Take a look at this submission from Dave, one of my newsletter subscribers. A great suggestion for [tag]baseball skills and drills[/tag] that can work with all age groups.
Competition Long Toss
Here’s one [tag]baseball drill[/tag] I use with my kids every practice. They love it because of the competition factor. If I don’t do this at a [tag]baseball practice[/tag], all the kids beg to do it.
Players pick a partner and spread out down the foul line with one set on the foul line and the other in the outfield somewhere (maybe 20 feet away or longer as players get older/better) lined up with their partner. Players on foul line have the [tag]baseball[/tag]. On command they throw to their partner. Their partner catches the ball and holds it. On command they throw it back. After each successful throw and return throw, the outfield line moves 3 steps back and the drill starts over. The key is that the player catching the ball cannot move more than his 1 foot to catch it AND must catch it cleanly. Basically the player catching the ball can act as a first baseman, keeping one foot planted. Another way of thinking is the player catching the ball cannot be called for travelling if he is playing basketball. The player must field it cleanly, or his “team” is out (I make them sit down until the competition is over). Throwers can crow hop the longer throws and can bounce them in as long as the fielder can field/catch it cleanly. Remember to move back 3 steps after each successful throw and return.
You will find your players arm strength and accuracy will build if you do this every practice. Also, you will find the distance that players can throw accurately will increase dramatically between the start of your season and the end of the season. Generally, I do 1 warm-up contest and then 2 or 3 contests that “count”. Sometimes we do it until 1 team has won 2 of the competitions. Players love keeping their own records on their wins/losses over the season. Some players challenge themselves to have a win with every other player on the team over the course of the year. At every practice, the players are not allowed to have the same partner they had at the previous practice.