Game-Like Drills for Competitive Practices
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Better organize your practices to maximize your players' development in a team setting
with Mike Fox,
University of North Carolina Head Coach;
over 1,200 career wins (over 700 at UNC) – ranks third among active coaches in career winning percentage; led UNC to the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament in 2013; 2008 Baseball America National Coach of the Year
- Design team drills that create opportunities to perform from multiple positions, angles, and situations to train players to adjust to changes in conditions and environment
- Discover effective offensive and defensive drills to improve fielding, mental toughness and situational knowledge
- Sharpen and develop baserunning skills to reduce outs and score more runs
As coaches and players, we've all witnessed team practices where many players are idle while one player hits. Coach Mike Fox shows you how to eliminate this wasted time by sharing his drills for efficient, intense team practices where player development is maximized in a team setting.
In this presentation, you will learn how to:
- Use all of your players in defensive drills. By incorporating batters and runners, your fielders work in a real game situation. They will have to read the runners and make quicker decisions, which will translate to fewer mental errors during games.
- Change game situations quickly and fluidly during your practice drills. In these drills, you can quickly change the situation to see how your players react. This will allow you to evaluate their decisions and know which areas they need to improve.
- Practice base running in live situations. Too many coaches spend little time teaching baserunning skills, and even fewer spend practice time giving players live situations to develop their instincts. Making decisions on line drives dropping or working on how far to advance on long fly balls can determine if a player scores or gets thrown out.
This video focuses on incorporating all aspects of team play in a scripted format that wastes no time. Coach Fox accomplishes this great feat with challenging drills:
- Numbered Outfield Drills – A variation of the standard infield-outfield drill. Your outfielders will make plays from multiple positions and angles while your infielders work on their throws and foot work to different bases. The team works on communication, throwing accuracy, cut-offs and simulated plays at bases in random order.
- Fundamental Drills – Coach Fox incorporates his entire team defense in this drill, having outfielders and infielders work together to maximize team defense. Players are tested on their defensive skills during situations that will commonly come up during games, including relays, double plays, bunts and picks. Players have to be active and work fast and efficiently to keep up with the intensity of the drill.
- Defending the Bunt – Coaches pitch to hitters, who focus on laying down different types of bunts and running hard to first base. The defense focuses on communication skills while executing effective plays to get outs, having pitchers involved in every aspect.
- Defensive Batting Practice – Base runners are used to create a variety of scenarios, and are encouraged to be aggressive and work on their base running skills. The defense works on getting outs, relays and double plays, while the offense focuses on hitting the first pitch they see and placing pressure on the defense to execute.
- Situational Batting Practice – Another competitive drill with the emphasis on hitting and base running. Hitters are forced to adapt to each scenario called out by the coach: hit and run, sacrifice, bases loaded and no outs, or hitting behind the runner. This pressure advances the mental game of each player and encourages them to become more aware of game situations.
The drills taught by Coach Fox will apply player fundamentals to game-like situations, advance their mental toughness, and improve game day results. This video is a great resource for coaches of all levels looking for ways to better utilize their practice time and take their team from good to great.
49 minutes. 2015.