We as a staff here at East Stroudsburg North High School in Northeastern Pennsylvania battle the weather and the elements during our early part of the season and much of the remainder of the season. The month of March is very difficult because we are indoors (this year up until our first two games), and then periodically throughout the season.
We try various drills to keep the players’ tempo up and their attitudes positive during indoor practice, especially if they have been on our field for practices and then have to come back in (the players seem to “GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS” when inside).
One Drill We Use Is Called The “300 Drill.”
Our indoor time and space is limited. We have to share with softball and the junior teams as well. Our facility is comprised of two basketball courts with an indoor cage along one wall. Any space indoors will be sufficient.
We line up our hitting stations along the walls of the gymnasium and the indoor cage.
Our hitting stations include:
- Live arm cage hitting
- Flip-drills (soft toss)
- Lead Arm drill (small bat)
- In-Out Tee (two tee)
- Tee station (regular)
- Live bunt drill (Incrediballs or equivalent)
- Swing Away station (Use a “hitting stick” & a rubber plate. One player holds the stick and moves it around the strike zone and the other gets reps hitting the stick in various positions.)
- Thunderstick skinny bat station (small wiffle balls)
We pair players off into groups of two and start by giving each player an index card with the stations printed on them and columns to register their partner’s reps (need a pencil per group). We explain to the players that they have to get “300” good contact REPS in the drill. We give each group limited time at each station to ensure they go to each station at least twice.
Some Indoor Hitting Drill Rules They Must Follow Are:
- No more than 25 reps per station
- Don’t cheat for your partner
- Shag your station before you rotate to the next
- Don’t start until the coach in the cage begins to pitch (this ensures limited time at each station because our coach only throws twelve pitches to each batter in the cage – 2 bunts and 10 live – and then coach instructs to rotate).
- Stress that it is not a speed drill but a REP drill
You can find variations to this drill from the number of players in the stations to using different drills at different times. We use eight because we carry 16 players this year and the number works in groups of two.
We find that this drill keeps our kids motivated and maximizes time and reps (good reps). Once the players reach “300” we reward them with 20-30 more pitches in the cage, since this is every player’s favorite station.
Thomas Arthur: Former Head Varsity Baseball Coach at East Stroudsburg Area High School North in Dingmans Ferry, PA. He was also the Head Coach of American Legion Post 221 in Scranton.
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