A Youth Baseball Practice Kids Will Love,and so will You

Your team will play like they practice. This age old saying is still true today. In the heat of battle, late in the game, or when they are tired or rattled, they will revert back to whatever skill level you have coached them to.

For example, if your practice regimen does not include a lot of footwork on grounders, during a rally inning against a good team, it will show with errors on routine plays. In the same scenario, if you don’t stress the importance of staying calm under pressure, or to stay positive and focused, your team may crumble.

If you neglect hitting practice in the preseason in favor of defense, your team may struggle offensively early. Or the opposite could be true. These are just examples of how your team may reflect your practice system. What most coaches don’t realize is that this also reflects your level of preparedness as a coach. You cannot suddenly demand your players to increase their concentration level at game time when you have not required it in practice.

At the same time, we do not want practice to be drudgery the team is going to dread. Practices should be instructive, competitive, and fun. Your coaching style is up to you, although I’m a proponent of being a builder. By a builder, I mean being more positive, encouraging your players, than negative and criticizing.

I don’t mean that a coach should never raise their voice or get excited. Youth baseball coaches should always show their enthusiasm in a positive manner, not by yelling negative comments. I want to be constantly urging my players on, telling them that they are good players. All your players do something well enough to warrant praise, you must find it, as a coach.

So all this talk about practice leads us to how to plan practices. This much is true. Good instructive practices are preplanned the majority of the time. This method takes time and imagination most coaches don’t have. Coaches can fall into the habit of using the same practice program over and over. This can lead to a loss of focus and boredom by your players.

Almost everybody likes some type of a variety, and baseball players especially youth baseball players, are no exception. Keeping your practices varied and fund will increase concentration and focus by your players. This in turn will lead to more productive practices. Productive practices lead to more productive game time performances. As stated earlier in the article these two things go hand in hand.

Good practice habits by coaches are the result of some pre planning .Have a couple of midwinter meetings with your coaches to go over what you want to accomplish in your late winter and early spring practices. Up north where I am from, we begin our practices indoors. This presents obstacles right away. Practices must be designed for indoor situations. Some outdoor drills aren’t effective indoors. Having a meeting with your coaches will help you plan an agenda to make your indoor practices more productive.

The type of practice that I have seen most effective for indoors and outdoor practice is the use of player stations. This involves splitting your players up into groups of two to three players all separate from each other. This will serve several functions.

It prevents players from goofing around as much.

You can keep friends or siblings in separate groups.

It will increase player focus on drills.

You can put any skill level group together that you what. For example, you can put all left-handed hitters together.

Allows for closer examination of player technique or form.

Allows for extra repetition if needed for any player.

So now that the holidays are close to being over, baseball is quickly approaching. Take a few moments to sit down with your coaches, and plan out your practices. It is an investment of your time that will pay dividends in the upcoming season.

Keep an eye out for some indoor drills in my upcoming articles that you can use for productive indoor practice sessions. Also use your indoor practice sessions to promote positive thinking and sportsmanship. As coaches you can use this time to develop a more positive attitude yourself. Work at becoming a builder of your players. Being a positive coach may take more effort on your part but it is well worth it. You can put notes on your clipboard to remind yourself to stay positive and constructive. Have some fun with your players and they will enjoy practice more.

Thanks again for your time and interest. Coach Chip

 
Chip Lemin - EzineArticles Expert Author

   
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One Response to “A Youth Baseball Practice Kids Will Love,and so will You”

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