Whether your child signs up for a little league or your high schooler tries out for their school’s team, it’s always helpful to give them some pointers to improve their game. They may not know the best drills for baseball players to practice, but you can point them in the right direction to supplement their training if they’re on their own. Support their athletic endeavor and allow them to practice critical techniques and get familiar with the sport.
Catching Pop Flies
One of the most common catches is the pop fly. The batter hits the ball high up into the air. It then sharply drops after it reaches its apex. While this looks impressive, this is one of the easiest hits for the outfield team to deal with, as there’s lots of time to find and catch the ball. But with improper technique, your child can miss a pop fly completely or, in the worst-case scenario, get hit in the face with it.
It’s best to start with a softer ball, such as a tennis ball, and throw it directly up into the air to simulate a real pop fly. After that, it’s as simple as your child mentally calculating where the ball is going and where their gloved hand should be. They need to build that muscle memory to be as efficient as possible in the middle of a game.
Scooping Up Grounded Balls
Besides a pop fly, a batter can hit a grounder. This is a ball that skids against the ground rather than flying through the air. A grounder is a harder ball to catch and can throw off the outfielders as they try to scoop it up. Catchers need to position their gloves in a way where the ball continues to roll straight into their gloves. However, it’s common for the ball to deflect off the fingers and shoot off somewhere else.
Whether you hit grounded balls yourself off a tee or get a pitching machine, you can angle the balls towards the outfield for your child to go after. They can practice their technique and condition their stamina to get used to the frequent running back and forth along the field.
Double Tee Training
As mentioned, pop flies are among the easiest ways a batter can get out, and there’s a way to practice against hitting them. Set up two different tees in front of the plate. Place one tee about a foot in front of the other. Place the ball on the most forward tee, with the empty one sitting behind it. Have your child swing at the ball. If they hit the first tee, they’re swinging too low.
Swinging low and hitting the ball closer to the bottom sends it up, resulting in a fly ball. This drill conditions them to aim higher and hit it more in the center to send it straight down the middle of the field.
Practice Makes Perfect
When practicing the best drills for baseball players, you need to ensure your child has the best equipment. There is no one-size-fits-all piece of equipment, especially with bats. Make sure you and your child know how to pick the best bat for their size and style. Doing so will enable them to improve their game and play towards their strengths.