Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Youth Baseball Coaching Tips
By Trevor Sumner
There are many ways to ensure that your players perform better on the baseball diamond. It is important that baseball coaches are aware of coaching tips that they can impart to their players. You will see that these youth baseball coaching tips will make a difference in the performance of your team and your enjoyment of the season.
Here are a few youth baseball coaching tips that will improve the team’s play:
Defensive Mentality - One of the premier youth baseball coaching tips concerns itself with your team’s defensive mentality. You must ensure, as a coach, that your team is prepared defensively on what to do with the ball on every pitch to the plate. The best preparation is to instruct your players to ask themselves these questions prior to every pitch when they are out on the field, and the opposing team is up at bat. The question is: “What do I do if I get the ball on the ground, in the air, and on a line.” Your players should also remind themselves about the number of outs, often talking on the field to make sure the team is on the same page. These defensive mentality questions will keep your players more alert and prepared to make the correct play if the ball is hit their way.
Pitch to the Target - One of the better youth baseball coaching tips concerns pitchers and their focus. One of the keys in pitching is to throw to the catcher’s target. You must instruct your pitchers to key their eyes focused on the catcher’s glove throughout their windup and through the release of the ball. Many pitchers lose eye contact with the catcher’s glove, accounting for their inaccurate pitches. Similarly, a catcher should practice giving the right target for the pitcher and learn how to frame the pitch to help his pitcher be successful. Often catching technique is overlooked and it is wise to prepare a good array of youth baseball catcher’s drills.
Focus on the Release Point - One of the best youth baseball coaching tips concerns itself with the discipline of hitting. A key to hitting is the ability to pick up the speed and spin of the ball as it leaves the pitcher’s hand. As a coach, you must instruct your hitters to focus on the release point of the pitcher. The focus needs to concentrate on the ball as it comes out of the pitcher’s hand. Batters must not allow themselves to be duped by a fancy windup or other deceptive attempts on the part of the pitcher to hide the ball from the batter until it is released. The later that the ball is picked up by the batter, the less time for the batter to identity the type, speed and location of the pitch as it travels to the plate.
While this is just a quick distillation of basic youth baseball coaching tips focusing on fielding, pitching and hitting, it is surprising how often baseball coaches lose focus of these basics. There are many elaborate baseball drill libraries on the Internet such as those at Weplay. While a coach should select a variety of age-appropriate drills for coaching his team, focusing on these basics and making them fun for the team will often lead to greater success.
By Trevor Sumner who works for Weplay.com, a youth baseball community dedicated to providing parents, coaches and athletes the tools and information they need to celebrate the love of the game. Weplay has one of the most comprehensive baseball drill libraries in its active baseball community.
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