Sunday, January 15, 2006

Preparation for Practice

Themes of an Effective Baseball Practice

As the baseball season creeps closer and closer, it is time to evaluate the practice plan for the 2006 season. An effective practice plan is the cornerstone of a successful program. When devising a plan, coaches must consider the players that will be participating in practice. Often, when a coach has a young team, they are forced to focus on individual skills and techniques. Many players are learning these fundamentals for the first time, so the skill must be enforced on a daily basis. If a team is more experienced, focusing on individual skills may cause some players to lose interest in the skill the coach is trying to reinforce. When a coach has an older group, they must look for ways to challenge each player to perform an individual skill within a team drill. These drills must continually get harder so execution is hard to obtain. Also, when a coach has a seasoned group of players they can look to improve an individual skill by incorporating resistance training to the movement. Using resistance during the exercise gives the players an added challenge during the movement plus psychologically keeping them focused on the individual skill.

This year, our team returns many from last year’s squad. Previously last summer, the team has spent countless hours fielding groundballs, catching flyballs, and taking batting practice. These procedures produced good results, but now need to be altered to help the team progress. That is why, this year, our practice focus will spotlight taking individual skills and executing them in a team offensive and defensive drill setting. Below, I have listed our practice breakdowns using our 120 minutes allotted by the school for gym usage during preseason practice:

120 Minute Pre-Season Practice Session

Arm Strength and Accuracy 10%
12 Minutes

Individual Defensive Skills 10%
12 Minutes

Baserunning and Stealing 20%
24 Minutes

Team Defensive Skills 20%
24 Minutes

Individual Offensive Skills 20%
24 Minutes

Team Offensive Skills 10%
12 Minutes

Speed and Strength Training 10%
12 Minutes

Total 100% 120 Minutes


Arm Strength and Accuracy 10% 12 Minutes

Wrist Flicks
Two Knee Drills
Pull Down
Long Toss
Quick Throws
Weighted Balls


Individual Defensive Skills 10% 12 Minutes

Two Knee Glove Work (Forehands)
Partner V-Cut
Two Knee Glove Work (Backhands)
Standing Glove Work (Forehands)
Two Knee Glove Work (Short hops)
Standing Glove Work (Backhands)
Standing Glove Work (Slow rollers)
Standing Glove Work (Short hops)
Standing Glove Work (Tags)
Standing Glove Work (Transfer)
Throwing (Square Drill)
Throwing (Square Drill with tags)


Baserunning and Stealing 20% 24 Minutes

Lead Off Starts
Double Play Break Ups
Pitcher Reads/Starts
Tag ups
1st to 3rd
Squeeze Plays
2nd to Home
Slides
Delayed Steals
Run Downs


Team Defensive Skills 20% 24 Minutes

Double Play Drill
Control Running Game Drill
One-Half Field Drills
Bunt Drill
Hit/Run Drill
Double Cut Drill


Individual Offensive Skills 20% 24 Minutes

Batting Practice
Soft Toss
Batting Tee
Short Toss
Lead Arm Hitting
Top Hand Hitting
Over Weight Training
Under Weight Training


Team Offensive Skills 10% 12 Minutes

Lead Arm Infield
Hit/Run Drill
RBI Baseball
Breaking Ball Scrimmage
Two Strike Scrimmage
Soft Toss Gap Scrimmage


Speed and Strength Training 10% 12 Minutes

Parachute Running
Uphill/Stair Running
Jump Rope
Plyometric Drills
Weight Room Workout
Distance Running



Pitching is another element of practice that must be addressed everyday. If it is not, your baseball team has absolutely no chance to be successful. We have a totally separate practice for pitching that usually runs about 40-45 minutes. Below, I have listed the themes that these practices address:

45 Minute Pre-Season Pitching Practice

Throwing 50% 22 Minutes

Strength 15% 7 Minutes

Conditioning 35% 16 Minutes

Total 100% 45 Minutes


Throwing 50% 22 Minutes

Bullpens
Two Knee Drills
Shot Put Drill
Arm Swing
Leg Coupling Drill
Glove Elbow Throw Drill

Strength 15% 7 Minutes

Stretch Cord Workout
Dumbbell Workout
Shot Put Lifts
Push Ups
Medicine Ball
Ankle Weights

Conditioning 35% 16 Minutes

Sprints
Distance Running
Lunge Workout
Jump Rope
Abdominal Workout
Plyometric Workout



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