How to Run a Great Baseball Practice
- Updated: February 3, 2011
The key to running a great baseball practice is organization. Coaches should map out their practices so that there is little wasted time. Preseason practices should cover every important aspect of baseball for the age of the player. In the regular season, coaches can gear their practice time to cover parts of the game most needed, based on their team game results and weaknesses.
How to run a great baseball practice:
1. Start practice on time – parents who bring their child late will get the message early in the season that their kids will be missing out.
2. Coach during warm-up time. This is a very important time for coaches to teach the fundamentals.
3.Consider player safety at all times – teach players where and when to swing and throw balls. Use of softer balls for younger aged players can really help teaching all phases of the game.
4. Use assistant coaches and interested parents for baseball skill stations – keeping players active with small group stations is crucial to avoid player boredom.
5. Keep stations relatively short and try to cover as many aspects of the game as time allows each practice.
6. Change the pattern of each practice – work on hitting first one practice, work on defense first the next, etc…
7. Use competition, contests and game play, especially when players appear bored, tired and at the end of practices.
8. Have rewards for hard working “practice players” and not just star game players. Rewards for best defensive, offensive and hustle player(s) of each practice will spur good effort during practice.
9. When playing games, keep it moving as quickly as possible, while teaching at the same time. Keep players alert and use every minute of practice efficiently.
10. Reenact game plays or practice plays done incorrectly until performed correctly. For example, incorrect relay throws should be done over until players understand the correct way.
11. Give equal attention to each player, when possible.
12. Give homework to players of the things you would like them to work on before returning the next time.
13. Avoid long, drawn out talks – short talks and demonstrations are best.
14. Bring in a guest coach occasionally, if possible. This can be memorable for players.
Finally, and of most importance, teach the game, teach it positively and teach it enthusiastically.