5-8 practice activities




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5-8 PRACTICE ACTIVITIES

From BIG AL’S BASEBALL CLINIC




  1. PRE-PRACTICE.

Stack Gloves. Center of the meeting…

Expectations: HUSTLE, LISTEN, HAVE FUN!
Warm-up:

Run: “Snake Run” Coach leads. “Kids love to follow you”

Have kids run ALWAYS. They LOVE to run.

Remember to call them by name ALL THE TIME!


“High-Five Circle”. Two coaches, about 20’ apart.

Boys run in a constant oval, high-five each coach,

then head back to high-five the next…

While one coach leads run, other coaches set up for next activity.


Stretch:

Give the exercises fun names: Windmill, Spider Pushups, etc…


The Crossover/Steal/Lead.

Gloves in a row along right-field foul line. Using the gloves as 1st base.

Stance: “Relax” (hands on knees)…

“Ready” (hand move out in front of body)…

“GO!”

THEN RACE IT!


Rounding Base.

Coach sits on bucket 15’ in front of 1st.

Boys give coach a high-five (with left hand!) as they pass,

which swings them out of the baseline to round!

Running through 1st base! (hats/lids lined up from 1st-2nd in dirt)
Have youngest kids jog around the bases, calling out each base as

they step on it—to learn the NAMES of the bases!


EVERYTIME YOU SPEAK TO A PLAYER, USE HIS/HER NAME!


  1. THE THROW

The Grip.

2-finger. But 3-finger with smaller kids.

Use 4-seam!
One-step throw.

Name your legs: GLOVE LEG and POWER LEG

Stand with GLOVE LEG forward.

Name the throw technique:

LOAD ‘EM UP, STRETCH IT BACK, and CUT IT LOOSE

Tell players to “Take a BIG STEP throw!” (Encourages them to

push off back leg). Want to see their BIGGEST STEP!
GAMES:

“Bubba Bounce.”

With TENNIS BALLS, throw the ball hard INTO THE

GROUND to make it bounce. Encourages full rotation of the shoulder and follow-through.

“Target Game”

Put soccer balls on tees, ten paces from players. They try

to knock ball off tee.
Always REINFORCE TECHNIQUES!

Two-Step Throw.

“Bubba Coil”. From one-step position, players “LOAD IT UP,” put

the “BALL IN GLOVE,” then “COIL IT BACK” by taking a step back with GLOVE FOOT so they are now facing the target, and then “LET IT GO!” and throw.
Part II. Begin with BALL and HANDS together in GLOVE facing the

target. Take POWER STEP with POWER FOOT, then step with

GLOVE FOOT, and THROW. 2-STEPS!



  1. THE CATCH

Six Position Catching Wheel.

1. Middle low 2. Glove-side low

3. Glove-side high 4. Chest high

5. Backhand high 6. Backhand low

Thumbs together. Butt out. Cushion the catch.

Practice positions WITHOUT the ball.

Master positions 1-4 at this age!

Put left-handed players in one spot in line. Coach faces them!


Catching with ball.

Coach on knee. Four players in front. Easy soft toss to players.

Work each position of the Catching Wheel.

(Always work position 3 BEFORE position 4)


Catch barehanded or with oven mitt!

GAME IT—a catch is worth a point! 30 seconds!


SHOTGUN: Longer throw. Tests movement of glove around wheel.

Players begin in 4 position. Throw ball to different spots.

Once players are confident, PLAYERS PLAY CATCH TOGETHER.

Work the CATCHING WHEEL!



Teach the “Ready Routine”

“Relaxed”—hands on knees

“Ready”—when the pitcher is in wind-up.

Hands come forward, onto balls.

“Motor”—when batter is ready to swing.

2 steps forward.

“Reset—no hit. Reset it back.

Fly-Ball Circle.

Each player with ball. Throw to coach.

Coach tosses balls to match ability. Forehand side!
Fly-Ball Challenge.

Glove-side catch: 1 point.

Back-hand-side catch: 2 points.
Popcorn.

Practices catching ball in front of catch-side shoulder.

Players throw ball up for themselves.

Ground Balls.

Learn positions! Point to them.

Teach with players along the infield. (Lids give a good sense of space.)

Glove leg forward in a staggered stance.

“Relax…Ready…Motor…Reset”

Field with “Alligator hands.” Call “ball” when you “suck the ball up.”

Power step, and throw.

“Shuffle Ground Balls”—move to field.

“Field and Throw to First Base”—Coach plays 1st!

“King of the Diamond”—not an elimination game!

Sort of “Around the world” of baseball.

Make a clean play: Advance to next position.

3-in-a-row wins KING OF THE DIAMOND

(Begin rolling…later hit)

Add points to increase competition.



  1. HITTING

The Grip.

“Knocking Door Knuckles”


The Swing.

Stance…Step and Coil (“walk to the ball”)…Swing

Stance…step, coil, and swing…CONTACT (out in front!)
Hitting off tee.

Set tee between knees and waist. Barrel of bat below hands.

Put ball out in front of the plate. Player BEHIND the tee.

Create stations so multiple players can hit at the same time.


Pickle (Whiffle) Ball Hitting.

Throw from knees or on bucket. 8-10 swings.


Batting Practice.

Coach pitches from bucket. 7 steps from plate. Behind screen.

Bucket in center field. All players in outfield.


  1. PITCHING

Bubba Coil with Big Step.

From set position.


Pitch to carpet patches on fence.

Targets for points!


CATCHER

Relaxed/Ready Position.

Hands out in front.



  1. PLAY!!

Bubba Baseball.

Big Bat. Pickle Ball. Small field. Hit through the order ONCE.



3 teams. 4 fielders. Play strategies! NO STEALING.
Tell team at beginning of practice: “If you hustle, we’ll play TWO

INNINGS of Bubba Baseball!”


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