Ivan from Hawaii sent in these ideas for [tag]baseball defensive drills[/tag] that he uses with his team. Give them a try and let me know how they work for you.
I’m currently coaching a team (8-10 yrs.) here in Waimea, Hawaii and realized about 4-games into our season that my kids (mainly the infield) were having difficulty understanding “situations” and what to do with the ball (defensively) with runners occupying various bases.
I thought that by conducting a “mini” intersquad [tag]scrimmage[/tag] I would expose them to “game-like” situations and hopefully help them with their decision-making about what to do with the ball when it was hit to them. This worked OK but took too long (pitching, switching, etc.) that we decided to streamline the [tag]baseball[/tag] [tag]drill[/tag].
We took all the [tag]outfielders[/tag] (since the problem was really with the infield) and made them [tag]baserunners[/tag]. I hit balls randomly to the [tag]infield[/tag] and mimicked “game-time” situations so that defensively our team had to make the right plays to get out of the inning. We played until 3 outs were made and then cleared the bases and started a new inning…just like the kids would see if this were a real game.
This drill was simple but really helped expose the kids to different situations in a shorter period of time (instead of playing through an actual scrimmage) and provided multiple repetitions so that the kids became familiar with what to do with the ball before it was hit to them. Short but sweet and addressed the problem of making the kids think defensively.