These three drills for kids - Target Bunting, 500, and Relay Base Running - are favorites because they teach essential baseball skills in a fun, fresh way. Coaching beginning baseball provides an opportunity to help kids develop a love of the game that will last them a lifetime, and these drills are a great way to start.
For this drill, coaches will need three hula hoops, preferably in different colors, a couple bats, and several baseballs. Position the hula hoops in front of home plate in different bunting zones: in the first base line, directly in front of the plate, and in the third base line.
Coaches will pitch to players at home plate and call out a color, and the players will attempt to bunt the ball into the designated hoop. This is a great way for players to develop control in their bunting. To create an element of competition, coaches can award points for each target made.
500 The baseball game 500 is a classic, and it has become a tradition for a reason. It forces players to work on their fielding skills and utilizes a powerful incentive for kids - the opportunity to practice their batting. For this drill, all the players except for one will spread out in the field. The remaining player will be the batter. The coach pitches to the batter, the batter hits the ball, and the fielders attempt to accurately field the ball. If a player catches the ball before it hits the ground, he receives 100 points. If he fields it after one bounce, he gets 50 points. Fielding any other grounder is worth 25 points. The first player to reach 500 points gets to bat.
Coaches can vary the number of points to match the age and ability level of the players. To avoid collisions in the field, the coach can call out who gets to field the ball.
Relay Base Running
Relay Base Running provides a great way to practice base running skills while also including a ball handling element. Start by dividing the team into two groups. One group will line up at home plate and the other group will line up at second base. The first player in each line carries a ball.
At the whistle, the first player in each line will round the bases. When he reaches his team, he will hand the ball off to the next player, who will then round the bases. The first team to have each player make it around with the ball wins.
Coaches can have the players use gloves to carry the ball for an additional challenge. Then, after each player rounds the last base he can toss the ball to the next player in line instead of handing it off.