Fun Baseball Drills
To become better as a baseball player, you need to work outside of team practices and games. These fun baseball drills allow your player to get the reps they need to continue to improve while using game challenges to help the player understand their proficiency at a certain skill. Use these fun drills as a way of getting in more work doing baseball drills at home.
Five grounders in a row
Five Grounders In A Row is a quick grounder drill used to reinforce good glove/receiving habits. Start your player in a strong fielding position and you are directly in front of him about 12’-15’. Roll 5 grounders in rapid succession at your player, allowing for him to field the first one and discard to the throwing hand side then immediately receiving the second and so on up to 5 grounders. Since the grounders will come fast, it is important not to make the player move to field them, you are just working on glove work. Pay attention to form here with the glove and throwing hand securing the ball.
Try 4 rounds of 5 keeping score.
One of the most fun drills kids will ever do is the Wide Receiver Drill. It may sound simple, but kids absolutely love this and it’s a great skill builder (It’s also fun for the thrower!). You are the quarterback and your player(s) are to your right about 20’. They run a post pattern, which means they run straight ahead for about 20’-25’, then break left at a 45 degree angle left. You throw them the ball after they make their break left and they have to run and catch it. Then switch sides and start them from the left and the run the post to the right. Simple. Throw underhand to start with to get some loft under the ball and switch to overhand for full speed drill.
Try 5-10 reps at each side.
For younger kids: Use wiffle balls or tennis balls and have them catch bare handed. Something soft or light so if they miss a catch, they won’t get hurt.
For more advanced kids: Throw the ball a bit harder and make it a line drive. If done on a grass field, kids will want you to make them dive for it.
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Line drive derby
Line Drive Derby is seeing how many line drives your hitter can hit consecutively. Work in groups of 5 pitch sequences, how many line drives can your hitter hit out of 5 pitches. Pitches can be whiffles, underhand front toss, in a cage, in your backyard, overhand, etc.
Wiffle tee home run derby
Find a spot where your player can visually see where he needs to hit the ball to, realistically. Place a tee relative to that spot to challenge him at that distance.
Try 3-5 reps for each player per at bat. If they get a streak going, let them keep going!
Mechanics aside, just throwing the ball and trying to hit a target for kids can be helpful. The Pitcher’s Ladder consists of throwing to a target at varying increasing distances. If you are able as a parent to squat down in a catcher’s stance, start your player out close, 30’ (depending on age, you may want to start closer or move back further). You can pace this off with 10 strides. Then move back to 36’. Then move back to 42’. Then move back to 48’. Then end at 54’. This can even be done standing as the receiver, as long as your player has a target (your glove).
You will find that when players play catch, they tend to be more “Free and easy” with their throws. When they have to hit a target, they tend to tense up more and “Aim” the ball rather than throwing it. This drill will help them get a better feel for how they need to pitch in game situations.
Play catch to warm up
30’ - 5 throws
36’ - 5 throws
42’ - 5 throws
48’ - 5 throws
54’ - 5 throws
The better they get, begin to keep track of how many times at each distance they can hit the target. Add or subtract distances based on performance.
5 tennis balls
The 5 Tennis Ball Catching Drill is throwing 5 tennis balls in rapid succession to your catcher. Start your catcher in his stance and he simply catches the ball and drops it immediately straight down, then receives the next throw, up to 5. This sounds simple, but catching a tennis ball in a catcher’s glove is not the easiest task. They are very bouncy and the catcher must be able to squeeze the ball at the proper moment to secure the catch. There is your positive reinforcement. This can also be done with real baseballs at the older levels, but for teaching purposes at the youth level, this is an excellent drill.
Try 4 rounds of 5 keeping score.
3 high 3 dirt
First off, make sure 1st baseman is stretching to the ball with the proper foot on the bag. For righties, it’s the right foot on the front part of the bag. For lefties, it’s the left foot on the front part of the bag. First priority for 1st basemen is to catch the ball. See the ball flight first, then step to the ball, keeping rear foot on the bag.
Throw 3 balls high, then 3 balls in the dirt (making sure to keep the balls away from 1st baseman’s body). When throwing balls in the dirt, try and make them a short hop to catch, they are easier to catch. Stress the need to anticipate a bad throw. For more advanced training, you can lengthen the hops or throw the short hops directly at the 1st baseman.