Practice Length: 1 Hour

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: 15 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Another great drill for warming up, having fun, and building team unity. This is another great opportunity for you—the coach—to get an idea of skill/strength levels.

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 (Split)

Outfield – Pop-Up/Line Drive & Hula Hoop Throw: 12 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Get them used to seeing the ball off the bat. Again, two coaches for this drill: one coach hits either a liner or a fly ball, while the other coach is working with the players in the outfield. Start close and go slowly, and as the players begin to get loose, increase the distance to what would be a typical game-like fly ball or line drive.

To keep it fun, have the players try to hit a hula hoop (or cones) next to the coach hitting the ball.

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

Infield: Groundball Top Hand and Throw to First – 12 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip:.Take the other half of the players and fill the infield—by now, you should have a general idea of who can play where. Hit grounders to each player, focusing on “two hands” and then the throw to first. Have the first baseman make the throw to home.

Note: Rotate the players so each fields a ball at each position. (Lefties, too, just to get the work.)

Break at for a minute or so and then switch up the groups.

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Offense: 40 Minutes

Hitting: Live Tee Work w/Baserunning: 40 minutes

YSPN360 Coaching Tip: Use this time to begin building what will be a lineup. Fill the infield and outfield and have each player hit. This isn’t so much about the score, so also have kids stay on base and also go over baserunning. N

YSPN360/Dugout Captain Video(s) to Incorporate

Note: Again, the coaches should walk around the infield and outfield, giving pointers and keeping things fun.

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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