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I’m often asked to share my best baseball practice drills. When I opened this question to my readers, Pepe responded with this baseball drill. Try it out and watch the improvements!
My players love drills that have a competitive component. For simultaneous bunt offense and bunt defense (for advanced 10U players or 12U and up), I form teams of 4 or 5 (great if you have 8, 10, 12 or 15 players at practice). One team in the field (1st baseman, 2nd baseman, shortstop, and 3rd baseman (+ defensive pitcher if you have multiple of 5), one team on offense and, if you have enough players for a 3rd team, they can start in the outfield doing fly ball drills.
Using a batting practice coach as pitcher or a pitching machine (if done with a pitcher playing defense, he simply starts next to the batting practice coach or pitching machine (or if you have a pitcher that pitches consistent strikes, have them bunt off a “live” pitcher), we start with a runner on 1st. We allow the 1st baseman and 3rd baseman to start no closer than 2/3 the distance from home to their respective bases (everyone knows we’re bunting). The defense can charge once the hitter shows bunt. We play this game without a catcher, so there is no stealing.
Teams earn points based on:
Offense earns 1 point if: The bunter is out at 1st, but the runner advances to 3rd.
Offense earns 1 point if: The bunter is safe at 1st, and the runner advances to 2nd.
Offense earns 2 points if: The bunter is safe at 1st, and the runner advances to 3rd.
Offense loses 2 points if: The bunter does not get a bunt down fairly after 3 strikes or bunter pops up, defense catches the ball, and the runner does not advance.
Defense earns 2 points if: The bunter is out at 1st and the runner is tagged out attempting to go to 3rd.
No points awarded if: The bunter is out at 1st and the runner advances to 2nd.
The play is re-set after each hitter, putting the hitter on 1st after their turn at bat. The runner returns to the dugout to get in line for his turn to bunt.
Assign a captain of each team to keep track of their points.
Establish how many times each bunter will get up for each “inning”(twice each usually works best).
The objective is to keep the action moving quickly with no one player standing idle for any length of time. If played with 3 teams, simply rotate after a team completes their turn on offense (offense moves to defense, defense moves to outfield drills, team in outfield moves to offense). Play the game for multiple innings with a reward for the winning team (or a penalty for the losing team(s)).