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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free Youth Baseball Drills

The following short article features three free youth baseball drills that focus on holding players' attention while building their defensive skills. The first has players catching pop flys while the next two drills will improve their co-ordination when it comes to the unpredictable grounder ball.

By Kenny Buford

Defensive Drills that Don’t Bore

One of the hardest things when selecting baseball drills for youth is coming up with drills that build muscle memory but don’t bore the players so much they lose interest in the action altogether. This task is especially arduous when selecting defensive drills, since good defense is all about being prepared for whatever comes your way, and the only way to learn that is by playing out the various game-time situations. The following free youth baseball drills aim to keep players so engaged and interested they forget they’re building defensive skills.

Catching the Notorious Pop Fly

One of the most important defensive skills is how to catch a pop fly. To prepare your team for these high, straightforward catches, try this drill. Give each player on the team a ball and have them line-up one behind the other. Player one runs towards the coach, tossing the ball when close enough. The player then runs long, starting around 50 feet, while the coach lobs the ball high up into the air.


Players then turn around, spot the pop fly and catch it. To up the competitiveness of the drill, players who fail to catch the ball are assigned a letter in a predetermined word, such as HORSE. Once a player gets all the letters, they are out. While players are running to catch the ball, remind them to stay on the balls of their feet, since it will keep their strides shuffling and quick.

Mastering the Unpredictable Grounder

The next of the free youth baseball drills is perfect for teaching players to properly field the often wildly unpredictable grounders that inevitably will come their way come game time. To set up the drill, set up your fielders in a row. To cut down on wait time, set up a number of different stations with a coach or assistant managing each station.

The coach hits five ground balls in a row to the first player in the line who fields each grounder and throws it back towards the coach. After fielding the five balls, the player returns to the back of the line. In this drill, the most important thing to remember is staying low when fielding the balls. Make sure players are standing with their feet slightly wider than their shoulders, and constantly keeping their eye on the ball.

When looking for free youth baseball drills for defense, sometimes you want a drill that players can perform on their own without much help so you can concentrate on watching each player and correcting them when you see errors. This drill is perfect for that, since players are set up facing a wall, which basically provides its own grounders.

Line up players facing a wall or fence. Players should be at least 15 feet apart and approximately 20 feet away from the wall. Give each player a ball and at the sound of your whistle, players begin throwing the ball towards the ball low enough to get a grounder back. Have players count the number of grounders that are able to successfully field in a row without having one slip past or between their legs in a one-minute time span. Encourage players to beat their personal bests, and if they are excelling at 20 feet try moving them further back from the fence.

About The Author

Kenny Buford has coached nearly every level of baseball in a career that spans several decades. You can get instant access to his championship baseball practice plans and more youth baseball drills by visiting his website:


For a limited time, all coaches who visit Kenny's site will also get a free copy of his special report: "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Baseball Coaches Make". Go get your free copy today!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kenny_Buford

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick