6-U Practice Plan 2

Practice Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Best Practices for Long-term Development:

  • Introducing basic fundamentals at this age should be the focus.  Most kids—and we say “most” because there are always exceptions—won’t take well to “mechanical” instruction. They simply aren’t there yet. But teaching easy concepts, like which foot to step with when throwing or how to grip a bat properly, will work!
  • Focus on foundational ideas that do not require fine motor skills.
  • Build the framework for sportsmanship, being a good teammate!
  • Be patient.

Pre-Practice Warm-Up

Obstacle Course: 10 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Use this drill to warm up, have fun, and build team unity. Kids this age might not be the best at introducing themselves or letting loose, so make the Obstacle Course about picking up the next player: Cheer for each athlete as they perform the course. Use name recognition and urge the other kids to join in.

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Practice

Baserunning: 15 Minutes

Out of the Box and Rounding/Going Through First: 15 minutes (5-min Discussion)

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: While the players are still in “Running Around” mode, now is the perfect time to move into some simple baserunning: Getting out of the box and either rounding first or going through the bag.

Note: The first five munites should be Coach Demonstration/Discussion. Go over the Arm Swing Cycle (again) and talk about the importance of knowing where the ball is.

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Defense: 25 Minutes

Groundball Competition: 20 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Two coaches for this drill: one coach rolls a grounder, tosses a ball directly to/or near the fielder (line drive simulation), or lobs a pop-up. The other coach should receive the throw. Start close and go slowly, and as the players begin to get loose, increase the distance to what would be a typical throw from second base and first base.

Note: Pay attention to ability during this drill—it will help you get a better idea of who can play where.

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Offense: 40 Minutes

Hitting Stations: Soft Toss, Tee Work: 15 minutes (Split)

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Take the first few practices to go over proper grips and swing mechanics, this time progressing from the first lessons—still use the individual tee time and soft toss to begin to understand each hitter’s skillset (including capabilities) based on their strength and what’s comfortable to them. 

Note: Rotate at the halfway point.

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Coach Toss BP with Rotating Full Infield/Outfield: 25 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Make it a game!! Take everything that was learned during station time and introduce live BP. Have the other players take positions in the field, rotating with each new hitter—whoever is at third base will be on-deck. Rotate the fielders over—moving the right fielder to first—after each hitter is finished.

The coaches not throwing should walk around the infield and outfield, giving pointers and keeping things fun. Get to know the team! Let them get to know you!

Post-Practice Mentoring/Leadership: 5 Minutes

Discussion: 5 Minutes

  • What was their favorite part of the day—what did they learn?
  • Talk about expectations: being a good teammate, being focused while having FUN.
  • Talk about the next practice: what to expect.
  • Get a show of hands: Who wants to pitch?
  • Remember: End the practice with a High Five Line—“Good Game!”

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Again, life lessons and mentoring dialogue will probably not stick with 6-U—so take this time to discuss the positions on the field: Who likes what best, and why. Talk about being prepared—simplify this: keeping your shoelaces tied; not drawing stick figures in the dirt during a 3-2 pitch.

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