PFP – Comebackers

Goals

  • Field ground ball cleanly
  • Make a good throw to 2nd base

Set Up

  • Players in 4 groups – pitcher, catcher, 1st base, shortstop
  • Coach hitting fungo at home plate

Steps

  • Pitcher throws ball to catcher
  • Coach hits a comebacker to pitcher
  • Catcher yells out “TWO”
  • Pitcher turns glove side and throws to shortstop covering 2nd base
  • Shortstop makes throw to 1st base to complete double play

PFP – Cover 1st Base

Goals

  • Pitcher goes to cover 1st base any time a ball is hit to the right side of the infield
  • Communication between the pitcher and 1st baseman

Set Up

  • 3 groups – pitcher, catcher, 1st base
  • Coach hitting fungo at home plate

Steps

  • Pitcher throws ball to catcher
  • Coach hits fungo to right side of infield
  • Catcher yells “GET OVER” and pitcher goes to cover 1st base
  • 1st baseman fields the ball and flips to pitcher covering 1st base

Catching Stances

Every pitch will begin with the catcher positioned in the sign stance.  This is where the you will give the pitcher the sign for the pitch that has been selected.  After the sign is given, you will transition to the receiving stance.  There are two types of receiving stances.  The game situation will dictate whether you will use the normal receiving stance or a blocking stance.

imageSign Stance

  • Comfortable, relaxed stance on your toes with feet under butt
  • Knees pointed toward middle infielders
  • Imagine giving sign to the shortstop (slight shift to block view of 1st base coach)
  • Hang glove off left knee to block view of 3rd base coach
  • Keep thumb against cup
  • Only move fingers – not wrist or forearm
  • Transition to receiving stance by sliding – DO NOT HOP

imageReceiving Stance – Normal

  • Give the pitcher the best target and the umpire the best view
  • Follow your glove and slide into the slot
  • Throwing hand behind ankle
  • Glove slightly out in front of knees
  • Elbow outside knees, loose and bent
  • Get low – turn toes slightly out, insides of feet
  • Keep chest up to give bigger target

imageReceiving Stance – Blocking Situation

  • Use when runners on base or two strikes on batter
  • Widen feet a bit with weight on inside of big toe
  • Butt up, chest out
  • Protect throwing hand
  • Still a receiving stance – one thing at a time

Regular Tee Drill

This drill can also be called the “Location Tee Drill” because you move the location of the tee.  It is the most basic tee drill I have kids do, but also the most important.  This is a drill you will be doing for the rest of your baseball life.

As with any drill, have a plan.  Don’t just put a ball on the tee and start hacking away.  Know and really understand what you are working on.  Slow things down and get back to basics.  Make every swing perfect every time.

Address home plate as you would during a regular at-bat.  Do not change your batting stance or where you stand in the box.  The tee will be moving, not you.

The picture below shows where to place the tee for a right handed batter.  A lefty would simply reverse Figure 1 and Figure 3.  Take 3 swings at each position (9 total).  Your goal is to hit a line drive.

  1. Practice hitting the outside pitch
  2. Practice for a pitch down the middle
  3. Practice hitting the inside pitch

image

Hey Coach, this game is hard

I really like Baseball Dudes. They post some really cool images and messages on their Facebook page.

Too many times, I have seen coaches scream and yell while expecting excellence from their team of 10-year olds. You are a teacher, not a dictator.

Baseball is hard. Take your time and help your players understand the game.

Don’t Be Wasteful

In these days of pitch counts and innings limits, why in the world would you waste a pitch with an 0-2 count? Why give the hitter something for free? Most likely, your “waste” pitch will be so far out of the strike zone that nobody will even consider swinging at it.

Throw the ball 2-3 inches off the black and put the hitter away. Make them chase the ball and hit it anywhere on the bat other than the barrel. If you show the umpire you can consistently hit the catcher’s mitt, you will get called strikes on that pitch just off the plate.

If you don’t believe me, perhaps Greg Maddux will convince you not to be wasteful? Hat tip to the Baseball Dudes Facebook page.

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Greg Maddux

Pop-Fly Priority

A pop fly should be an easy play.  Any kid playing travel ball should be able to catch a routine popup.  However, the plays often create a circus in the field because players are not prepared.  A team that is prepared and communicates well should not have a problem.

  • CF has priority over corner outfielders (LF, RF)
  • Outfielders have priority over infielders
  • SS has priority over everyone in the infield
  • Middle infielders (2B, SS) have priority over corner infielders (1B, 3B)
  • Corner infielders (1B, 3B) have priority over P and C