FALL BALL is a time to work on fundamentals.
It also presents an opportunity to teach your players
the importance of:
Balance, Coordination and Strength.
Each coach should come up with a 10 minute stretch/strength
workout for the team. I have found that not only does it better
prepare your players, but it helps build a team. Having the players
jog one lap around the outfield is also a helpful tool in building
BELOW ARE TWO TOOLS THAT CAN BE INCORPORATED INTO
WALKING LUNGES: The player steps out with a big stride,
allowing the trailing knee to drop down to the ground.
He then pushes forward and up to a standing position
and strides out with the other leg. Ideally, he should keep his body
upright throughout the movement and should not use his hands
to push off his legs.
At the beginning of the season players can start out doing
lunges from home plate to first base, working up to going all
the way around the bases by the end of the season.
Speed and agility are also important factors in baseball.
SPRINTING: At the end of practice, the kids can sprint several
different distances: Home to first, then first to third,
home to second, then second back to home: and home to third.
Dividing your kids into two teams for relay races is always popular
with the kids!
TEACHING A SCARED BATTER HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR
IS SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE:
Fall is a great time to correct this. By coaching the player to get
out of the way properly, you can also emphasize that stepping out
of the box actually exposes the front of their body and face to the pitched ball.
The correct method protects the front of the body and the face.
It also puts the back in a position that allows the ball to glance off,
which hurts much less than a direct blow.
You can practice this method as a station during batting practice.
For the first few times have a coach stand 10-15 feet away from a
player in a batters box. Use either tennis balls or some sort of soft ball.
Start by tossing the ball softly over the plate (The batter should not swing).
Then, start moving the ball inside. When the batter thinks he will be hit, he
should turn his body away from the pitch.
SUGGESTION: Rather than giving the kids instructions about how to
bend their back and where to keep their arms etc. just tell them to turn
and place the end of the bat on the ground behind them. This forces
them to turn away and duck down to place the bat on the ground.
BE PATIENT AND GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT:
Encouragement builds confidence - Confidence conquers fear.
I believe in teaching aggressiveness at the plate. As a player
becomes more aggressive, he loses some of his fear of getting hit.
As he starts hitting the ball harder and more consistently he becomes
HAVE A GREAT FALL AND KEEP TEACHING FUNDAMENTALS!