For many kids, baseball practice is a chore, because they must perform repetitive tasks that become a routine. Some might lose interest and distract the rest of the team. Discipline is important, but if a coach is making the team run laps instead of teaching the proper way to toss a ball, they will soon quit. The player must understand why drills are important and how they will improve performance. How the drill is performed is more significant than how many drills are performed. Baseball training for kids should aim for quality, not quantity. Take a look at these 5 useful tips:
1. Come up with a plan
Before practice, take some times to think on what areas you want your team to work on and what they need to improve. Showing up without a plan can be a waste of time. Instead of spending a large amount of time practicing the same thing with the whole team, try breaking them intro three groups. The first group can focus on throws, the second on ground balls and the third on hitting. This method breaks the routine and ensures that each player gets more repetitions.
2. Praise and reward the players
As the coach, you can turn baseball training for kids into fun contests. Use your imagination and come up with original games for the players. Break them into smaller teams and give points for the winning squad. You can even reward them with stickers and sugarless gum. This will motivate the kids and intensify the level of the drills. Don’t criticize failures and flaws, and instead give constructive feedback on their efforts and achievements. Praising and encourage more and they will work even harder.
3. Teach them how to catch the ball
The most important part of baseball training for kids is teaching them how to catch. Pair the players up and have them toss the ball back and forth. Make sure that those who need the most help are paired with those that have better skills. Have them catch the ball with two hands and discourage slapping at the low ball with the fingers up.
4. Teach the payers how to throw
Before starting this drill make sure the throwing arm is warm. Have the players stand on the diamond and trow to each position. The front glove shoulders must point at the target and the arms must be bent at the elbow and above the shoulder.
5. Talk to the parents
Keep the parents informed about the progress their kids are doing. Highlight the importance of a positive and supportive attitude towards the players. Ask them not to comment and coach their kids from the stands, and wait for the game to end to express their opinion.