Wednesdays Web Gems Tips - Common Sense Coaching Tips
One thing that perplexes me when watching youth baseball is how coaches allow players to stay in the exact position for each batter. Of course, it is not the big leagues, when they have hitting charts as to where hitters tend to hit balls, but that does not mean that coaches can't position their defense for greater success.
Coaching suggestions that may help position the defense:
"View of an unidentified baseball player, of the American League's Chicago White Sox, running to first base from home plate and unidentified baseball players, of the American League's St. Louis Browns, playing defense and standing in position on the field at an American League ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri, during a baseball game between the White Sox and Browns. Crowds are sitting in grandstands and bleachers in the background." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Physically bigger hitters will tend to pull the ball more and, of course, hit for more power, so players should position themselves to the pull side and deeper.
2. Vice versa, smaller players tend to be late on the balls and not hit with as much power, so players should shade to the opposite field and play in more.
3. Batters at the top of the order are likely to run faster, so the infield defense should play in more.
4. Force-outs, are crucial in baseball, so having middle infielders shade towards second base is necessary. Double plays are not common at the young ages but force-outs are.
5. Teaching players what "straight up" positioning means is also important, so kids know how to shade in each direction. Straight up means equal distant between the bases.
Once again, these are just a couple of ideas that youth coaches can employ, with consideration for their pitcher's throwing speed something to consider also, when setting up their defense. The point is that players, even at the low levels of baseball, should not position themselves exactly the same batter after batter.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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