In my very first Baseball Chronicles book, among my most well-known articles concerning comments was”Four Things Coaches Must Practice But Don’t.”
The four things that I said were: Pitchers not practicing fielding from the mound, catching a foul ball near a fence, players not slipping and practicing fielding wild pitches or passed balls. Reading a few of the comments I got, many of the readers have been somewhat misconstrued about my stage. There must be hundreds. I simply picked four of those that I see coming up year after year. So keeping with the spirit of practicing rather than telling your players, here are five things which come up over and over again which most trainers don’t practice or go over.
1) Calling timeout. About once every few years I witness that a runner and that he gets up without calling a timeout or calls timeout and it isn’t acknowledged it by the umpire. As he gets up out of his slide, A smart infielder will put his glove with the ball on the baserunner inside. And he has called out when he slips off the base if only for an instant or supposes he has time. We must teach our players that calling a timeout in organized sports is a lot different than calling a timeout in your own backyard. Coaches should practice having their players slip into a base, then call”time out” with the trainer playing umpire. The coach should not acknowledge the timeout right away keeping the baserunner on the floor. Each and every participant should go through this at least.
It is the same situation once the batter asks for time. Coaches should practice this teaching player not to step out of the batter’s box before they are given time by the umpire.
2) Rundowns with too many throws. I’m obsessed with it. We rundowns almost once per week. Youth baseball coaches teach to conduct the runner back from. I choose the approach that is pro-active that rundowns are a gift to the defensive team and you have to come off with the outside. The perfect number of throws is none. And I teach my players that the ball shouldn’t be thrown. I use the term”sprint manner” and teach my players once you get the runner into this sprint mode, it is hard for him to stop and shift directions and that’s when we take our one and only throw. This needs to be practiced. Renovate your baseball field today at MarCo Clay!
3) Baserunners Stopping At First. We see it all of the time. A player will hit a slow grounder and run to first base simply to end right at the base like the foundation is a wall thus slowing himself up being called out when if he conducted through the base he’d have defeated it out to get a base hit. We inform our staff to run through first base but just how many of us take time to practice this? This is one of the easiest things to do and it is going to stick in the player’s head, when you exercise this. Set a cone up ten feet and also have your staff get in one line. On the”move” control they operate one at a time and creep past the base up into the cone. Simple but it works and should be practiced with your baserunners.
4) Covering 1st On Grounder To Right Side. One of my obsessions. See a youth baseball game once the ball is hit to the ideal side of their infield and the pitcher stays frozen on the mound? This may have a manager get gray throughout the course of this day. We practice every pitcher being given a chance from the mound by this. A pitch is simulated by him and I’ll throw a grounder between the second and initial baseman. The pitcher has to run off the mound to pay . A key here is to make certain the initial baseline is hit by the pitcher around 6-10 feet before the base turns it up toward the foundation. Whoever wields the baseball has to lead the very first baseman with the baseball. This should be practiced using a baserunner simulating game conditions. See: Marco Clay | Sports & baseball clay products
5) Bunting at high pitches. Every player who plays for me personally in our league knows we bunt a lot. Every player and each must become bunters during the course of the season. We even practice bunting with two strikes a plan baseball purists will frown upon. Our bunt signs are always changing to be certain that the opponents aren’t picking it up. Even with all this practicing, it drives me nuts when a player is given the bunt sign and above his shoulders, it is on another pitch and he offers at it. So the batter is currently putting himself in the hole with one strike on a ball outside of the strike zone and another team knows we’re bunting. Coaches must inform these young ballplayers that when they are awarded the bunt sign, it doesn’t mean that they need to bunt at all costs. We want them to bunt at balls in the attack zone. This must be told to the players and practiced. We clinic bunting a lot in batting training and whichever coach is throwing, I let them throw balls out of the strike zone. So if the ball is out of the strike zone we’re practicing having my players understand buntable balls and pulling back their bats. Coaches need to practice this.