Little League Baseball Drills | Burn and Read Catching Drill
Young baseball players looking to continually improve their fielding skills should begin to incorporate this little league baseball drill into their practice. Coaches and young athletes can use this youth baseball drill to improve a young athletes ability to adjust to a fly ball after slipping or tripping. This little league baseball drill will not only aid youth athletes in recovering to make a catch but will also help them to concentrate and control their body as they recover and sprint to make the catch. Coaches should add in this youth throwing drill to help athletes practice proper body control after a difficult catch so they can complete a more accurate throw.
Executing The Little League Baseball Drill
To execute the little league baseball drill athletes will need 4 Speed and Agility Cones, a set of Kbands, a baseball glove, and a partner or coach with a baseball to assist with the youth baseball drill. Coaches or parents must first decide the correct amount of Kbands resistance for their young athlete. Resistance should be challenging for the youth baseball player, but should not alter their running mechanics. If running mechanics are altered young athletes should reduce the amount of resistance during the little league baseball drill.
Attach the Kbands above the knees once proper resistance has been established. Athletes and coaches will also need to properly space the Speed and Agility Cones. The Speed and Agility Cones will act as the starting and ending point for the little league baseball drill. The distance between the Speed and Agility Cones should be a challenging but attainable distance. This youth baseball drill will also focus on improving acceleration and maximum sprinting speed while focusing on making the catch. Once Kbands are attached and the Speed and Agility Cones are placed at a proper distance athletes will begin the little league baseball drill.
Starting from the prone position youth athletes will quickly get to their feet and begin a maximum speed sprint. During this portion it is important athletes use good footwork to eliminate wasted movements or taking false steps. Practicing efficiency during the little league baseball drill may be the difference between making a catch and being one step away from making the catch in a game.
Once youth athletes have begun their sprint the coach or partner will throw a baseball so the youth athlete must catch the baseball in full stride. Partners or coaches should make this throw as close to the ending Speed and Agility Cone line as possible. This will give athletes a target to focus on at the beginning of the little league baseball drill and will help them to increase their acceleration from a still position. Partners should also be sure to challenge the youth athlete and force them to make catches over their left and right shoulders. Young athletes should also continually challenge themselves by altering the starting position, beginning the youth baseball drill lying on their back instead of their stomach.
Youth athletes should perform the little league baseball drill 4-6 times with resistance before removing the Kbands and performing 2 un-resisted sets of the youth baseball drill. Athletes and coaches should allow proper recovery time between sets of the little league baseball drill of 45-90 seconds. If coaches are performing the youth baseball drill in a practice or group setting one athlete may quickly replace another athlete after they have completed the drill.
Smooth Strides For Smooth Catches
A key to this little league baseball drill is the athlete’s ability to concentrate after an unexpected event (falling down) and maintaining concentration to still make the catch and throw.
After quickly getting to their feet athletes need to control their bodies and focus as they work to locate the ball in the air. Youth baseball players need to focus on smooth efficient strides as they track the fly ball. By taking smooth strides athletes can eliminate the “bouncing” encountered when athletes run with heavy strides. This will make it much easier for the youth to concentrate and make the catch during the little league baseball drill. Making smooth catches when the young athlete is under control will allow the athlete to focus on setting their feet after the catch and making a strong, accurate throw.
Proper running mechanics during the sprinting portion will assist young athletes in making smooth, controlled catches. As athletes come to their feet they will need to focus on keeping the chest down and swinging the arms for the first few steps. It is important athletes focus on getting up and using good running mechanics before changing focus and beginning to track the baseball. This will allow the youth athlete to cover a greater distance while exerting less energy during the little league baseball drill.
Little League Baseball Drills Vs. More Advanced Baseball Drills
Young athletes must learn the fundamentals of the sport they are participating in. Keeping baseball drills simple and consisting of one point of focus for the young athlete will allow little league baseball participants to master simple skills like catching a baseball or making contact during a batting drill. As little leaguers master the fundamentals of baseball they will be able to switch their attention to handle more complex outside stimuli (where they will throw the ball after the catch, will they encounter gravel or a fence in their pursuit of the baseball).