Baseball practice planning prep is essential for all baseball coaches, and especially for youth baseball coaches. Great coaches, from Little League to the Major League’s, come to each practice with a plan. They’re not just winging it. They know what they’re going to do, so practice time becomes simply an implementation of a plan. Not only do players learn more about the game this way, but it makes it so much easier for baseball coaches.
With a plan in hand, coaches can free their minds to live in the moment and teach. Coaches who don’t come ready for a plan have to spend valuable practice time thinking about “what are we going to do next,” instead of coaching in the moment.
Baseball Practice Planning
John Blissenbach, has made it easy for youth baseball coaches with a guide for baseball practice planning. He has captured a complete season’s worth of baseball plans for youth players into the Well Prepared Coach® Youth Baseball Practice Plans. Recognizing that kids don’t like to stand around and wait turns, John places an strong emphasis on fun, structured, fast-moving practices loaded with fundamentals.
Blissenbach, who has coached youth baseball from kindergarten aged players through high school, knows about the importance of planning for practices. At the young age of 20 he was head coach for a high school JV team and had to quickly come up to speed to lead his young squad. He learned that planning each minute of every practice led to more and more success on the field. Over the course of coaching dozens of teams, he’s fine-tuned his approach, adding new points that work well and finessing others to make it easier for newcomers and experienced coaches alike.
“Years of coaching baseball have gone into this book – but, it’s been a labor of love. The goal is that your players will be learning, having fun and picking up on the key baseball concepts at the right time,” said Blissenbach.
“As you enter a new baseball season,” Blissenbach continued, “Three things are certain: 1.) your players will be diverse in their skills and understanding of the game, 2.) there is great deal your players will need to learn, and 3.) you will have a limited amount of time to prepare for each practice, as well as a limited amount of time during practice.
“This guide takes these components into consideration, and the result is a proven plan that works,” said Blissenbach, “The most rewarding part of writing this book for me has been coaches letting me know how much more enjoyable their season was for them personally, and also how much more their player improved because of it.”
Book Excerpt from the Well Prepared Coach Youth Baseball Practice Plans
- Plan your practices. What does your team need right now to move forward and improve? Customize these practice plans to your own unique situation. Practices early in the season will require more explanation — plan fewer exercises so that more time can be devoted to explanation and demonstration.
- Committing to meeting at least 10 minutes prior to each practice can make a big difference for your team. In addition to ensuring players are ready to go when the field is theirs, it’s your time to teach additional concepts, bond with your team and for players to talk and ask questions. Ten extra minutes at each practice can make a big difference.
- Get in the habit from the first practice of starting on time and ending on time.
- Once you have the field, coaches shouldn’t do a lot of talking until the kids have had a chance to burn off some excess energy during their warm up routine.
- Kids can tire of the same drill if it’s done for too long of a time. Look for ways to keep drills exciting.
- Have mini-competitions, e.g. which group of players can do the relay drill the fastest or which player can make the most accurate throws to home from second base.
- Have entire team competitions, e.g. how many consecutive ground balls can the team field without error? Pick a number to beat. If the team beats the number, players get to choose the next activity.
- Identify players who are doing the drills with correct form and have them demonstrate to other players. It’s a great ego boost for the player who is asked to demonstrate.
- Always remember, “Shout praise, whisper criticism.”
- End practice on a high note: an exercise players like and words of praise. You want your players anxious to come back for more.
- Bring a dry-erase board and marker to practices and games.
- Make it fun. Smile more and yell less. Never forget they’re kids.
Published with permission of author and publisher.
To find out more and purchase the Well Prepared Coach Youth Baseball Practice Plans go here. John Blissenbach is also the author of the Well Prepared Coach Youth Softball Practice plans.
The Well Prepared Coach offers a line of practice plans, MVP Offseason Workout plans for players and Award Certificates for a variety of sports. All the titles are available instantly with purchase – you’ll receive a link to download your digital file right away.