HAYAA Baseball Coaching Clinic. 3) Emphasize teamwork/cheering on teammates/giving a good effort

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1 The Essentials of coaching youth baseball 1) Make the game FUN! 2) Learn the basics HAYAA Baseball Coaching Clinic 3) Emphasize teamwork/cheering on teammates/giving a good effort The more you can make the game fun, build confidence in players and instill camaraderie among teammates, the more effective you can be as a coach...because "Baseball is a game of failure". Instructional/Coach Pitch-Kid pitch Throwing/Playing catch Fundamentals of Throwing a baseball Fingers on top of the baseball Make an "L" with the throwing arm Glove arm should be bent in a 90 angle Glove arm extends toward the target as you throw Back foot steps in direction of target, front foot comes off ground moves toward target, arm comes forward, turn the torso/hips, glove comes in toward chest Glove side foot lands points toward target Chest moves toward the ground Back leg comes off ground Fundamentals of Catching a baseball Provide target for person throwing ball (somewhere around the upper chest area) When catching a ball that is right at you, face to waist, glove thumb pointing down When catching a ball that is above your face, to the left side of your body (if you are right-handed thrower) or right side of your body (if you are a left-handed thrower) catch ball with the thumb pointing up to the sky. When catching the ball above your head, thumb is pointing to the side. When catching the ball between the ground and below your waist, palm should be facing upward. Drills - 1) At instructional level - Coaches should play catch with players, 4 players per coach. Only 1 coach, have players make a circle, standing about 10-15feet away to start.

2 2) Make playing catch a team competition. Play catch with players until you make 10 catches. 3) Have players line up in 2 lines facing one another. The first player throws across from them, while calling out the players name. That player throws to the player that is diagonally across from them, while calling out there name. Continue down and back. 4) Play "500" by throwing balls in air or on ground. Players that field ball cleanly earn points. Fielding Ground Balls Fielder is in good ready position if, A) Player is looking in at the batter's box B) Knees are bent, butt is down C) Throwing hand is in glove out in front of player OR glove is down near ground palm up and throwing hand is to the side of the players body Balls hit right at the player Palm of the glove open and pointed upward, knees bent, butt down Glove should start on the ground (then move up if necessary), palm up, throwing hand on just above the glove For balls hit slightly to right or left of fielder, shuffle sideways to ball If ball is knocked down or gets away from fielder, when the ball stops moving, player should pick up ball with bare hand, then make the throw Drills - 1) Rolling ground balls straight at player from about feet away 2) Shuffle drill - coach rolls ball to left side of fielder, fielder bends knees, gets butt down, shuffles feet over to ball, flips ball back to coach, coach rolls ball to other side. Player moves back and forth for 30 seconds. 3) Ball is dead drill - Form lines of players in the infield positions and place a ball in front of each player in the line. Player gets in fielding position, goes to ball, picks it up barehanded and throws ball to first. Next player in the next line goes and so forth... Hitting Decide - Right-handed or left-handed? A) Position of the hands Line up "Knocking Knuckles" on the bat Hands should one on top of the other (on the handle of the bat)

3 Hands should be at the knob of the handle, unless bat is too heavy, then the player needs to choke up on the ball handle B) Batting stance Feet shoulder width apart Slight bend to the knees Front arm slightly bent Bat positioned comfortably between top of shoulder and chin, toward the back shoulder Back elbow should be comfortably placed Knob of the bat should be facing catcher C) Swing Front foot steps forward and toward the pitcher Hands move slightly backward Swing is started, hands move toward the front of the plate, hips begin to rotate (swing should be moving in a slightly downward direction toward the incoming ball) Back foot pivots toward pitcher (pretend you are squishing a bug with your back foot) At the point of contact, the top hand palm should be facing up, the bottom hand palm should be facing down Eyes should be looking at contact of ball and bat Contact is best made as the ball enters the middle half the of plate and the sweet spot of the bat Follow through should come upward and swing should finish high, belly button pointed at the pitcher. Other important hitting tips: A) Some hitters have a slightly upward swing when making contact with the ball. This is not bad, however coach should be aware of the back shoulder dropping. When the back shoulder drops, this will not provide good contact and ball is likely to be popped up or fouled off or both. B) Eliminate the phrase "Level swing" from the coaching vocabulary. Coaches say this because they want the hitter to keep from dropping their back shoulder. But really a level swing is not accurate, slight downswing or upswing is best. C) Train players to watch the ball come out of the pitchers hand. This will give them the most amount of time to see the pitch and decide if they want to hit it.

4 Drills - 1) Hitting off a tee. Obviously the instructional team will be doing this, but there isn't a better way to improve your ability to hit than working off a tee. Move players front foot closer to the front of the tee, so players can work on letting the ball travel farther into the hitting zone. You can also move the ball on the tee up or down, farther or closer to the hitter. Doing this will help the hitter deal with a variety of pitches, not just the ones thrown down the middle of the plate. 2) Soft toss. The coach standing on a 45 degree angle from the hitter should lightly toss a baseball (or whiffle ball) toward the player. Try to toss softly on a line drive. Ask the player to trying and pull the ball as they swing. This can help the hitter get the hips through the swing. 3) Whiffle ball toss. Stand 15 feet from the hitter. Throw whiffle balls to hitter. Multiple coaches can pitch to multiple hitters. Have non-hitting players catch and play the field behind you to retrieve balls. 4) Team batting practice. Use this as a last resort, as this takes a lot of practice time. Have a player hit from home plate. Other non-hitting players can be in the field. Usually giving a player 5 hits where on the last one they have to run it out as if it were a game, can keep players from getting too bored. If you have another coach or two, hit ground balls to fielders while you are swapping out hitters. 5) Use hitting stations. Depending on how many coaches are around, try and assign a coach to each drill station. After 5 mins, switch players to a new station. Pitching Read fundamentals on throwing. That provides a good foundation for understanding how to pitch. Pitching from the stretch This is typically easier to do, because there are a few less steps involved than pitching from the windup. A) Players throwing foot is parallel to the pitching rubber and against the rubber. B) Both glove hand and throwing hand come together about chest high. C) To start the motion, the front leg should come up so that the leg comes up to waist high. D) Once the front leg comes to the waist, the pitchers begins to separate the glove and the hand with the ball. E) As the leg begins to go toward the catcher, the thumbs go down. The throwing hand goes back to the "L" position with the ball pointing toward 2nd base. The glove arm starts in a 90 degree

5 angle then extends out toward the catcher as the pitcher throws. The front foot should land toward the target. The arm comes forward and the glove comes back toward the pitcher's chest. F) As the pitcher's hand comes forward, the player should release the ball and the back leg goes up in the air. The pitcher's chest ideally should be close to parallel to the ground on the follow through. The pitcher then becomes and infielder and should be in position to field the ball. Pitching from the Wind Up Add these steps first to pitching from the stretch... A) Pitcher faces target. Although there are many ways to begin, a good starting point for young players is to have the hand and glove together, holding the ball, out in front of the pitcher, about chest high. B) The player starts the windup by moving the glove side foot about 3 to 6 inches sideways. C) Then the pitcher moves the other foot parallel to the pitching rubber and pushes up against the rubber. D) The pitcher turns the hips, brings the front leg up to the waist and now they are in the "Stretch" position of pitching. Drills - 1) Modeling the motion. Have all players stand shoulder-to-shoulder facing you. Go through the entire pitching motion, one movement at a time. Every time you complete one movement, start over and add another one. After you have completed the entire motion. Have one player at a time show you the entire movement. While working with one, have the others continue to practice pitching from the wind up or stretch. 2) Have players practice pitching to you. Use a ball, and let them practice the movement. Throwing pitches during a practice is a good start. DO NOT HAVE PITCHERS THROW MORE THAN pitches at a time without a rest. If you want them to throw 30 pitches, have them throw 15, take a break get another pitcher throwing and then rotate back to them for another 15. 3) Towel drill. Have players face the back of a folding chair. Instead of a baseball, give the player a towel (hand towel works perfect). The pitcher will hold the towel like a baseball. As the player goes through the pitching motion, the player will try and hit the back of the chair with the towel (note-the chair should be far enough way so the player has to get his chest parallel to the ground in order to hit the chair). Boys Minors and Intermediate Other drills work not outlined in the Instructional/Kid Pitch-Coach Pitch section

6 Throwing/Catching 1) Four corners throwing - divide players up among the 4 bases. Starting at home, throw the ball to 1st, then 2nd, then 3rd, then home. Every time a player throws a ball, another player steps in to take the throw when it comes again to that base.--you can reverse the ball as well. Home to 3rd to 2nd to 1st to Home. 2) Have a competition. Pair up players. Players have to throw the ball to "Hit their partner in the chest". Every time their throw is accurate, the person catching the ball yells out "ONE". Then the next time a throw is in the target area that person yells out "TWO". Do this until you get to 10 or whatever number you decide. 3) Relay drill. Depending on the number of players you have create at least 2 lines (10 or less players) or 3 lines (l1-15 players). Each line should have players ft a part. Designate a player to be the starting point. Give each starting point player a ball. When you say go, the starting player throws the ball to the next player in line. When it gets to the end, have that player throw it back to the player who threw it to them. Down and back counts as one relay. Decide a head of time how many times who will go down and back. First team to finish the number decided by the coach wins. (Note--if a player makes a bad throw and the teammate cannot make the catch, the ball must go back to the player who made the bad throw and then continue). Fielding Grounders 1) drill -- Have a 1B, 2B, 3B, SS play their positions. The rest of the players are the runners. They will line up behind home plate. The coach hits routine ground balls from home plate to the infielders. Once the ball is struck, the first runner takes off for 1st base. The fielders get the ball and throw to 1B. If the runner is out, the infielders get a point. If the runner is safe, the runners get a point. The drill ends when the infielders get 12 outs before the runners are safe 10 times. Or if the runners are safe 10 times before the fielders get 10 outs (you can adjust the numbers any way you would like. The first few times doing this drill, is a good place to start). 2) Rapid fire grounders. Put one of players at SS, the other at 2B. Hit grounders to SS, then to 2B. After players have fielded the ball, have them put the ball in a 5 gallon bucket on/or close to 2B. When you are out of baseballs, have a player bring you the bucket and dump them out. This saves lots of time and allows for you to be efficient during your practice time. Hitting Drills 1) 2 tee work. Using two hitting tees, place on in front of the other. Using the tee closest to you, adjust the height to about 2 inches higher that the other one. Place a ball on the tee that is in front. The ball should be lower than the tee in the back. Now, have the player swing and hit the baseball. This will help the downward swing. (Note--you may have to make some adjustments to the tees, just make sure the ball on the front tee is lower than the back one.

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