Baseball Practice Drills – Scrimmage Variations
In baseball, practice makes perfect, which means that baseball practice drills are the best way to hone players’ skills properly and sharpen their reflexes. These two drills are variations of traditional scrimmage with players rotating positions or beginning with a full count to help bolster their competitive spirits.
Practice Makes Perfect
As the old saying goes, "practice makes perfect". While this saying can be applied almost anywhere, it rings especially true where baseball is concerned, since players with less ability can hone and tune the skills required of their position to surpass naturally athletic players, and the best way to improve these skill sets is by running baseball practice drills.
Quality over Quantity
The most important thing to keep in mind when running baseball practice drills is that quality should be favored over quantity. Drills are put into place so that players can learn and perfect the right way of doing things, since repeating a skill in the improper way will cause the mind to revert to that in game play situations. Coaches should always encourage players to execute baseball practice drills 10 times with perfect form as opposed to 20 times with speed and sloppy form.
When demonstrating baseball practice drills, go slow at first to emphasize form and function. Allow the players a chance to ask questions and run through the drill at half-speed if so desired. Finally, many baseball practice drills can be run as mini games or competitions which help to foster the competitive spirit and encourages players to give their all and overcome the mindset that they’re just running drills.
Soft Toss and 3-2 Count Scrimmages
Try selecting baseball practice drills that incorporate a large number of players so that everyone can get involved such as this one called "Soft Toss Scrimmage". To begin, split the players into two teams. One team will start on offense while the other starts on defense. Since teams will be short of a full defense, let them decide how they’d like to orient themselves in the field to maximize defensive potential.
To begin, the coach soft tosses the ball towards the batter. The batter must swing at every pitch, and the regular three strikes rule applies. Players are not allowed to bunt or steal bases. After every hitter, the defense rotates one position to the left as quickly as possible, giving every player a chance to try all the positions and use their quick-thinking reflexes in situations they may not be as familiar with. After six outs, the teams switch sides, and play continues for at least three innings or until one team has scored the desire number of runs.
Next here’s a drill called "3-2 Scrimmage". The drill is conducted like a regular scrimmage with players at their regular positions, except that the hitter begins with a full count of 3-2, which speeds up game play remarkably. Younger or inexperienced players can begin with a 2-1 count to give them a little more leeway.
The purpose of this scrimmage drill is to force the pitcher to focus and throw a strike when the pressure is on, since there is no room for error when the count is full. The drill also places the batter in the must-swing mentality, since they only have one chance. After three outs the teams switch sides, and play continues until one team has scored ten runs.
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Kenny Buford has been coaching baseball for well over two decades.
|By Kenny Buford