When it comes to youth baseball, there is no better way than to get the kids together and have a good old-fashioned backyard drill. In the forum of the backyard, a coach can cover many topics such as holding the bat properly, the swing, and body movement.
There is probably not a baseball-loving kid or adult who is not up for a good round of backyard baseball drills.
It’s All in the Hands
When first starting out, the position of the hands is probably one of the more important things a batter needs to know. Having the hands aligned coming to the ball and in front of the body, position is a great place to begin batting drills. When a youth understands that their hands are an important part of batting skills, drills emphasizing the position and placement of the hands brings a better understanding of connecting with the ball.
Rolling Wrist Drills
Team members place themselves in the contact stance and roll the bat repeatedly forwards and backwards, having the bat touch each shoulder. Wrists and forearms are the main focus of this drill and should be the only parts rotating the bat.
One of the more well-known drills is the fence drill. This drill has been around for many years and continues to aid in basic backyard baseball skills. Set up your team members facing a chain link fence that is at least five to six feet tall. Have the player take their stance with feet parallel about one to one and half feet away from the fence.
Have the team member feel for the distance from the fence by taking a few cuts to begin with and making sure that they do not make contact with the fence. Once they see that they are in the right position, the drill is used for taking cuts without contact with the fence.
Throw and Catch
Start with the basics of throw and catch. If the fundamentals of throwing and catching are not there, then the more complex techniques will never be successful. Teaching a youth that throwing and catching involves the hands, wrists, elbows, arms, and even the feet, will provide more technique when it is necessary later on in more advanced skills.
Repetition and practice of throwing and catching is integral for most basic backyard baseball skills. The more practice and the longer the duration, which is key, the more success throwing and catching will bring. By spending longer durations of time, the upper arm gains strength and stamina, and skills are maintained.
While these are just some of the basics, many more backyard basic drills from intermediate to advance are easily learned with practice and determination.