I am a middle school baseball coach in North Carolina. Early in the season our weather is miserable and often cannot practice outdoors. Being the lowest ranking ball program spacing indoors is rarely available to us. Are there any drills you can recommend for indoor practices that take place in small areas?
Coaching in snow country for so many seasons, I understand exactly what you’re having to go through.
Let’s assume by your question that you do have a small indoor space to work with.
You Need Basic Baseball Equipment
What we need to have is a bunch of wiffle balls, rag balls, foam balls or other lighter-weight but regulation-size balls so that we can do the normal hitting drills from the batting tee, soft toss, front toss, short toss batting practice in that confined space.
We can do fielding drills from a short distance, emphasizing quick hands and footwork, even utilizing no glove or pancake gloves.
- Both catching and throwing drills can be imagined with partner feeding ground balls as well as quick catch and accurate throws.
- Add the players on their knees to further isolate the upper half does great improvement to throwing drills with some type of light ball in a short area if needed.
My Indoor Baseball Drills Experience
I recall many times having to actually hold practice in a classroom during the early part of the season when the gym was being taken over by the basketball teams while I was trying to get baseball started in Colorado. I used almost every typical drill that you would ever use indoors or out but the type of ball made a huge difference. I will go so far as to tell you that back in the day, I took pairs of sweat socks and rolled them up real tight and taped them to create a ball that could be hit or thrown in that classroom without doing damage.
So my answer is to get a bunch of light balls of any sort that you can do these drills without tearing things up and go to work just like you normally would. Add a catch net a batting tee and even splurge on an automatic soft toss machine. In the right situation, you may be able to use official balls but real balls always hold the chance of damage.
Indoor Baseball Drills Need A Creative Coach With A Creative Mind
This is one more area where real coaching comes in and where you have to be innovative; cleverly outworking your baseball competition.
Kids will get bored more quickly indoors so make sure you approach your kids that this is the way they are going to better. Preach to them that this is a unique situation and we’re going to be better for it.
This will help your small space workouts & give you creative direction you can then improve on!
— Coach AS
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