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Coaches should make out practice schedules prior to practice. That schedule should allow ample time for warm-up and cool down. The schedule must also reflect an awareness of the attention span level of your players. Baseball and softball practice does not have to be boring. It is up to us as coaches to add spice to it. The best way to improve your team, make your practice more productive and improve your coaching abilities is to schedule and organize your practice into time periods of 3 to 10 minutes. An example of one of my varsity practice schedules is below:

3:00 - 3:20 Stretch, Run & Throwing Warm-up
3:21 - 3:25 Brief Overview of Goals & Expectations of Today's Practice.
3:26 - 3:36 Team Infield - Pre-game & Practice Routine
3:26 - 3:41 Fly Ball & Pop Up Communication Drill
3:41 - 3:45 Defensive 1st & 3rd Calls, Bunt Coverage & Catchers Throwing to bases.
3:45 - 3:50 Coach Overview of Practice thus far.
3:50 - 3:55 Batting Practice Field Preparation
3:55 - 4:15 Group One Hits - 4 players per group
1 Player - Bunts 3 & Hits 8
2 Player - Warms up on deck
3 Player - Chases Foul balls
4 Player - Runs Base Running "Circuit"
Note: The players will switch rolls after each bats. 2 Hits, 3 Warms up, and 4 chases
foul balls, 1 is running circuits.
4:10 - 4:30 Group Two Hits
4:30 - 4:50 Group Three Hits
4:50 - 5:10 Group Four Hits
5:10 - 5:15 Field Clearing
5:15 - 5:30 Conditioning - We Do a Drill That I call "9's". A coach hits nine balls, one at a time, any where on the field. Every player must play the ball correct and move to the correct position on the field. After the play is made, every player sprints to a designated spot and back. When ever player is back, another ball is hit. We do nine of these. If a player makes an error or a mental mistake is made, we start over. We will do this drill until we get nine good plays in a row.
Note: While each group is hitting. Two coaches are fungoing to our infielders. the infielders will also field each ball that is hit. the coach will call out situations. Different situations could be as follows: "Corners up, Middle Back, Double Play Situation", "Cut the Run at The plate", Median Infielders depth, and two out situations. We always use a catcher doing "live arm" on-field batting practice. The catcher has a bucket beside him. When the batter misses or a ball is thrown home, the catcher drops it in the bucket. We also have a bucket at first. When the first baseman receives a ball, it is dropped in a bucket. We also have a screen behind second on the grass. All balls hit to the outfielder are thrown to the players "manning" the bucket. The balls are dropped in the bucket. When the "BP" pitcher yells "Bucket" the catcher, firstbase, and outfield buckets are ran to the mound.

This article was written by "Coach Nick" Dixon. "Coach Nick" is a widely published author. His articles can be found at, BASEBALL 2DAY Coaching Journal and "Coach Nick" is also a training product designer. His products are very popular and include the BatAction Hitting machine, Hit2win Trainer, Zip-N-Hit Trainer and ProZip SpeedToss Trainer.

The BatAction Pitch Simulator makes fastpitch batting practice at home a year-round enjoyable activity. What could 25,000 more practice swings a year do for your game? Think About It!