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Coach Corner

Practice fundamentals for all levels.

(These notes were taken from the coaches clinic given by KHS head coach Aversa)

Practice

Set expectations - need to accomplish x, y, and z

Use of a tee is important at all levels.

Keep them (kids) into the game/practice and away from distractions

2 or 3 goals for practices - contact or positions

Go thru all positions, Go over Force outs

contests - make it fun

Music - keeps it fun

No boring practices

STRETCHING

Safety first - ounce of prevention

Stretch their arms

Laps in gym/diamond to get blood pumping

Scarecrows - arms in field goal position while rotating at waist. Up and down

Arm circles, then hold each arm against chest to stretch shoulders.  Over head pull with other arm.

Arm against wall behind.  Side against wall different arm angles.

WARM UPS

One knee throws - glove knee up.  Front shoulder to target. 

Back elbow out, ball faces away from thrower.  Chest to knee, arm follow through over knee. 

Then on two knees - face each other at a 45 degree angle and repeat the above form.

Two hands on glove to make the catch.

Then feet in cement (scarecrowish)How many catches without dropping with your partner

Don't reach for the ball, move your feet to center ball in chest as you catch.

Try to keep elbow up instead of bringing ball down and around.

Then step and throw to your partner, and step back one step after a few minutes.

FIELDING DRILLS

Infield - 10 throws - roll to partner then switch. 

Approach the ball - glove out front - hand on top (catch and cover like an alligator).  Your back should be straight, glove down and out front with hand on top.  Get ball to ear - not stomach to throw.

Now roll ball to left and right for 10 and switch.

Short hop, close to feet or longer hop. (Tennis ball can be used for younger kids.)

Outfield (move kids around so they are versatile) Make them throw to a target from distance as if they were a relay guy. Tape a square to some netting. Learn the crow hop- Inside/outside glove foot (front foot) jump off that foot to bring back foot to 45-90 degrees and front foot out front to be in good throwing position. As the catch is being made glove-side foot should be hitting ground, then crow hop. Catch towards throwing shoulder. Moving forward. Ready position- glove up. If down, lots of room for ball to scoot under. Base running. Most important is first base. Run through the orange safety base and turn outside if on the infield. If advancing to 2nd or 3rd base, hit the front corner of the base with your inside foot, not outside foot, because it will slow you down and not be a direct path to the next base. Talk about scoring position. Be ready to get to second. Explain tagging up.

PROPER BATTING STANCE

Stance - "A" frame.  YOur body should form a capital letter A. 

-60% weight on back leg, 40% on front leg.  

-Hands up.  Top hand closer to head than bottom hand, back elbow should be in a position where you would be ready to punch someone, not down against your side.

-Move front foot 3-4 inches forward, this is not a timing mechanism.

-Twist back foot to "Squash the bug".

-Pivot through hips, and bat right down the barrel as you keep your eye on ball. 

Watch it all the way to the catcher's glove when you don't swing. 

HITTING DRILLS

Partners - even them up.  Soft toss before they go to cage.  Show ball then lob it to them.   Four or five feet away on the side.  Two balls and coach calls top or bottom.  Show balls then throw. 

Drop drill. Throw from behind, have to catch up to ball.L screen - outside corner to drive opposite field. Live pitching Small balls. One arm, one knee. Front and back arm separately.

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