Free Baseball Practice Drills

 

Sonntag Sports Management is pleased to provide the Free Baseball Drill Program to amateur Baseball coaches

These baseball activity cards will be an invaluable resource for you planning your practices. Each activity is designed to help young athletes improve their baseball skills and athletic literacy, making the game of baseball more enjoyable. Links to the left load up the full series of activity cards. These cards have been developed through work of a Long Term Athlete Development program.

You can upload your own recommended baseball drills here including a picture or diagram and a written description.

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Run Through First
Baserunning
Home to 1st Base
Many young players do not know it is okay to run through first base. Help them learn with an easy drill. Position a coach in the 1st base batters box, several steps past the base.
  • A. Players start at home an simulate a swing, without a bat (for safety reasons).
  • B. Players run at full speed down the outside edge of the baseline aiming at the right side of the bag.
  • C. After crossing 1st base, player look to their right. The coach then holds up fingers on a hand and the players yell the number after they have crossed the base.
Players should always look to their right so that they can spot a passed ball.


4 Base Runners
Baserunning
Rounding Bases
Four lines are set up, one at each of the bases.
Home Plate The player at home plate is the starter. He will take an imaginary swing. He then proceeds to first base, taking a wide turn as if he hit it to the outfield. He runs as hard as he could and touches the inside of first base. He then goes back to the first base and gets in the line.
First Base: On the swing from the starter, he takes a secondary lead and goes from first to third, touching the inside of second base. He then goes back to second base and gets in line.
Second Base: On the swing from the starter, he takes his secondary lead and goes second to home, touching the inside of third base thereby cutting his turn as much as possible.
Third Base: After the swing, he goes back to the base to tag up from third base.
After each player has completed his turn at each base, the team gathers at home plate for an inside the park home run. Proper turns are stressed at each base.


stay, slide or come to 3rd.
Baserunning
finding the 3rd base coach & his
Have a 3rd base coach ready. The runner at home simulates a hit. The imaginary 1st base coach has given the sign to go to 2nd. Once the runner passes 1st base, he looks right to see how the play was handled & if he needs to slide or stand-up at 2nd. Then he looks to the 3rd base coach for instructions either to stay at 2nd or go to 3rd. The coach/team assigns hand signals for various run actions (ex. slide, stand or come on). Change the play up from runner to runner.


Race Around the Horn
Fielding & Throwing
Throwing Accuracy
  • Runner starts near first pylon. Player 1 has wiffle or tennis ball in their glove.
  • Player one starts race by throwing the ball to player 2.
  • Once player one has thrown the ball the runner races around the pylons and make it back to the start before the players complete a "round the horn" (a thrown ball from player 1 to player 2 to player 3 to player 4 and back to player 1).
  • The assistant coach can run the same drill or another drill in a different area.


Hit the Hat
Fielding & Throwing
Throwing Accuracy
Show proper throwing technique to players - emphasize point your glove to your target and reach back with throwing arm and follow through. Be sure players are using their feet when they throw. Have your assistant coach help introduce the drill. Players should be with a partner and they should be fairly far part. Have the players take their hats off and place them about 5 to 7 yards in front of them. Players should begin throwing the ball to their partner but trying to hit their partners hat laying on the ground. The partner who hits their partners hat the first is the winner. Repeat the drill and have players switch partners. Make sure players are playing catch in the same direction. The X's in the diagram are the player's hats.


Garbage Can Lid GB
Fielding & Throwing
Proper Ground Ball Hands
Introduce proper fielding position. Introduce the term that on a ground ball the glove is the garbage can and the hand on top is the garbage can lid. Once you catch a ground ball you close the lid. Have players roll ground balls to each other. Make sure there is space between partners. Coaches walk around and provide encouragement. Older players can make it a game by playing a game of H-O-R-S-E. A bobbled ball or a ball between the legs is a letter.


Arm Position for Throwing
Fielding & Throwing
Proper Arm Position
Have players begin on one knee, with the same knee as their throwing arm on the ground, with a partner opposite them about 20 feet away. Players begin with the ball in their throwing hand and create the shape of an "L". The throwing elbow should be even with the should, the ball above their head and away from their head, above the elbow. glove hand should be on the raised kneed. Player with the ball reaches forward quickly with their throwing arm extending towards their partner. Teach the player to keep their arm moving until it swings past their glove.


Quarterback Drill
Fielding & Throwing
catching a ball while running
Have a coach start with a player facing him in a good outfielders position. The coach will point in the direction of where he wants the player to start running. As the player starts running the coach will lob the baseball or wiffle ball in a high arc and the player runs and attempts to make a catch. The player will jog back to the line with the baseball and place it in the bucket as they await their next turn to run and catch. This drill works on footwork - using a drop step and run as well as tracking a high fly ball to catch.


Run and Gun
Fielding & Throwing
Developing Arm strength and speed
Place a cone or pylon near a chain link fence or back stop. Have the players start in a line and place a marker where they have to release the baseball. Have the first player in line sprint to the marker and throw the baseball and hit the pylon or target near the fence or backstop. The game continues until someone in the line hits the pylon...."Run and Gun". Great drill that develops arm speed and teaches the kids to "let it fly" to allow players to learn through random training rather than block training.


Two Hitter BP
Hitting
Batting Practice
  • Have 2 players with helmets and a bat positioned ready to hit.
  • Use the players gloves as the plate
  • The two hitters should be 10 yards apart.
  • The coach will have a bucket of wiffles or tennis balls.
  • The coach will throw a ball to hitter 1 and then to hitter 2.
  • Players behind the coach will field the ball and place it in the bucket near the coach who is tossing the ball to the players.
  • Once each hitter has hit the ball 10 times rotate the players.
  • This method of batting practice will allow players to receive more reps.


Batting Tee Stance
Hitting
Swing Mechanics
Using a batting tee is a great way to develop good swing mechanics and provides the opportunity to get in a lot of repetitions in a short period of time. Some of the best major league hitters take more swings on a tee than live BP (Cal Ripken Jr., Joe Mauer, Albert Pujols). At a young age teach hitters to hit the pitch in the middle of the strike zone with consistency. Keep in mind that hitting of a tee begins with proper positioning of the hitter relative to the ball.
  • place the fat part of the barrel on the back point of the plate
  • place the batters front foot just behind the knob of the bat
  • place the back foot slightly wider than shoulder width
  • reach down with the front hand (bottom hand) without moving the feet and pick up the bat
  • hold the bat straight out from the belly button and place the top hand on the bat
  • raise the barrel of the bat and position it above the back shoulder
This position enables the hitter to hit the ball properly, slightly in front of the front leg.


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Hitting
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Baseball Freeze Tag
Warmup
Get Bodies Moving
  • mark off an area or boundary using pylons or cones
  • one player is given a ball and has to proceed tagging the other players with the ball
  • if a player is tagged with the ball they must form a bridge with their body while waiting for another player to free them as they crawl under the bridge
  • once all players are tagged choose another person to be it


Dynamic Warm Up
Warmup
Getting Ready
Sports Medicine studies have now determined that dynamic warm up is superior to static stretching for reduction of injuries and increase in performance. Prior to each practice and each game, players should go through a dynamic warm up routine to increase the responsiveness of their muscles and loosen the joints. Never let your players pick up a ball and play catch, especially throwing hard, with out a warm up and then gradual increase in activity. Warm up drills can include:

High Knees, Butt Kicks, High Kicks, Lunge, Backwards Lunge, Shuffle, Cross Overs, Big Arm Swings, Arm Circles, Arms Over / Under, Hands Up / Hands Down

To make this easy on yourself, write all these drills on a baseball (your instruction list) and hand to a different player each time putting them in charge of warm up.