Baseball Drills & Skills

Baseball is a sport that does not require extensive equipment, unlike football or lacrosse. With a ball, bat and baseball gloves, any group of kids can get together for a neighborhood game. Baseball teams that are more organized play games for high schools and community recreation centers. The skills needed to play baseball are divided into hitting, pitching, fielding and base running. By practicing repetitive drills, players can improve their overall skills.

Hitting

Batting practice is a good drill for hitting. Players can warm up to this drill by standing in an imaginary batter’s box and taking practice swings without a ball in play. Coaches and other instructors can watch the swings and give instruction prior to an actual pitch. Swings should be level. Players should keep their eyes on an imaginary ball that has been pitched and keep their heads level. The bat should be grasped near the end of the bat with a tight grip. For greater control, players can “choke up” on the bats, moving their hands slightly forward on the bat, away from the handle. This increases control but decreases power. Follow practice swings with balls pitched by a practice pitcher, adult or coach. Use a ball with color dots to help players see the ball on its pitched path and more easily make contact with the bat.

Fielding

Fielding can be practiced in a team setting with players in the infield and outfield at different times. For infield practice, players can get in their proper stances followed by the coach hitting a ball to different spots on the infield. These can include grounders, soft flies and line drives. The object for the infielders is to make the correct play as quickly as possible without an error. If it’s a grounder, the ball should be thrown to first. These plays can be timed and a drill established that the ball must reach first base within four or five seconds. Different times can be used depending on the skill level of the players. For outfield drills, fly balls can be hit by different coaches so that all outfielders are getting practice at the same time at reading the hit balls. Outfielders should not backpedal to the balls; instead, they should turn, run to a spot and then catch the ball.

Base Running

Players can practice their base running skills by starting on first base and having the pitcher try to catch them getting a head start toward second. By using this drill, base runners can get a better idea of how far away from first base they can get without getting picked off. Once a ball is thrown to first, the base runner can practice run down situations by trying to reach first or second base while the infielders try to tag the runner.

About this Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for 20 years and has a Master of Arts from UNC-Greensboro. He authored the book The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting, which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are co-authors of the Free College Resource Book.