A/AA Practice Plan
When sharing a Field Between (3) teams
Coaches arrive by 5:00pm to set up the field together - take equipment out of field boxes and set up hitting nets for hitting stations, throw down bases for hitting or fielding stations that need them, etc. Practice should start on time and field should be ready to go. Bring your own team roster to identify which players are yours when they arrive in droves!
Consider masking/painters tape with sharpie for name tags for the first few practices.
5:10-5:25p Girls Arriving: attendance, stretch arms, early arrivals can have a short throw warm up (all in same direction) while others arrive (masks must be on). 5:15pm bring it in. Circle up and break into respective teams- pass the ball name game ice-breaker to introduce players and ask them to tell everyone what they did over vacation. Warm up with a quick run, "Frankensteins", leg stretches, arm circles. Get gloves and face masks on.
5:25p-5:35p Throwing/Catching Drill: Show the girls the proper way to throw and catch a ball (see tutorial videos on our website or appendix in coach presentation). Pair the girls up based on their skill/ability by watching them -it's OK to make switches. Walk up and down the line working with each girl.
5:35-6:20p: 2-3 STATIONS WITHIN EACH SECTION OF THE FIELD FOR 15 MINUTES WORTH OF WORK:
Infield Work/On the Dirt:
Drill 1: Glove Positioning Grounders/Throws to First
Split the girls up between 1B, 2B and SS, taking time to TEACH/REMIND THEM ABOUT THE INFIELD POSITIONS. Roll a quick moving grounder to the girl at each position, reminding them of the "triangle" position for fielding a grounder, then “in-step” with their throwing hand leg, glove side foot is facing toward target with glove outstretched pointing to target as well, body in surfer stance ready to throw and arm comes through with the rest of the body to release toward 1B target. Make sure 1B players puts one foot on the bag and glove side foot extended out with glove to catch the ball.
Drill 2: Charging Drill - Teach girls to run up quickly on a slow rolling ball, using TWO HANDS (always) to ground the ball up, instep, and throw back to coaches. Girls can do this drill around the field with more than one coach our quickly between coaches and can rotate through their fielding locations.
Hitting Work/On the outfield grass out down the 1B line:
Drill 1: Set up a “Feet, Hips, Hands” station. They should start with feet hip distance apart/balanced. Their front “foot” should step slightly, their “hips” should open up toward the pitcher with their front leg straight and their back leg bent into a letter “L” and their hands should come through last to hit the ball. They should chant “Feet! Hips! Hands!” together as a group, taking slow, intentional swings to help prepare for the next station. Demonstrate this station for all to see so they can do it on their own.
Dril 2: Tee Work - Set up 2 tees, home plates and nets. Have a girl feed balls onto the tee for a friend. 10 swings and switch. Once they’ve done one tee station, have them move to the next station.
Drill 3: Forward toss Hitting - Coach get the girls ready to see live “coach pitch”. Have them stand on the 1B line with a home plate hitting toward you in center field where you’re pitching.
Outfield Pop Fly Work/On the outfield grass out down the 3B line:
Drill 1: Show players proper glove positioning for catching a fly ball. Two hands up in “windshield wiper” position. They should NOT catch a ball in the “ice cream scoop” position with their glove. With gloves OFF, have each girl throw a ball up to herself and try to catch it above her head with proper hand position. How many can they catch in a row? Now have them put their gloves on and do the same drill, emphasizing having them get their bodies under the ball and catching with two hands (glove catches, other hand covers to prevent it from popping out).
Drill 2: Have the player face you then launch a ball back behind them that they need to sprint to, chase down, and throw back into another player quickly. The goal is to get the ball back into their player. Other player should be yelling their name so they can practice communicating.
6:20-6:30p: Running the Bases and Taking Leads:
Girls need to be shown to RUN THROUGH first base and Home Plate. THey need to learn how to “stick it” at 2B and 3B but to look for their 3rd base coach who will show them the "stick it sign", which is hands up or "keep running sign", which are arms swinging in a circular motion. One coach should be on pitching mound, one catching for them, one at 3b and one at 1b.
Line girls up at home plate and have each one run through 1B. If they slow down, they have to go back and do it again
Next have girls start at 1B. When coach pitches the ball over the plate, player can THEN take a jump with their body facing home plate. When the coach yells go, they can run to second base where they will “stick it” (teaches them not to overrun 2b or 3b). This drill teaches them how to take a meaningful lead (when ball crosses the plate they can leave the bag) Eventually this knowledge prepares them for proper stealing in AAA. From 2B, the girl can again take a “jump” when ball crosses over home plate and when coach says go, they should run to the next base to “stick it” (at 2b or 3b) or when they get to home plate - RUN THROUGH HOMEPLATE.
Bananas Relay Race:
Divide the girls up evenly into two teams. Have one team start at home plate with the first girl holding a softball and one team at second base with the first girl holding a softball. On the coach’s command, the girls run from home plate all the way around the bases back to pass it to the next girl in line from their team (While simultaneously the team that started at 2b, runs around the bases back to 2b to pass the ball off). The last girl that ran sits down to show that she’s already gone. Whichever group finishes first, wins the game.