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Rookie Drills

 

Station #2 - Four Corners

This is a good station to practice the art of fielding.  Players are placed in a 4-corners arrangement as diagrammed.  The player starting with the ball will roll the ball to the person on their left.  He/she will follow their roll to join the line they just rolled to.  The receiver of the roll will field the groundball and throw and follow to the next line to the left.  Balls can be rolled or bounced; depending on skill.  Directions should be reversed to simulate a play to the other side of the infield.  Two or more players are needed at each corner.
Equipment: 4 Bases, 4 Balls, 4 Tennis balls
 

                    X          ->         X
                                         
                                         
                                         
                    X           <-        X


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Station #4 - White Castle

White Castle Players form 3 lines.  3 bases are set up 50-60 feet away (one base for each line) with one player at each base straddling over the base.  Each line should be approximately 10 feet apart.  One coach is pitcher and the other is catcher.  They set up in front of all 3 lines.  Before doing this drill, have the players lie on the ground on their backs, tuck one leg, tuck their chins to the chest and stick their hands back over their heads.  This is the proper sliding form.
Action The coach pitches the ball to the catcher.  As soon as the ball hits the catchers glove, the 3 players run to their base and slide into the base.  The fielders tag the runners as they slide.  After they slide, the players should remain on the ground and correct their form.  After they have the hang of it, they should pop up their feet quickly. 
After they slide, they take the place of the infielders (who get in the line).  Continue the process until all players have had 5 slides. 
Purpose This drill is called White Castle because the slang term for a White Castle hamburger is a slider, and this is a sliding drill.  The reason for the pitcher throwing in front of the players is to teach them to wait until the ball crosses the plate before they can leave the base (or risk getting hit).  The purpose of the fielders is to teach them to straddle a base and not have their foot on the base (thereby risking an injury).  The purpose of the 3 lines is to keep everybody moving.  This is a fun drill.
Equipment 1 rubber ball; 3 bases/plates; 2 cones.
Diagram
                                           L (catcher)
                           X    ^    ->    ->    ->     Õ J
                           X    ^    ->    ->    ->     Õ J
                           X    ^    ->    ->    ->     Õ J
                                           L (pitcher)


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Station #5 - Dr. Pepper


Dr. Pepper
1-3 players with mitts set up next to each other per coach/parent.  Coach is 10-15 feet away with bat and ball.
Action Coach takes turns bunting the ball to each player.  The player catching the ball must immediately pitch the ball underhand who bunts it again.  The key is speed and never letting the ball get by.  If time allows, have the players try their hand at bunting.
Purpose This drill emphasizes coordination and quick reactions.  The faster the pepper, the more fun the drill.  This drill is very useful in small areas and before games.  This drill also teaches the player how to place the mitt hand when fielding a ball.  The mitt should be up with balls caught above the belt.  The mitt should be down when catching balls below the belt.  A good suggestion is to tell the players to have their mitt facing down in the infield, and facing up, or in the neutral position (fingers facing perpendicular to the ground and the sky) when in the ready position.  The neutral position allows the hand to move 90 degrees to go mitt up or mitt down.
Equipment 12 balls; 3 bats
Diagram
                                   ->          J
                         L      ->            J
                                   ->          J



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Station #6 - Watch the Birdie

“Watch the Birdie” In this drill, you will be simulating a pitched ball using a badminton birdie instead of a ball.  This will allow the smaller hitters to have more time to hit the “ball” successfully.  Set up with three groups of kids, each with a coach/parent.  The coach in each group will kneel on one knee and pitch to one hitter.  After 8 swings, rotate to a new hitter.  Continue the rotation.  This is also an excellent drill for older kids adjusting to off speed pitches.  By throwing the birdie feathers first it simulates a change-up.
Equipment: Multiple Birdies, 3 Whiffle Bats; 3 Home plates; 3 Helmets

               X
                         L      ->           J
               X
               X
                         L      ->           J
               X
               X
                         L      ->           J
               X


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Station #7 - Pipeline

PipeLine Players form 2 lines with each line being a team.  The first player in each team has 5 balls.  Players should be 30-35 feet apart.
Action The first player on each team throws the ball to the second player in line (as in a relay throw).  Once the second player catches the ball, this player throws the ball to the next player in line and so on until the ball reaches the end of the line.  When the last player gets the ball, he puts in down.  Meanwhile the first player may throw the second ball as soon as the second player has turned around and held up both hands, signaling he/she is ready to catch the next ball.  This play continues until all 5 balls are by the last player.  At this point, the process is reversed until all balls are back to the first player.
Purpose This drill reinforces hitting the cutoff player when throwing the ball.  It also emphasizes the need to not throw the ball unless the receiving player is ready.
Equipment 8 rubber balls; 8 tennis balls; 10 cones.
Diagram
         
                 X     <->     X     <->     X     <->     X     <->     X
 
                 X     <->     X     <->     X     <->     X     <->     X
 


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Station #11 - High Flying

Group 3-4 players per coach or parent.  Have coach throw 5-10 pop-ups to each player.  Insure they have gloves up. 

  • Keep the “fingers to the sky”. 
  • Players should view the ball over the top of the glove. 
  • Use whiffle balls for some high throws and rubber balls for little pop-ups.
Equipment:  9 rubber balls; 9 tennis balls; 3 cones; 3 pop up rackets.

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Station #12 - Hit the Target

Players will take turns throwing at various targets.  Targets will vary in difficulty.  A point value can be assigned to each target.  Have each player throw 3 balls each turn.
Equipment:  4 Targets with stakes; 20 balls, 4 bases

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Station #13 - Through and Around


This is a base running station to help rookies run bases effectively.  Home, first, and second bases are needed. 

  • In the first phase, the rookies are taught to run at top speed all the way through 1st base with a short over run.  Players should be reminded to run past the base before slowing down.
  •  Once this has been mastered, you will move on to a base hit approach to the base, rounding the base, with the hopes of going to 2nd base.  Small cones should be set out to show the outward path needed in order to gain a good angle toward 2nd base.  Remind them to hit the inside corner of 1st base on their turn toward 2nd base. 
Equipment: Home plate; 3 Bases; 2 cones

 

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