Southeast Portland Little League

Sample Practice Plans

 

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To get started, here are two practice plans from Player Agent Matt Duckworth that he used for to start the season in the Minor Baseball during Spring 2014.

 

First Practice

 

Warm Up

We're going to begin every practice by throwing in a progression of drills.

1) forearm flip: face target; support throwing elbow in front of body with non-throwing hand; throw ball to target using only forearm and wrist

2) two knee sway: turn 90 degrees so line between shoulders is toward target; swing arms in front of body; after 3 or 4 swings raise arms and throw

3) one knee sway: same as two knee sway, but foot closest to target should be on the ground

4) standing sway: same as above except standing

5) step, catch, throw

Note that with each progression, the players will move a little farther apart, ending at about 60 feet (the distance between bases)

Base Running

We will practice 3 different runs:

1) running through first on an infield hit

     * hit ball

     * after 3 or 4 steps take a peek to see where ball is

     * see ball infield, run through first base

     * slow down quickly, look over right shoulder to see if ball thrown away

     * if ball thrown away consider running to second (listen to coach)

     * if not running to second, turn around (toward foul territory)  and return directly to first base

2) rounding first on a ball hit to the outfield

3) rounding first and running to second

We'll set up more than one base path to limit waiting time.

Fly Ball Priorities

We will briefly discuss priorities on fly balls.  This is in part for safety reasons.

Here's the order: (1) center field, (2) left field, right field, (3) shortstop, (4) second base, (5) third base, first base (6) pitcher (7) catcher

This means that the center fielder has priority over every other player on the field on fly balls.  So, for example, if the center fielder and shortstop and both able to catch a ball, if the center fielder calls it the short stop should back off.  Outfielders always have priority over infielders.  The shortstop has priority over the infield.  Third and first base have priority over the pitcher and catcher.  Pitcher can call off the catcher.  

Also, a player calls for a ball by saying "I got it!"  When that happens, if another player is near the player catching the ball, he should yell "you, you, you" to make it clear who's going to catch the ball.   

Relays from the Outfield

We'll work on having outfielders throw the ball to second base on two types of balls - one hit in front of them and one hit over their head.

If we have time we may do throwing relay races.

Game

We'll finish with a game called Double or Nothing.  We'll have 1 team batting and one in the field.  Players in the field may play anywhere and need not occupy traditional positions.  We'll leave it up to their best judgment.  Coaches will pitch softly.  Batters will hit the ball and must advance to second base or they will be out.  To record an out, the fielder who first catches the ball, whether on the ground or in the air, must throw to a second player, or then must throw to a third player, who will touch second base before the running reaches second.  We can increase the number of players/throws required if necessary to make it more challenging.

Rule of the Day

 If a pitched balls hit the ground and then hits the batter, what’s the call?

 

Second Practice

Warm Up

We're going to begin every practice by throwing in a progression of drills.

1) forearm flip: face target; support throwing elbow in front of body with non-throwing hand; throw ball to target using only forearm and wrist

2) two knee sway: turn 90 degrees so line between shoulders is toward target; swing arms in front of body; after 3 or 4 swings raise arms and throw

3) one knee sway: same as two knee sway, but foot closest to target should be on the ground

4) standing sway: same as above except standing

5) step, catch, throw

Note that with each progression, the players will move a little farther apart, ending at about 60 feet (the distance between bases)

Base Running

  1. Stealing second           
    • ready position, left foot on first base, knees bent, leaning toward second
    • run to second as soon as ball reaches batter
    • Slide
  2. 1st to third on a ball to right field
    • Ready position, left foot on first base, knees bent, learning toward second
    • Ball hit, recognize on ground
    • Run toward second and look to see third base coach waving right arm in circle
    • Round second and run to third
    • Be prepared to slide, look for signal from coach

      Relays from the Outfield

      On balls hit over outfields head to left side of field, shortstop goes out as cutoff and second baseman covers second base.

      On balls hit over outfields head to right side of field, second baseman goes out as cutoff and shortstop covers second base.

      Hitting

      We will learn to practice hitting.  We’ll give very brief instruction, but mostly leave it to the kids to just swing the bat with minimal instruction. Use this time as initial evaluation to help target future instruction.  We’ll do so at 5 stations and need one parent supervising every station:

  3. Tees – players pair up
  4. Soft toss – players pair up
  5. Around the world with wiffle balls – players stand in circle with coach in middle, throw balls one at time to each player around the circle.  If player misses ball he sits down, last batter standing is the winner
  6. Bunting
  7. Pitching from coach on the field – depending on time every player will get about 7-10 swings (not hits).  On the last swing, the batter will practice running through first base.  If batter misses last swing, he’ll run to first base as if he hit it.

Rule of the Day

 If a batted ball hits home plate, is it fair or foul?