Keeping Practice Fun!

My name is Steve Cummings and for years I have coached my children in baseball using fun and engaging methods to keep them on top of their game. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvanian, I wanted my children to experience the same joy for sports that I had growing up. One thing that I hated about practice, was the boring, repetitive drills. Nothing was new and everything was routine. I didn’t like that, it wasn’t challenging. Baseball stuck with me all the way through college but once I became a parent, I had to put playing on the back burner. Once my children got a bit older though, I was able to not only bring baseball back into my life but introduce them the sport. Now, I have two boys both in little league. Due to my love of this game, I wanted to make a site all about cool and fun ways to play and practice. In order to tweak and perfect a skill, you need to constantly challenge yourself. If you practice the same, your results will be the same.

Pepper

The Game of Pepper is one game that I remember playing as a kid. A lot of coaches use it and it has been around a very long time. This game keeps kids on their toes because they won’t know if the next hit will be their turn to catch. Basically, the team lines up, spaced about five feet away from each other and another player, or coach, bats. The first thrower tosses the ball to the batter and the batter hits back. The player that fails to catch or toss the ball appropriately back to the batter is out and the last man standing is the winner. This game is great for learning how hard or how soft to throw and focuses on certain kinds of tosses.

Pitching and Batting

One tool I love to use is my pitching machine. Of course I still practice live pitches with my kids but this machine helps strengthening their hit. I can also set the speed and distance from the plate, allowing for easier or more difficult hits. To make it more fun, I like to see who can make ten hits in a row. This way, they stay focused with a goal and are still having a good time with a bit of light competition.

Relay Race

Me with my son on game day

This only works when my boys’ have a handful of their baseball friends over. What we’ll do is split off into four different groups across the yard and see which team can get the ball to each player, from one end of the yard and back, the fastest. This is great for working on throwing form, catching and speed. This little game doesn’t even feel like practice!

These are only a few of the fun baseball activities I use for coaching. There are many more and I’ve even made up a few games of my own. If you’re curious to know more about my methods or get an interesting idea for a game, feel free to check out my About Me page for information on how to get a hold of me!