Week Three Practice Plans

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We have been holding a separate pitching practice for the players who want to pitch on Sunday evenings. This coming Sunday, I have invited the players who are interested in catching to come to the pitching practice. This will give them some dedicated time to work on catching and blocking. Always make sure that your young catchers are wearing the protective catching equipment when they catch for a pitcher.

The time has come to work on basic defensive team strategies. Up until now, we have been developing individual skills that will make this step easier. While individual skill improvement is important and each player should continue to work on that, we need to know to function as a team in the field. I like to ask the girls "If we can hold the other team to no runs, how many runs do we have to score to win"? Of course every team is trying to do the same thing to us, so for the second practice this week we will be doing the hitting circuit again. We really do want to score more than the one run needed to win.

Practice #5 Basic Defensive Strategies

6:00 Warm up jog to fence and back, Dynamic stretching (this will take less time in the future as the players understand how it's done)

6:05 Warm up playing catch

6:10 Review the Defensive Responsibilities of:

The Pitcher
The Catcher
First Base
Second Base
Third Base
Short Stop
The Outfield

6:25 Split team into two groups for station work

Station 1

Infield Practice

Fill each infield position (including the pitcher and catcher) with a player. Hit ground balls to each position and have fielder make the throw to first base. Take the time to teach all the players to be in an athletic ready position and be focused. Make sure all players are moving in the right direction on every hit. An example would be that on a hit toward third base, the short stop should be going toward third base as a back up for the third base person and the second base player should be covering 2nd base. After everyone has made a play to first base, practice a double play going to second and then first. This will not happen in a game vary often, however, if you do not practice it, it will never happen. When everyone has made a double play throw, Rotate the players to new positions. You may have a good idea who is going to play where, but this will help you to see who else is capable.

Station 2

6:25 Fly Ball Drill

6:35 Over the head ball pass (I am using a mini football for this)

6:45 Pepper

6:55 Switch Stations and repeat the above stations

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 7:30 Practice is over on time

Practice #6 The Hitting Circuit

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 off the back 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

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

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