Here are some helpful tips for managers and coaches (and parents) in running a successful practice:
1. Problem #1: Batting Practice Nap Time: Batting practice is one of the most misused opportunities during practice. Many times I see (1) player batting, (1) coach pitching, and (11) players standing around. This will undoubtedly create boredom and restless players.
Solution: How To Run A Successful Batting Practice: There are two ways I like to handle my batting practices:
- Team Defense vs. Offensive BP (employs 2-3 coaches/parents)
- Individual Batting/Individual Defense (employs 3 or more coaches/parents)
A) Team Defense vs. Offensive BP: All players are divided into four groups of 3 players or three groups of 4 players. Each group will have a specific job assigned to them and learn. The batting practice will mimic a game situation with baserunners and pressured circumstances. Here is an example:
- Group 1 (Hit/Run Group): This group’s responsibility is to hit the ball and hit the ball hard. While (1) player is hitting live, (1) player is on deck and (2) players are running the bases like a game situation.
- Group 2 (Infield Group): This group plays the ball off the bat live. Whether the ball is hit to an infield position or outfield, the players must properly communicate and react to the ball in one of four ways: Fielding the ball, relaying the ball, receiving the ball or backing up the throw.
- Group 3 (Outfield Group): This group plays the ball off the bat live as well. All outfielders must learn to react to the ball, properly communicate and either: Field the ball or backup the play or throw.
- Group 4 (Individual Hitting Drills): This group will get the most swing repetitions during this type of batting practice. An assistant coach (or helpful parent) can throw batting practice or soft toss in a cage or into a net. Players can also hit off a tee, or do other helpful hitting drills in this group. Want the entire article? Click here to become a TBB member today!