With so many young players interested in baseball and ways to improve their game, we decided to compile a list of our favorite youth baseball drills. These drills and practice ideas will focus on establishing fundamentals, improving strength and flexibility, and refining baseball skills. We have attempted to provide drills that will be engaging for young players, and challenging enough for more experienced players.
Each of our youth drills has been categorized as either hitting or fielding drills. We hope you can use these drills to get your player ready for little league or engage your team at practice.
Hitting Drills for Little League
Nothing gets a young player more excited about the game of baseball than having success at the plate. Whether it’s lining a ball to the outfield or hitting your first home run, squaring up the baseball with your best swing is a feeling players don’t ever want to forget.
Parents looking to help their young players hit better should look into youth hitting drills. These drills enhance players' hand-eye coordination and develop consistency in their swings. Luckily, we have a few of the best baseball hitting drills to help you coach your young slugger into the best hitter they can be.
[Tip: Baseball is centered around offensive failure. To help your player hit better, focus on small successes and build their confidence.]
Make hitting fun. Create a competition for players to compete against each other or their own previous scores. Give each hitter ten pitches to hit. Determine a scoring system to reward each hit
- Ground Ball (1 point)
- Fly Ball (1 point)
- Line Drive (3 Points)
- Swing and Miss (-2 Points)
- Hit to the Fence (3 Points)
- Home Run (5 Points
You can change the reward system and even the point totals to fit the needs of your hitter(s). It can be even more fun if you create situations involving the entire team where points are accumulated based on advancing and scoring runners. It’s an easy hitting drill that engages players in trying to be the best version of themselves. Highly recommended for hitters of all ages.
Looking for a youth baseball drill for the whole team to enjoy? Try knockout!
You’ve likely played a round of knockout on the basketball court or in PE class, but have you ever played it on the diamond? It’s a simple, engaging way to teach players to hit the ball to all portions of the field.
Create an order for your players to hit in. For each round, give the players a goal to achieve.
- Hit a line drive
- Hit the ball to the opposite field
- Hit the ball up the middle
- Pull the ball
- Hit a fly ball deep enough to score a runner from third
- Lay down a sacrifice bunt
Each hitter will receive one swing. If a hitter succeeds in performing the goal, they automatically advance to the next round If a hitter fails to perform the goal, they are then at the mercy of the hitter behind them in the order. If the following hitter succeeds, the original hitter is eliminated from the competition. If the following hitter also fails, the original hitter advances to the next round, and the second hitter is now at the mercy of the hitter behind them. Play until only one hitter remains.
If you can’t hit a ball that is standing still, how are you ever going to hit a ball that is moving? Use a tee to your advantage. It may seem simple, but tee work is a vital drill for younger hitters.
Change the location of your tee in relation to the plate, along with varying the height at which your player is hitting the ball. For pitches on the inside of the plate, move the tee in front of the plate. As the pitch gets further and further away from your hitter (outside pitches) make sure to move the tee deeper in the zone. This will replicate allowing the ball to travel on outside pitches, which will generate more power to all parts of the field.
Players will often scoff at the idea of hitting off a tee. Especially younger players that still view it as “tee-ball.” However, you should inform them that most professional baseball hitters hit off a tee regularly. Learn to love hitting off a tee, and you’ll love to love hitting!
How do I get my player ready for the season?
We get this question all the time. Parents want to know how they can best prepare their player for the little league season. It’s important to not overthink it. Baseball needs repetition. We suggest that you play as much catch and hit as often as you can. Spend a few weeks prior to the season working with your player on hitting, fielding, and running. The more they play the game and interact with the ball, the better prepared they will be for the season. Good luck!
Youth Fielding Drills
Teach your player how to become a better fielder and they’ll learn to love to play defense. These top drills for youth fielders are designed to improve infielders, outfielders, and catchers. We have dedicated the focus of these drills towards developing and building fundamentally sound baseball players.
We all know the kid’s game, Hot Potato, but have you ever thought about using it to make your players better at baseball?
This is a really fun drill that engages players of all skill levels while teaching them to have soft hands on the infield. Create a circle with players only a few feet apart from one another. Players do not need their gloves for this game. Toss the ball around the circle until a player throws a bad toss or a player drops a good toss. If nobody is dropping the ball, pause the game and have everyone take a step backward. Compete until only one player (or two) remains.
End of the year fun. Play this game at your last practice but instead of baseballs and softballs, use eggs. Be sure to have someone document the fun!
Tandem Fly Balls
Learn to communicate in the outfield with this helpful drill.
Partner up with a teammate. Have the player slated to catch the ball turn around backward. Throw the ball up in the air. Their partner must communicate with them when they should turn around and then point to help them locate the ball. Alternate jobs within the drill after each turn. Be sure to emphasize the importance of outfield communication and how to work as a team to record the out.
Field on Your Knees
Most young players struggle to field because they either backup on ground balls or they don’t bend over far enough to keep their gloves on the ground. Combat these bad habits by forcing their hands to do all of the work.
Start with your player on their knees. Show them that their hands need to be out in front of their bodies when they field the ball. Start with easy ground balls, but pick up the intensity to continue challenging your player(s). As they become more and more comfortable with the mechanics, transition them into ground balls on their feet. You’ll be surprised with how much better they can field.
Unzip the Jacket
This is a simple drill designed to improve young players’ throwing mechanics and is a great drill to do when warming up. Split your team into two lines equal distance apart. Have the players with the ball start with their hands just below their chins. When you say “GO!” have them act like they are unzipping their jackets as they load their arm into throwing positions. This will help support proper throwing mechanics every time they warm up their arms.
The more you can practice these baseball drills, the better you and your player will become. We encourage you to continue finding ways to engage your players in the game of baseball. If you ever have any questions about baseball drills and tips, the best bats to buy, or just want to talk about the game itself, be sure to hit us up. We have a team of experts ready to help you out with any of your baseball needs. We’re JustBats and we’re with you from Click to Hit!