This is an infield drill. Players at their spots, one coach fungoes, another times how fast the fungoed ball reaches first base. Players must make 50 straight plays in less than 4.5 seconds each. Any mistake returns count to zero. You can make the time whatever you want. It represents the average runner’s time to first base. You also can decide the number of successful plays needed. It doesn’t have to be “50.”
- Perfect innings
Two teams compete against each other: one on defense, one running the bases. Coach hits the ball wherever he wants. A team must make nine consecutive outs. Any mistake pulls the team off the field and the other team goes on defense. Try to simulate all routine situations that come up in a game.
- Ingredients to success
Teams of eight compete against each other in a timed game. (Timed or number of innings.) Coach throws. Teams coach themselves. Coaches back off. Players try to win the game and complete all ingredients to success that are used that particular day. For example, today during the course of the game you must have each of the following:
1) An attempted sacrifice
2) An attempted hit and run
3) A two-out nobody on rally to score a run
4) A two-out RBI hit
5) An attempted squeeze
6) A first and third play
7) Score a runner from third with less than two out.You decide the situations you want to work on and let them play. If Coach lays the ball in there, these and many other situations will arise.
- Compete against the line score
Use your starting lineup for the next day. Batters 1 – 5 are hitting. Batters 6 – 9 and other players fill the positions. Coach pitches and players get two pitches to hit the ball (two ball). Use your scoreboard to post a score for the inning, say a “1” for the visitors. Your team reacts to the score and plays their half of the inning. After hitter number 5 bats, batters 1 – 5 go on defense and 6 – 9 come in and continue the inning. Each inning you post a new score and have your team squeak out a victory by coming from behind. This is a great drill for simulating a battling, come-from-behind mentality.
- “5, 6, 7”
Play a three-inning scrimmage that simulates the last three innings of a game. Emphasis is on the bunt game, cutting runners down at the plate, etc. Coaches throw. Create different situations to assure that you get the looks that you want.
Bill Hutton is the Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, CA. In 2005 he was named the State Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.