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  • Make Baseball Fun Again: 15 Engaging Youth Drills

    by Chris Bajda April 26, 2023

    Getting kids involved in baseball as early as they can walk is a great way to get them excited about the game.

    Not only will it help them learn the fundamentals of playing baseball, but it will also help them develop many valuable life skills along the way.

    Unfortunately, knowing where to begin when you are just starting your child's baseball training can be challenging.

    To help you out, here are ten fun youth baseball drills that kids will love!

    1. Belly Up

    When playing ball with young players, keep it fun and easy.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. Start by having them lie on their stomachs while you toss a ball just out of reach, so they have to run up to grab it.
    2. Give each player several practices run before moving them toward home plate, you will find that as you move closer to home, kids learn how to shorten their steps for speed and gain a better sense of how far a throw has to go for them to catch it.
    3. When you get back near home plate, see if your players can do even faster belly-up runs.

    It will be easier for them now that they have gotten used to shortening their strides on these fun drills.

    2. Hit a Helmet

    Kids hitting helmet baseball

    Most youth coaches don't spend nearly enough time on proper hitting mechanics. So, one of your priorities should be to practice these baseball skills.

    One fun way to do it is with a helmet drill.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. Take one helmet (for each player) and place it about 10 feet from home plate.
    2. Play a fun game that rewards points for balls hit into the helmet (have a bucket of baseballs behind home plate, so players have plenty of practice pitches).
    3. The winner gets to keep their helmet at the end of each round.

    These fun drills can be an excellent motivator for kids who love competition and getting better at their sport.

    3. Tee Time

    Tee fun baseball drills are a great way to work on hitting skills.

    The tee teaches your child to keep his elbows in, among other things, and lets him practice until he hit the ball perfectly.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. You can use a tee at home or out in a field; even if you don't have an actual batting tee handy, any cylindrical object will do.
    2. Set it up just like you would a real batting tee, with one difference: No pitcher is involved!

    4. Basepath Relay

    Kid Sliding Baseball Having Fun

    These fun baseball drills are a great way to get kids running.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. Divide your players into two teams, and have the players line up on opposite sides of the second base.
    2. When you say go, have players sprint to second base and back, and then run to first and back, then home plate and back.
    3. The team that finishes first wins.
    4. For extra fun, change it so that each player has to touch home plate with his hand or foot before returning to his starting position.
    5. Ensure all bases are set up correctly, so no one trips on their way through!

    5. Over Under

    In youth baseball, all players must work on their fundamentals with these fun baseball drills.

    One of these fundamentals is proper throwing mechanics, which includes appropriately throwing from different arm angles, or in other words, from over your head and under your body.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. This drill helps kids perfect their mechanics, as they must start with over-the-head throws before making a 180-degree pivot and finish with an underhanded throw.
    2. Each player must keep their front foot stationary while they pivot, improper pivoting can cause improper throwing mechanics down the road.
    3. Make them do one set of 10 over-the-head throws followed by ten underhanded tosses for three sets total in one practice session.

    6. The Great Wall

    Great Wall Throwing Drill

    Have the kids throw the ball against a wall and catch it on the rebound to develop their catching and throwing accuracy skills!

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. You can set up cones to mark where they should stand or have them stand against a wall and catch the ball on the rebound.
    2. The key here is to ensure they are standing in one place, not moving around too much, and catching the ball at least twice out of every three throws.
    3. Let them go at it for about 30 minutes, then ask if anyone wants to play a game, they will all be ready to go by that point!

    This drill will improve their hand-eye coordination, which is crucial for catching  and improving their throwing accuracy.

    7. Call out the Color

    When you are playing a baseball game with your child, it can be hard to keep track of everything going on.

    Practice drills, like calling out the ball's color, are meant to help players improve their focus and attention by forcing them to only look at the color that matters most.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. When batting, you might practice calling out the ball's color and taking a swing if your answer is correct; or, in fielding practice, you could try calling out which color ball will be hit next.
    2. You can even do these fun baseball drills with coaches, so they see what you have been working on.
    3. Get your coach involved by challenging them to see if they can anticipate where each ball will be hit so that call-outs are not necessary, but the kids still remember what's most important.

    8. Knockout Pitching Drill

    Teaching kids to pitch takes time and repetition, so a good drill for helping them develop their skills makes it fun, but also challenges them.

    An effective but fun drill is knockout pitching.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. Start by arranging youth baseball players in pairs, each standing about 10 feet apart, facing the other.
    2. One player has a ball (or even better, an empty cup) and throws it at his opponent, who tries to catch it.
    3. They switch places and roles when he catches or hits his opponent with it.
    4. The winner is whoever holds onto their tennis ball or cup longest without being hit by a pitch.

    9. Two Ball

    These skill development fun baseball drills are great because they are straightforward and force kids to focus on tracking balls while moving and not just waiting for them to come straight.

    The drill is called Two Balls because you need two baseballs to complete it.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. It works like a straightforward game of catch with yourself. Start by rolling both baseballs along a flat surface like a sidewalk or driveway.
    2. Then, line up 10 feet away and attempt to catch one ball with one hand, switch hands, and catch the other.
    3. The key here is that you cannot let both tennis balls drop.
    4. If they do fall, start over from scratch by picking all the ground balls.

    10. Right on Target

    The key to any drill is keeping kids engaged, and one of my favorite drills is a classic: Right-on-target.

    How to set up the Drill:

    1. Two youth baseball players get into throwing positions and must aim right at each other's target; if they do, they earn points.
    2. With some creative scoring, you can make your youth baseball drills more interesting than your little leaguers are used to.
    3. But remember: Be sure to mix baseball practice fun games (like moonball or fly ball) with serious coaching time to keep both coaches and players happy. 

    11. Around the World

    Set up a series of cones in a circular pattern around the outfield. Have players take turns fielding a ground ball and throwing it to each cone in order. The goal is to complete the circuit as quickly as possible without making any errors.

    12. Relay Race

    Divide players into teams and have them line up at home plate. The first player in each line should run to a designated spot in the outfield, grab a ball, and throw it back to the next player in line. The first team to complete the relay race wins.

    13. T-Ball Home Run Derby

    Set up a T-ball tee and have players take turns hitting the ball as far as they can. The player who hits the ball the farthest wins.

    14. Bucket Challenge

    Place a bucket on second base and have players take turns fielding ground balls and trying to throw them into the bucket. The player who gets the most balls in the bucket wins.

    15. Catching Tag

    Have players pair up and play a game of tag. The twist? The player who is "it" has to hold a ball and try to tag their partner with it. If the partner catches the ball, they become "it" and the game continues.

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