Backyard drills are an easy and inexpensive way for your kids to hone their skills, get some exercise, and, most importantly, have fun. You will also enjoy helping them better themselves at a sport they love, and it will help you get in all sorts of bonding time with your kids. Having some backyard baseball drills in your personal playbook is essential for helping your kids be the best players they can be, as well as keeping them healthy and increasing their enjoyment of the game. Backyard drills not only hone your kids’ skills, they are also less expensive than professional training with fancy gadgetry, and allow you to be a lot more creative to keep things fun. If you don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on the top pieces of equipment on the market today, worry not, plenty of these drills can be done with items found around the house.
One item you should invest in is a simple tee for batting practice. Using a tee allows kids to perfect their swing, and they can practice getting the ball right up the middle of the field, or knowing where on the bat to hit the ball to place it exactly where they want it. The tee also allows kids to perfect their position. If you don’t have a big field for the balls to soar through, a simple batting net can be constructed using rope and tarp from a hardware store. You can also adorn the tarp with different targets to help kids practice their aim, and make a game out of it by assigning different points for different targets.
Soft pitching is another way to help kids perfect their swing and position while also giving you the option of trying different types of pitches for more practice. When practicing this drill remember to always stand to the side and in front of the batter a few feet.
A free and creative way to practice catching and fielding is to throw the ball up on the roof and let it bounce down for your kid to catch. Using the roof makes the ball fall unpredictably, making your kids think on their feet and improve their reflexes, though it may end with quite a few balls in the gutter. Another creative idea is to throw a tennis ball against a cinderblock. The bounciness of the tennis ball is more unpredictable than a baseball, and catching it will involve a lot more speed and agility from your child. If a cinderblock is not available you can also bounce the ball off of a wall.
Diving is another skill that is easy to practice, simply by tossing grounders to the left or the right and having your kids dive in front of the ball to stop it. This drill will also teach your kids how to fall gracefully and with purpose, and teach them that diving for the ball, especially when done properly, isn’t as painful as it may look.