I can’t help but crack a smile when discussing Free Youth Baseball Drills, because I can’t imagine anybody charging money for the knowledge, but obviously I’m the weird one.
Now I have that off my chest, let me teach you a few drills and techniques.
When we think of drills, our mind’s eye sees repetitive physical movements, catching 50 ground balls or a 100 fly balls, but that’s not allows the case. Sometimes a drill, which is synonymous with learning, is simply teaching players what to do in a particular situation.
On Deck and Free Youth Baseball Drills
I’d venture to say 99% of young ball players believe that their only duty while being on deck is to swing bats and mentally prepare themselves to hit next. This assumption is so far from the truth.
Runner Trying to Score From Second Base on a Hit to Left Center:
If while on deck the hitter hits a line drive to left center field, which a runner from second base is going to attempt to score on, and it’s quite possible there will be a play at the plate.
Free Youth Baseball Drills: - On Deck
(1.) First and foremost, resist the urge to stand there and watch the play unfold, you have a job to do.
(2.) You immediately run out and grab or kick the hitter’s bat out of the way of home plate in order to avoid a player getting injured from either sliding into it or stepping on it and falling, as either can produce severe injuries.
You must be careful doing this as you can not restrict or interfere with any player, therefore if the bat’s laying on the plate, let it lay. There’s nothing you can do, but if there is, move the bat.
(3.) Position yourself behind and near the plate at an angle where the runner rounding third base can see you, but not close enough to interfere with any action. From this position you have the advantage of seeing the throw coming in from the outfield, and your teammate approaching the plate. This is an advantage the runner doesn’t have because his back is to the play and he has no idea where the baseball is.
Free Youth Baseball Drills:
Coaching From The On Deck Circle -
(4.) You will assume the role of Coach and It’s imperative you communicate to the runner what he should do as he approaches home plate.
A. If you see there will be no play at the plate because the throw is cut off, so far off line there will be no play, or too feeble a throw, let the runner know by moving your arms up in air like a referee signaling a touchdown.
This signal simply means “Stand Up” and let’s the runner know he doesn’t have to slide, which eliminates the chance of a freak accident and injury.
This on deck responsibility pertains to this same situation regardless of which field the ball is hit to, although the runner may try to take a quick peek at a throw from right field, chances are he may not pick up the ball and he definitely does not want to do anything which may slow him down.
Middle Infield Communication and Free Youth Baseball Drills
I can never stress communication enough and if you get tired of hearing it, one game situation blunder because of poor communication between players will change your mind.
When there’s a runner on first base, regardless of the number of outs, the 2nd baseman and shortstop must communicate who will cover second on a steal attempt. In the younger ages it’s pretty standard, a right hand hitter ..the 2nd baseman covers the bag. Left hand hitter the shortstop covers the bag.
This routine is established by playing the percentages that most batters will try and pull the ball, so there’s No real intrigue on who covers the base on a steal attempt.
However, the older you become the more complicated things become. Should you have a right handed batter up, the 2nd baseman would normally cover, but in this particular case, you see the catcher is calling for fastballs away on a strict pull hitter. Chances are he’ll swing late, or being a pull hitter, hit the ball off the end of the bat to the right side of the infield, therefore the 2nd baseman will not cover, the shortstop will, but they must communicate this to one another or otherwise the runner on first may steal second and nobody’s at second to receive the catcher’s throw.
Which by the way will sail into center field because the catcher can’t wait to see if anyone’s at the base, he’s taught to immediately throw to the base.
Normally the shortstop will hide his face with his glove and signal the second baseman whether he will cover ( Mouth wide open) or the 2nd baseman will cover ( Mouth closed tight ), or any other signal they want to work out as long as they can conceal it from the other team.
Why worry about concealing the signal? A batter or coach could guess pitch location or type based on who is covering 2nd base, and there’s No since giving anyone the slightest advantage against you and your pitcher.
Where’s The Ball ? and Free Youth Baseball Drills
Of course everyone knows you must always know where the ball is at all times, but sometimes even the better players forget this simple rule.
The first baseman must be ready for a pick off throw from the pitcher anytime a runner is on first base, but some forget a pick off throw can come before or after the pitch.
I remember a minor league game in which this simple rule was forgotten.
I was playing right field, which is not unusual to play different positions in lower minor league play, when a base runner strayed a little too far off first base in his secondary lead and the catcher threw behind him, firing a strike to first base.
The runner was caught flat footed and too far off the base, an easy out, but … the Problem was the first baseman wasn’t watching and he didn’t know where the ball was, which was sailing into right field. Unfortunately, here’s my confession time. I was so astonished at what had just happened I hesitated going over to retrieve the ball, which allowed the runner to go all the way to third base.
Moral of the story:
(1.) Always know where the baseball is …
(2.) Don’t let anything surprise you in baseball … just react.
Free Youth Baseball Drills back to Baseball Skill Drills