Advanced Youth Baseball Training Tips and Techiques

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baseball Practice - How to Prepare for a Successful Season

Baseball Practice - How to Prepare for a Successful Season
By Kenny Buford

The key to successful baseball practice -- and a successful season -- is communication. Coaches, players, and parents should all be on the same page regarding the expectations and philosophy of the team.

Communication is Key

Some important issues that should be communicated at the beginning of the season are:

Schedule: players and parents should receive a practice and game calendar as soon as possible so that they can make family and travel plans around it.
Uniform: communicate to players (and parents, depending on age) what you expect them to wear to practice. Games will most likely require uniforms, but if you have any expectations of what players will wear to practice, you need to let them know early.
Practice plan: coaches and players should know what's expected of them during practice and how long each practice is going to last. Each coach should have a clipboard outlining the practice plan for that day, and it would also be beneficial for the plan to be posted so that players can access it as well.
Having all this information available requires a lot of organization and thinking ahead. By knowing your philosophy and approach ahead of time, you can effectively communicate with your team.

Organizing Baseball Practice

When organizing a practice schedule, you should first consider what your goals are for both the short and long term. This will help you determine what to accomplish over the entire season, and you can then break it down into months, weeks, and single practice sessions. Your plan should be flexible to allow change as needed, but having goals will keep your team focused and provide direction for the season.

Any given practice might go something like this:

Begin with stretching while talking about baseball. Players should get their head in the game as soon as practice starts.
Next have the players run to get warmed up.
After running, pair up the players for catch. More advanced players should be paired based on their positions, and beginning players should be paired based on ability level.
Next players should work on drills based on their positions. When teaching drills, coaches should first demonstrate them so that they know players do them correctly, and then have them repeat the drill until it becomes habit.
After drills on the individual, group, and team level, players should have batting practice.
The final part of practice should be running. Running conditioning is most effective if it is somehow related to game play, like exercises to improve base-running technique or even sprinting on or off the field.
For a successful season, practices should be consistent and progressive. Follow the steps above for each practice, knowing ahead of time which skills you would like to focus on. By being organized and communicating your goals to your team, players will come to practice knowing that their hard work is going to pay off!

To learn more coaching tips, go here to watch a free video:

Kenny Buford is a youth baseball coach, and the owner and publisher of, the web's #1 resource for baseball practice drills, tips, and ideas for youth and high school coaches.

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