The purpose of youth baseball is to hone the skills of junior baseball players, but more importantly, it is to create a love for the sport.
Create love for the game by adding fun!
Nobody wants to be sidelined, but nobody wants to be tirelessly drilled either. Baseball is a complicated sport for a little one to learn, so drills are necessary. However, drills do not have to be monotonous or dry. They can be fun and game-like!
According to the Wall Street Journal, this sport is suffering from a lack of participants. This is in part due to children feeling bored at its onset in their lives. It doesn’t take long to develop a love for the game, but the casual onlooker or casual participant may not see the draw. If children don’t adopt a sport early on, they are unlikely to have the skills necessary to pick it up again in high school, college, or professional leagues.
Here are some drills to keep kids interested:
- Hitting Drills: Nothing excites young baseball players like a pitching machine. However, only one batter can drill at a time. Therefore, other drills have to be available to keep interest. Bunting drills and hitting from a tee allow players to sharpen their game. Hitting drills are notoriously a favorite, and the challenge is keeping everyone batting with minimal bench time. Multiple machines are great if you can find pitching machines for sale at an affordable price.
- Four Corners Drill: This game keeps players working on their footwork and their short game throwing technique. See this link for rules. This adds fun to practice because it is competitive. It’s not just repetition, although players are repeating and mastering skill.
- Two Ball Game: The fun of decision-making and tricking your teammates is too fun in this challenging game of catch.
- Steal the Home Run: Catching a ball before it goes over the fence for a home run is a youth baseball player’s dream. They see it on television, and it is sensationalized in their MLB-dreaming minds. This drill keeps players interested by letting them practice this skill.
For more drills, click this link.
It’s hard to imagine a world where baseball is not interesting. It has been such an American staple in sports. Times are changing, and children have access to many more sporting options along with more exposure to the arts and electronic entertainment. Keeping time on the field fun and interesting and limiting bench time will keep kids active in this sport. The internet is filled with drills and activities to keep practice interesting, so baseball can continue with as much popularity as it has had in the past.