Week Two Practice Plans

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The kids are starting to see a pattern to the start of practice by now. They know that practice will always start with a jog to the fence and back followed by dynamic stretching. One of the things that I like about dynamic stretching from a practice and pre-game scheduling point of view, is that you know how long it takes to get this done. The "old school" static stretching sometimes turned into a lazy time in which more than muscles were getting stretched out. If you have not looked at the coaching-fastpitch information on dynamic stretching , here is a quick link just for you.

Take the time to stress the importance of performing each drill with a quality effort. How the players practice is how they will play.

Practice Plan #3

6:00 Warm up jog to fence and back, Dynamic stretching

6:05 Warm up playing catch

6:10 Play catch with bare hands and tennis ball (impossible to catch without using two hands)

6:20 Toss Drill

6:30 Charging Drill

6:40 Run Down Drill (Three person weave)

6:50 Water Break

6:55 Fly Balls (try using tennis balls and bare hands again to re-enforce using two hands)

7:05 Over the Head Ball Pass Drill

7:15 Practice leading off and stealing

7:25 Team meeting

How practice went

When and where the next practice is

Any special instructions for the next practice

What they can do on their own time to improve

End on a positive note (example: I like the hustle I saw today, keep it up)

7:30 Practice is over on time

Practice Plan #4

This practice will require five (5) coaches/parent volunteers and someone keeping time. Make sure you plan the personnel out ahead of time.

6:00 Warm up jog to fence and back, Dynamic stretching

6:05 Warm up playing catch (always working on good form)

6:10 Run hitting circuit.

One player on deck at each station and one player working that station. After six minutes are up, on deck player steps into that station while the player who just finished that station moves on to the next station and becomes that stations on deck player. If you have twelve players, each player will get thirty minutes of quality work.

Station 1

2 minutes of plastic bat & balls right hand only swing of knee

2 minutes left hand only

2 minutes both hands

Station 2

2 minutes off tee behind back, squish the bug

2 minutes off tee slow easy perfect compact swings

2 minutes off tee full speed compact swings

Station 3

2 or 4 minutes soft toss into net or fence (if no problem, only 2 minutes)

2 to 4 minutes soft toss broom stick and wiffle golf balls

Station 4

2 minutes bunt straight

2 minutes bunt 1st base line

2 minutes bunt 3rd base line

Station 5

2 minutes bunting, pitching machine or live pitching

4 minutes hitting, pitching machine or live pitching

7:30 Practice is over on time

We have focused on individual skills through the first four practices. Everything is new to players at the youngest level. Take your time, be patient and the skills will improve. We will be working on the basic defensive strategies beginning with next weeks practices. Individual skill improvement is an ongoing goal.

I looked at the calendar and we only have five more practices before our first league game, unless we loose practice due to weather. At least we (our team) are here in sunny warm Minnesota. It could be worse; we could be in a foot of snow like the New England area. Sorry New England, I could not help myself.

Good luck with your practices this week and I'll be sending you a new set of practice plans next week. See you on the field

Dan Knutson

P.S. Feel free to forward the Coaching-Fastpitch Practice Plan Newsletter to anyone that you think might benefit from it.