Running a practice requires planning and organization. With limited field space, optimizing practice time is more essential than ever. Some basic suggestions for structuring a practice:
Keep the practice to 90 minutes. Anything longer and players will lose focus.
Plan your practice a head of time. Take a few minutes and write down the skills and drills you want to emphasize. Go over the plan with your coaches while players are warming up and be ready to go.
Organize the practice using a stations-based approach where you and your assistants break into smaller groups and emphasize specific drills/skills. Rotate the players through the various stations. This keeps the players moving and engaged.
Avoid hitting or pitching to a single player while remaining players stand and watch.
Be positive and enthusiastic, the coaches set the tone for practice, keep the energy level high.
Players will struggle as they learn a new technique or skill, stay patient. You’ll see tremendous improvement from the first weeks.
Be creative. Vary the drills used at each practice-incorporate competition. Keep it fun.
Talk to other coaches, share drills, and use coaching websites (see below) to expand your arsenal.
Each coach will be required annually to attend a league sponsored coach’s clinic. Whether you have coached before or are just getting started the clinics are well done and great way to pick up some pointers on organizing a practice and teaching the fundamentals to young players.
Below you will find links to age appropriate training sessions that can aid coaches throughout the year. These sessions were created by Needham Little League to help coaches develop player skills, confidence, fitness, and to create an atmosphere of teamwork.
The plans are segmented by league: K - Single A, Double AA - Majors. Click on any of the links below to download the appropriate training sessions. Feel free to mix and match the sessions to fit your teams individual development needs. For those challenging occasions where you find yourself coaching alone we have also created a Coaching Solo plan.
For those looking for additional coaching resources click here.
If you have any questions about these drills or have other drills you would like to see incorporated into our training program, please our Training Director (found here).
Never underestimate the effect you can have on the lives of every player who calls you "Coach"! Stay positive, have fun.