Working as a kids’ baseball coach can be a very rewarding experience if you know how to do it right. Of course, the most important thing is to have fun, but below, you’ll find some youth baseball drills that will teach the kids the game while not boring them too much. Remember, when working with kids, it’s important to be clear and repetitive. Before you try any of the drills listed below with your team, be sure to explain the drills fully, so that each player knows exactly what will happen.
The first drill that you should try out with your team is a very simple drill of throwing and catching. Have the team stand around the field, mimicking the positions that they would play in a real game. If you have more players than there are positions, put two or more players at each position, and have the kids take turns. Start by throwing the ball to one player, say, at third base. As he catches the ball, call out the position of the player that you want third base to throw to. For instance, as he catches the ball, call out, “Center field!” and the player at third will then have to throw the ball to the center outfielder. Instruct the players to form a line at each position, and go through the drill until the whole team has caught and thrown at least a couple of times.
This drill will not only teach the players about the various positions, but it will teach them to be alert as the game is happening, and to be able to catch and react quickly when a play is in action.
Catching pop-up balls is probably one of the hardest things to do as either an outfielde, or infielder. Have the players stand fairly spread apart on the field, and toss balls underhand towards them so that they can get used to catching pop up balls. Once they seem to have mastered this drill, try having an assistant coach pitch to you, and hit actual pop-up balls to the players.
Practice sliding with your players by splitting the team up into a few small groups and showing the kids how to slide safely. Have a parent or assistant coach work with each group, and have the adults demonstrate sliding properly a few times, with the kids watching, before the players try it.
A good way to practice hitting is in a real game scenario, so split the team into two equal halves, and play through a few innings.
Once you’ve done this a few times, you can try a more specialized version of the drill. During practice, have your assistant coach pair up players on the team and start the players throwing and catching back and forth to each other in the outfield. One at a time, have the players meet you on the field, and pitch a few balls to them, instructing them to hit the balls as you would in a real game. This way, you give your players individualized feedback, both positive and constructive.