3 HITTING SKILLS Stance: Proper bat size Stand so that bat can reach the far side of Home plate Feet apart at a comfortable distance Swing Eyes on the ball Step towards the pitcher on the swing, drive with back leg. Keep both hands on the bat during the follow-through Level swing Hitting the Pitch Inside pitch - Pull the ball down the line Middle pitch - Hit straight away Outside pitch - Drive to opposite field Bunt (Sacrifice) Move upper hand towards end of bat Square to the pitcher during wind-up Know where to bunt on any situation JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 2 BASE RUNNING SKILLS Base running rules LISTEN TO THE COACH After hitting the ball: Locate ball half way to 1st base Overrun 1st base on a hit to the infield "Flaring out" on a base hit half way to 1st base Rounding the base on a base hit Touching the inside of the bases when going extra bases On base: Breaking off the base when the pitch crosses home plate Know when you are and are not forced to run on a ground ball Do not let the ball hit you while on the base path Going half way on a fly ball Tagging up on a fly ball Crouch slightly with one foot on the base, the other in a direct line to the next base Keep eyes on the outfielder Make a fake towards the next base if you don t intend to go all the way to try to force a bad throw.
4 BASE RUNNING SKILLS (Cont.) JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 3 Sliding Slide to opposite side of the throw (Outside of base from catcher, Inside of base from outfield) Keep eyes on base when sliding Keep arms and hands raised when sliding Player should slide on their butt, not hip or side of leg Types of slides: Bent leg - To quickly get up on a wild throw, or if going too fast to stop at a base Take off on either leg One leg is extended, the other is bent under. Weight is absorbed on the butt, not hip or leg. The foot of the extended leg catches the base, and the body momentum plus the straightening of the bent leg enables the runner to stand. Hook - To avoid a tag, right and left (Right Side) Take off on the Left foot, the body falls to the right side, Butt takes weight Both legs extended, toes pointed Left toe catches the outside of the base. Body slide to the right side of the base in a flat position (If left leg is bent, you travel a longer distance) Head first - DO NOT TEACH (Illegal in Booster Recreational program) FIELDING SKILLS General All fielders should know the following information before each pitch: Number of outs If there are any base runners If it's a bunt situation If it's a steal situation Where to throw the ball BEFORE it comes to you Set Position Feet about shoulder distance apart with toes pointing slightly outward, knees bent slightly Hands hang down inside the legs, with the palm of the glove facing the batter On the pitch, should rock slightly forward
5 FIELDING SKILLS (Cont.) Fielding Get directly in front of a bouncing ball (charge the ball if possible) Keep eyes on the ball Legs spread, buttocks low, and hands away from the body Look ball into glove, cover with bare hand Play the hop Short hop - catch ball just as it comes off of the ground High hop - catch ball at the peak of the hop JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 4 Throwing Throw the ball about letter high. Always look where you are throwing Crow-hop to get feet in proper throwing position Take only 1 step before you throw Use a snap throw, and follow through Infield Skills Covering a base on a throw from another player Straddle the base Lay the glove down in front of the base, the back side facing the runner Let the base runner slide into the glove Cutoff position Covering the base: Straddle the base Direct the cut off player where to stand for the cut off in a loud voice Direct the cut off player where to throw the ball Receiving the cut-off throw from the outfielder: Listen to the player covering the base for direction Raise both hands in the air as a target for the throw Spin in the direction of the glove when throwing to the base RUN the ball into the infield if there is no throw to make Run down play Always try to run the runner back to the previous base Hard, accurate throws After throwing, pass the runner on your glove side, and cover the base. Know how to adjust to the hitters (Left handed vs. Right handed, Slow vs. Fast swing)
6 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 5 FIELDING SKILLS (Cont.) Infield Positions 1st Base Shift method of taking a throw from another fielder Straddle the base Place the heel of your left foot against the home-plate side of 1st base. Place the heel of your right foot against the outfield side of 1st base If ball is thrown to your left, take a hop to your left, placing the toe of your left foot where your right heel was. Stretch for the throw If ball is thrown to your right, take a hop to your right, placing the toe of your right foot where your left heel was. Stretch for the throw. If necessary, leave the base for a throw. More important to catch the ball than to stay on the base. Catch pop flies in an area between 1st base, catcher, and pitcher. 2nd Base Approaching the base for a force-out Fast start towards the base. Two or three strides from base, slow up and get under control Receiving ball on double play Step off 2nd base towards the inside of the diamond with the right foot Transfer weight to the right foot, Throw to 1st base with left foot pointing towards 1st base. Pop flies - Cover area from behind 2nd base to behind 1st base. Shortstop Approaching the base for a force-out Fast start towards the base. Two or three strides from base, slow up and get under control Receiving ball on double play Loop around 2nd base, and receive throw with both feet on the outfield side of 2nd base, facing 1st base. Step off 2nd base towards the inside of the diamond with the right foot Transfer weight to the right foot, Throw to 1st base with left foot pointing towards 1st base. Pop flies - Cover area from behind 2nd base to behind 3rd base. Has precedence on any flies in the infield. Gives way to outfielder when outfielder calls the ball. 3rd Base Position determined by batter/pitcher. Slow pitcher or fast swing, guard the line. Fast pitcher or slow swing, play off of the line. Cut off any slow ground balls hit towards the shortstop Catch pop flies in an area between 3rd base, catcher, and pitcher. Gives way to outfielder when outfielder calls the ball. Outfield Skills Backing up the infield All outfielders move on every play to back up either the infield or another outfielder Throwing to the cutoff ALWAYS throw to the cut off player in the infield. Know how to adjust to the hitters (Left handed vs. Right handed, Slow vs. Fast swing)
7 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 6 FIELDING SKILLS (Cont.) Catcher Position Stance Rise up somewhat from a squat position, and be as close to the batter as possible. Feet spread apart with the right foot slightly behind the left foot Throwing hand hidden behind the right leg Glove (Target) held still until the pitch is thrown Throwing Take 1 step only when throwing Snap throw General Can block home plate only if you have the ball On a pop fly, Hockey style helmet Keep on head, do not attempt to take off. Helmet/mask - Hold onto the mask with the bare hand until you know where the ball will land, then throw the mask the opposite way PITCHING SKILLS Throwing Grip the ball on the seams, using a grip that feels comfortable Hold the ball firmly, but not too tight 3 pressure points on the ball: Thumb, Index finger, and Middle finger. Wind up and Delivery Start with a comfortable stance Pivot foot is on or in front of the pitching rubber Use a small rocker step with your non-pivot foot to get to the balance position Balance position: Knee waist high or higher, pivot foot slightly bent and body straight (balanced) before forward throwing motion. Pitcher should be able to hold the balance position for a length of time. Push off of pivot foot, keeping the eyes on target throughout the entire delivery Follow through with throw Pitches Vary your speed Concentrate on throwing strikes before working on secondary pitches Grip ball loosly for a change-up Change-up pitch used for aggressive hitters only. Do NOT throw curve balls at this age. Fielding after the throw Break to 1st base on any ball that is hit to the right side of the infield Cover 1st base by running parallel to the baseline, not across it Back up bases by at least 30 feet if possible Cover home base on a passed ball
8 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 7 Hudson Boosters JUNIOR LEAGUE DRILLS
9 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 8 HITTING TEAM HITTING 1. Have 2-3 of the players form a single line to the side of Home plate, the others in the field. Hitting line should be wearing batting helmets. 2. As each player steps up to hit, have them hold the bat out to the side to check for proper size. Then help the player get into the proper batting stance. 3. Let each player have about 5 hits. Before each pitch, Coach should yell to fielders to "Get in the SET position". (See Set Position on Skills sheet) 4. Have the fielders throw the ball to a designated base. (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) 5. On the last hit, have the player run all the way past first base. Hitter then goes to the field, and a fielder goes to the end of the hitting line. NOTE: For less standing around in practice, it is often best to have a hitting drill and a fielding drill go on at the same time. Hitting drill can be done with as few as 5 players (1-hitter, 4 fielders), and does not need to be done in the infield. Switch players from hitting drill to fielding drill.
10 HITTING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 9 1-PLAYER DRILL 1. Use whiffle balls for this drill. 2. Hitter stands next to a fence or backstop. Make sure that the hitter has a helmet on. 3. Hitter throws the ball up in the air, and hits the ball against the fence. 4. Promotes hand-eye coordination for younger players, and helps to get many swinging repetitions for older players. NOTE: Hitting drills against a fence, backstop, or hitting cage should use whiffle balls for safety.
11 HITTING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 10 SOFT TOSS 1. Use a Reduced Injury Factor (RIF) or Whiffle ball for this drill if hitting against a fence, a regular ball if hitting into the field. 2. Players into groups of 2. Both players with batting helmets on. 3. Have hitter stand facing a fence or backstop (Can use opposite side of backstop from a hitter standing at home plate.. Hitter should take normal stance 4. Have partner kneel alongside the hitter, making sure that they are far enough away from hitter so the bat will not hit them on a swing. 5. Have the partner softly toss a ball into the strike zone. Hitter swings and drives the ball into the fence. (Can also be used to practice bunting. 6. After a set number of swings, change positions. VARIATION: To make Soft Toss a station within a hitting practice, you can hit into the field. Players field the hit and throw to the # 3 fielder, who puts balls into a bucket. Rotate positions clockwise (H to 1, 1 to 2, 2 3, 3 to H) in the field. Player 3 brings bucket to coach and gives to the new #3 fielder. Note: It is very important that caution be used in this drill, and that all players be aware of potential hazards.
12 HITTING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 11 PEPPER DRILL 1. Hitter lines up against a backstop or fence, facing the fielders. 2. Fielders form a semi-circle around the hitter. 3. Fielder with ball throws the ball to the batter, making sure the throw goes into the strike zone. (Throws should be 1/2 speed or less). 4. Hitter hits the ball hard enough to reach the fielders on one-hop, but not so hard as to hit line drives or fly balls over the fielders heads. Hitter should rotate the hit to the different fielders. 5. After a set period of time, or a set number of hits, have the players rotate positions.
13 HITTING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 12 BUNTING DRILL 1. Hitter lines up against a backstop or fence, facing the Pitcher. 2. Pitcher lines up with the bunter. 3. Pitcher throws the ball to the batter, making sure the throw goes into the strike zone. (Throws should be 1/2 speed or less). 4. Hitter gets into bunting stance on the throw. Bunt should be aimed at pre-set targets down the first base line and third base line. 5. After a set period of time, or a set number of bunts, have the players rotate positions.
14 HITTING BASERUNNING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 13 TEE BALL SCRIMMAGE OFFENSE & DEFENSE SITUATIONS Split team into equal numbers. One team on offense, one team on defense. Defense may not have all positions covered. (Recommend not having a pitcher or catcher) Place tee behind home plate. 1. Offensive team takes turns hitting ball off of the tee and running the bases. Offensive team gets 6 outs per inning. After 6 outs, teams switch. 2. Both teams play game situations. Runners stay on base and advance as in a real game. Defense must recognize situation, and make plays at the proper bases. VARIATION: Instead of using a tee, coach can throw soft toss to hitter.
15 BASE RUNNING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 14 BASE RUNNING 1. Line players up at Home plate. Have them run to and past 1st base. 2. Same as #1, but the runner then goes back to the base, and runs to 2 nd base when the next runner goes to 1 st base. Runners then advance to the next base when the following runners go to 1 st base. 3. Same as 1, but have the coach tell them to run to 2nd base (No overrunning). After a couple of series, mix up directions. Have some run to 2nd, some stay at 1st. 4. Have 2 lines of players, one at Home and one at 2nd. On coaches signal, runners at Home run to 2 nd base, and runners at 2 nd base run to home.
16 BASE RUNNING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 15 ROUND (FLARE) ON BASE HIT Before beginning this drill, coach needs to explain and demonstrate a runner flaring out on the way to 1 st base after a base hit. 1. Line players up at Home plate. On signal from coach, players run to and PAST 1 st base. 2. After 2 or 3 times going to first, players flare ½ way down the line, goes about ¼ way towards 2 nd base, and return to 1 st base. 3. Place a coach in 1 st base coaching box. If coach yells HIT, the runner flares in foul territory to round the base. If coach yells THROW, the runner goes to and past 1 st base. VARIATION: Round the base (flare) and return. Runners at Home, 1 st base, and 2 nd base. On coach s signal, runner from Home rounds 1 st base to about ¼ of the way to 2 nd, then hustles back to 1 st. Runner on 1 st base does the same at 2 nd base. Runner at 2 nd base rounds 3 rd base and runs to Home plate.
17 BASE RUNNING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 16 SLIDING DRILL These drills are designed to be done on the outfield grass. 1. All players remove their shoes and sit on the grass. Alternate placing one leg straight and the other in the bent-leg tucked position a. By putting hands behind themselves while in the sitting position, they push their body forward on the grass. b. Here they are getting used to the position and finding out which side is comfortable. Sliders can be left or right so far as which side is more comfortable in the sliding position. 2. All players from a standing position practice the fall into the bent-leg slide Player should concentrate on landing and direction, getting their hands in the air, and getting the bent-leg tucked in underneath. 3. All players practice from a standing position with three walking steps. Players that are comfortable on either side should practice both; however, others should perfect their best side first. 4. Players form into 3 lines about 20 ft. from a base or other marker. On coach s signal, the first runner in each line runs toward the base and executes a slide. Coach makes sure that players are sliding properly.
18 BASE RUNNING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 17 PRIMARY & SECONDARY LEADS 1. Pitcher on mound. Catcher behind plate, rest of the players line up at 1 st base. 2. On the release of the throw (Softball) or when the ball crosses Home (Boys Rec.), the runner takes a lead, then goes to back of line. NOTE: Stress importance of getting off the base at the correct time based on league rules. FOR LEAGUES THAT ARE ALLOWED TO LEAD OFF BEFORE THE PITCH 1. Add a 1 st baseman covering the base. Pitcher takes sign from catcher and goes into the stretch position as runner at 1 st base takes primary lead. 2. If runner is too far off of 1 st base, pitcher makes a ½ speed throw to 1 st base to get runner back to the base. 3. After a couple of rounds, the pitcher will either (1) try to pick off runner or (2) throw home. If throw goes home, runner takes secondary lead. NOTE: This is also a good time to teach the proper way for a pitcher to throw to a base and to institute a Catcher s Call on pick off plays where the Catcher signals the Pitcher to throw to 1 st base.
19 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 18 FIELDING BASICS You may find some of your players need to work on the basics of catching and throwing. This is a good drill for those players. 1. Coach separates the players into small groups. Each group stands about 5 feet from a coach. Player gets in the SET position. Coach throws ball that has to be caught with fingers up (above the waist). Stress 2- HANDS. Player throws ball back to coach. Coach makes sure that proper throwing technique is used. 2. Same as 1, but coach throws ball that has to be caught with fingers down (below the waist) 3. Same as 2, but coach throws ground balls to the players. The player should be positioned so that they are centered on the ball, not catching it off to one side. Coach should throw to Left and Right of each player to get them to move to center themselves.
20 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 19 2-LINE DRILL 1. Players get into 2 lines, facing each other, about 5 feet apart. 2. Players in line B get into the proper fielding position. Feet apart, knees bent, hands between the legs. 3. Players in line A rolls the ball to opposite player. Players in line B field the ball and assumes the proper throwing position, but does not throw the ball. 4. Line A then gets into the proper fielding position, and repeat the drill. 5. After 5 chances, move the lines farther apart and continue. For older players, have them start to throw the ball to the other line.
21 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 20 COMBINATION DRILL Players get into 2 lines, facing each other, about 5 feet apart (Important to also keep players in same line apart from one another). Try to get players of same skill level as partners. Check players for good throwing mechanics. 1. WARM UP: Players start off by tossing ball back and forth at ½ speed. As they start to get warmed up, throw at ¾ speed. 2. QUICK HANDS. Ball in hands of the players in Line B. Players throw to each other at full speed. Receiving player tries to get the ball out of his glove and throw to the other player as fast as possible. Be sure to check for proper footwork on throw. You can make a game of this by having the pairs count the number of times player in Line A receives the ball in a given time period. 3 LONG TOSS. Players in Line A move back about 10 feet on coach s command. Continue to back up Line A until the pair cannot accurately throw to one another. Some pairs may be further apart than others. From here, you can position them for the Cut-Off drill below.
22 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 21 MULTIPLE COACH DRILL 1. Coach separates players into 2 groups. 1 group lines up at 2nd base, the other at Shortstop player from the group gets in the "set" position, and the coach hits a ground ball. The other players back up the fielder. 3. Player catches the ball, and throws to the catcher by the coach. VARIATION For older players, have the players line up at 1st, 2nd, SS, and 3rd base. Each coach hit to two positions. This gives the players fielding practice at their assigned positions.
23 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 22 AROUND THE HORN DRILL 5 players - all infield positions except for pitcher. 1. Ball starts with the catcher and throws to 3 rd base to simulate a steal throw to 3 rd base. 2. 3rd baseman throws a grounder to 2 nd baseman who fields the ball and flips it to the SS covering 2 nd base. SS should not move until ball is thrown to the 2 nd baseman. 3. The SS throws to 1 st base to complete a double play. 4. The 1st baseman throws to catcher to simulate a runner trying to score at home. After 2 or 3 rounds, players rotate positions. Keep rotating until all players have played all positions
24 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 23 COVERING YOUR BASE 5 players - all infield positions except for pitcher. Bucket by 3 rd base. 1. Coach hits ground ball to 3 rd baseman, who throws to 1 st base. 1 st baseman throws to catcher, who then throws to 3 rd baseman covering 3 rd base. SS backs up throw. 3 rd baseman then puts ball into bucket. 2. Coach hits ground ball to the SS who throws to 1 st base. 1 st baseman throws ball to catcher, who then throws ball to 2 nd base being covered by SS and backed up by 2 nd baseman. SS throws to 3 rd baseman covering base, and puts ball into bucket. 3. Coach hits ground ball to the 2 nd baseman who throws to 1 st base. 1 st baseman throws ball to catcher, who then throws ball to 2 nd base being covered by 2 nd baseman and backed up by SS. 2 nd baseman throws to 3 rd baseman covering base, and puts ball into bucket. 4. Coach hits ground ball to the 1 st baseman who throws to 3 rd base. 3 rd baseman throws ball to catcher, who then throws ball to 1st base. 1 st baseman throws to 3 rd baseman covering base, and puts ball into bucket. After 2 or 3 rounds, players rotate positions. Keep rotating until all players have played all positions
25 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 24 BOX DRILL Players formed into a square, mimicking the bases. For the first series, the square should be close together (based on age) and then spread the box out as players become successful at the shorter distance. For older players, you can start about ½ the length of the base path and then extend to the full base path length. 1. Players throw ball around square. 1 throws to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and 4 back to 1. Stress accuracy and footwork. 2. Same as above but have the players catch the ball like a first baseman. 3. Same as above, but have the players make a tag as if a runner is coming into the base. NOTE: For more fun, divide your team into groups of 4. On signal from coach, see which group can complete a rotation or a set number of rotations in the fastest time.
26 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 25 FIELDING SHORT HOP 1. Use a whiffle ball for this drill. 2. Player lines up in fielding position, other players backing up the fielder. 3. Coach throws the ball to the fielder so that it will be a short hop to field. 4. After 5-10 tries, switch players. VARIATION: Have players straddle a base, and catch short hops like a 1st baseman.
27 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 26 FIELDING FOOTBALL CATCH 1. Players line up, facing the coach at a designated spot. 2. Coach throws (or hits) the ball to the right or left of the fielder 3. Fielder catches ball over shoulder on the run, or turns and sets if they can get to the ball soon enough. 4. Player throws ball back to the coach and goes to the end of the line. 5. First time through the line, all players go to their left. Next time through the line, all players go to the right. After that, change up going left or right. Note: For older players, and if one is available, the use of a pitching machine helps to emulate a ball that is hit behind a fielder. Shaded areas are the locations that a ball should be hit/thrown into. Make sure to emphasize calling for the ball by the 2 fielders trying to catch the ball.
28 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 27 MOVEMENT 1. Use a whiffle ball for this drill. 2. Player takes a defensive position between 2 cones or markers. 3. Coach or other player tries to hit or throw the ball past the fielder, between the cones. 4. Defensive player must stop the ball from going past him. Stress blocking the ball and diving for ball. 5. After 10 tries, switch players. VARIATION: Have players keep count of throws or hits past the fielder between the cones. Winner is fielding with the least amount of balls past the player.
29 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 28 PITCHER - FIRST 1. Ball gets hit to the right of the 1st baseman. 2. Pitcher runs diagonally to the baseline, about 10 feet in front of the base. Then pitcher runs parallel to the baseline to 1st base. Pitcher should never cross the baseline into foul territory. 3. 1st baseman underhand the ball to the pitcher, who runs to and past 1st base. VARIATION: Double Play 1. 1st baseman throws to shortstop covering 2nd base. 2. Shortstop steps on base, throws to pitcher covering 1st base. Pitcher covers 1st base the same as above.
30 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 29 RUN-DOWN (HOT BOX/PICKLE) 1. Players at 1st base, 2nd base, and Shortstop positions. 1st baseman has the ball. 2. Runner stands about 10 feet off of 1st base. 3. 1st baseman chases runner until the runner is about 1/3 of the way to 2nd base. Then throws to the shortstop covering 2nd base. 1st baseman then FOLLOWS THE THROW to cover 2nd base. 2nd baseman covers 1st when 1st baseman leaves. 4. Shortstop runs the runner back towards 1st base. Tries to tag out the runner. Can use fake throws to get the runner. If runner continues on to 1st base, the Shortstop throws to the 2nd baseman who is covering 1st base. Shortstop FOLLOWS THE THROW to cover 1st base. 5. 2nd baseman chases the runner towards 2nd base, which is now being covered by the 1st baseman. 6. Continue chasing and switching positions until the runner is tagged out. NOTE: Stress that fielders FOLLOW THE THROW and back up the base. Try to get the runner back to the previous base.
31 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 30 CUT-OFF THROW 1. Players line up in a line, about 20 feet apart, all facing the first player, with their hands up in the cut-off position. 2. First player throws to the 2nd player, who receives the throw, pivots to the side of the glove, and throws to the next player in line. 3. When the last player receives the ball, he pivots and fakes the throw. 4. Players then go through the same drill, starting with the last player back to the first. 5. After 5 or so times, spread the players farther apart. VARIATION: Have 2 lines, and make a contest out of which line can complete the drill the fastest, using accuracy and proper technique be the guidelines for success.
32 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 31 CUT-OFF PLAY 1. Outfielder gets set to catch a ball (Fly or Ground ball). Rest of the outfielders are backing up the player. 2. Coach hits the ball, fielder catches the ball, and throws to the cut off player. 3. Cut off player pivots towards the side of the glove, and throws to the player straddling the base. 4. Infielder positions cut off player, and catches the ball. 5. Repeat process, and then have the players rotate positions.
33 FIELDING JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 32 CUT-OFF POSITIONS (Dark circle is the coach) A. Ball hit to Right field 1. Right fielder catches the ball, throws to cut off. 2. Center fielder backs up the right fielder 3. Left fielder backs up the throw to 2nd base. 4. 2nd Baseman takes the cut off throw 5. Shortstop directs cut off, and takes throw to base B. Ball hit to Right-Center field 1. Center fielder catches the ball, throws to cut off. 2. Right fielder backs up the center fielder 3. Left fielder backs up the throw to 2nd base. 4. 2nd Baseman takes the cut off throw 5. Shortstop directs cut off, and takes throw to base C. Ball hit to Left-Center field 1. Center fielder catches the ball, throws to cut off. 2. Right fielder backs up the throw to 2nd base. 3. Left fielder backs up the center fielder 4. Shortstop takes the cut off throw 5. 2nd baseman directs cut off, and takes throw to base D. Ball hit to Left field 1. Left fielder catches the ball, throws to cut off. 2. Center fielder backs up the left fielder 3. Right fielder backs up the throw to 2nd base. 4. Shortstop takes the cut off throw 5. 2nd baseman directs cut off, and takes throw to base
34 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 33 MULTIPLE STATION PRACTICE 3-STATION PRACTICE It is better to have multiple stations rather than have players standing around during a practice. In this example, we have 3 stattions: Hitting, grounders, and fly balls. Players should rotate from station to station as a group rather than leave a station individually. Multiple Station Practice Coach Catch Grounders 1. Hitting: One player hits while the rest fields the hits. You can position the players in the outfield rather than the infield for this drill. When all players have hit, rotate to the next station. Coach Fly Balls Catch Hitter Coach 2. Grounders/Catch: Coach lines players up and hits/throws grounders to each player. Coach concentrates on fielding form and throwing motion. 3. Fly balls/catch: Coach lines players up and hits/throws pop flies to the fielders. Concentrate on getting under the ball and using two hands to catch a fly ball.
35 SAMPLE PRACTICE PLAN (1 ½ HOUR) JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 34 Practice is where the players learn the fundamentals of baseball/softball. It is the part of coaching that many find the most enjoyable. It s a time when you as coach become teacher and mentor. Over the years, we have found that the most successful coaches are the ones that are organized. They show up at practices with a practice schedule in hand, and show up at the games with an inning by inning schedule of what players will be in what positions. Tips for conducting a successful practice 1. Keep practice FUN for the players. 2. Have an organized practice. 3. Get the parents to help. Most are willing to help when asked. 4. Use multiple stations during practice 5. At this level, stick to the fundamentals of the game Remember to use the IDEA method of instruction when presenting the drills. I Introduce the skill. Explain what you re trying to accomplish D Demonstrate the skill. E Explain the mechanics of the skill. A Activate the drill that reinforces the skill. 5:30 5:35 Coach welcomes players Ask parents to help out at practice 5:35 5:45 Running drills whole team (this gets some of the energy out of them so they ll be more receptive to instruction) Home to 1 st (overrun) Runners stay on 1 st and then advance to next base when next runner goes to 1 st. 5:45 5:50 Divide team into 3 groups for station drills. This is where you need the parents to help out. The more the merrier. Station 1 Infield area Station 2 Left field area Station 3 Right field area 5:50 6: 40 Station Drills 15 minutes per station and then rotate (Review Skills list with coach at each station) Station 1 Hitting (use parents as shaggers) Station 2 Fielding basics o Hands up Hands down drill o Teach fundamentals of throwing Station 3 Fielding drills o Playing catch o Throwing pop fly balls 6:40 6:55 Bring team back together for infield drill (2 coach infield drill) Players throw to parent catching for coach (or coach hits with glove on and throw to coach) 6:55 7:00 Bring team back together to tell them Next practice/game When/where Encouragement
36 JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 35 5:30 5:40 Stretching and warm-up exercises DEFENSIVE PRACTICE (1 ½ Hour) 5:40 6:10 Throwing Drills 5:40 5:45 Simple toss, 1 line on baseline, other line on grass 5:45 5:50 Quick hands 5:50 6:00 Long toss 6:00 6:10 Cut-off 6:10 6:15 Team meeting Discuss goal of practice Coach talk 6:15 6:35 Infield Drills 6:15 6:25 2-Line 6:25 6:35 Position 6:35 6:55 Outfield Drills (3 stations, 5 minutes each) 1. Catching fly balls in outfield 2. Cut Off play 3. Right-Left 6:55 7:00 Gather, Coach talk, and put equipment away OFFENSIVE PRACTICE (1 ½ Hour) 5:30 5:40 Stretching and warm up 5:40 5:50 Running Drills (2 Lines) 1. Home to 1 st (Overrun and key turn) and 1 st - 3 rd (jog back to home after stopping at 3 rd ) 2. Round base and return. Runners start at Home, 1 st, and 2 nd. 5:50 6:00 Team meeting 6:00 6:55 Hitting Drills (4 stations 12 minutes each) 1. Live hitting 2. Bunting 3. Soft Toss 4. Pepper or Tee work 6:55: - 7:00 Gather, Coach talk, and put equipment away
37 SAMPLE GAME DAY LINE-UP SHEET JUNIOR LEAGUE SKILLS 36 The Hudson Boosters highly recommend filling out line-up sheets before every game and post it on the backstop by the bench so that everyone can see it. A blank copy of this form can be downloaded from the Coaching Baseball tab on the Hudson Booster web page. Format can be in either Excel (.xls-preferred) or in.pdf format. Benefits of having a printed or written line-up sheet: Players know (or a parent can show) where a player will be playing each inning. Speeds up the game because coach doesn t need to try to figure out where everyone is playing between innings. Helps insure that the coach abides by the playing rules Helps insure that the players will be rotated to different positions Allows parents to see where son/daughter has played or will be playing for the game. INNING BATTING ORDER Pitcher PEYTON PEYTON LOU LOU AARON GABE 1 Zane B Catcher JACKSON JACKSON PETER PETER PEYTON PETER 2 Bennett S 1st Base LOU GABE GABE BENNETT LOU LOU 3 Lou S 2nd Base ZANE PETER ETHAN NICK CARL NICK 4 Nick F Shortstop GABE BENNETT JACKASON PEYTON GABE AARON 5 Peyton H 3rd Base JOE Aaron BENNETT JOE BENNETT ZANE 6 Carl T Left field CARL ZANE CARL ZANE NICK JACK 7 Gabe R Center field ETHAN JOE Aaron JACK JACKSON ETHAN 8 Ethan H Right field JACK NICK JACK ETHAN JOE CARL 9 Peter H 10 Jackson S Sitting Bennett Lou Zane Carl Zane Bennett 11 Jack VH Nick Carl Nick Gabe Ethan Peyton 12 Aaron Q Peter H Ehtan Peyton Jackson Peter Jackson 13 Joe B Aaron Jack Joe Aaron Jack Joe LF CF 3B SS P 2B RF C 1B
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