This youth baseball practice plan is designed for beginner teams (age 6-8). The focus is on basic fundamentals and tactics, and it includes drills for warmup, fielding, hitting, and game preparation.
Phase 1: Warmup
Dynamic Warmup (5 mins)
Jog and skip forward and backward. High knee runs. Carioca. Walking lunges.
Diamond Racing (5 mins)
Split your whole team into two groups, with one group lining up at home plate, and the other at 2nd base. Alternatively, you can just set this drill up out in the field, with 4 cones 60 feet apart to replicate a baserunning path.
- On the coach’s signal, players will began racing around the bases.
- As soon as the player gets back to the base they started on, the next player in line begins running – that’s right, it’s a relay race!
- The winner is the first team to have all their players run the full circuit
Have players pair up and spread out in the outfield, about 15-30 feet apart. They will all need their gloves and one ball per group.
- Each player will take a knee, with their glove side knee up.
- The player who starts with the ball will throw to his partner, with the partner making the catch using only the upper body.
- Players will continue like this, counting the number of catches in a row they can hit.
- After 4 consecutive catches, the partners can take a step back
- After about 5 minutes, whichever group has hit the highest number of throws in a row without a dropped ball is the winner!
Phase 2: Stations (20 Mins)
For the next part of this youth baseball practice plan, split the team into two groups and rotate through teach drill for 10 minutes.
Around the Horn (10 Mins - Infield)
Divide players up so that there are an equal number in line at each base. You can also just set this drill up in the deep outfield, with 4 cones around 60 feet apart from each other, replicating a diamond. The first player in line at home plate will start with a baseball in his hand.
- The player at home plate will throw the ball to 3rd.
- The 3rd base player throws to 2nd
- The 2nd base player throws to 1st
- The 1st base player throws to home.
- The throws continue in a counter-clockwise direction until Coach says to stop.
With a red marker, make a dot – between the size of a dime and a quarter – on somewhere between a quarter and half your baseballs. This drill can be done in the infield, or by soft-tossing whiffle balls in the outfield
- Have a coach throw 10 pitches to the batter.
- After each pitch, ask the batter whether or not there was a red dot on the ball.
- After 10 pitches, rotate a new batter through, continuing the drill until everyone has gotten a chance to hit.
- Your champion is whoever correctly identified the most balls correctly on the team!
Phase 3: Game Preparation (15 Minutes)
Have a player line up at each defensive position, and a baserunner standing just outside the batters box, ready to run to 1st. You can also add more baserunners at 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
Coach will be at the plate with a bat.
- The coach will hit balls to different locations on the field, with the players reacting and playing as if it were a live game.
- After each play, take the time to review. Did the fielders move/throw to the correct position? If so – let them know and congratulate them! If not, educate them so that they know for next time.
- After a couple at bats, make sure to rotate runners into the defensive positions and the fielders onto baserunning duties, so that everyone gets a chance to work on their skills.