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Teaching the Game: Skills and Drills for Youth Baseball Series

Teaching the Game: Skills and Drills for Youth Baseball Series

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with Marc Rardin, Iowa Western Community College Head Coach; 2014 NJCAA Division I National Champions, three championships in five years (2010-14); 3x NJCAA D-I World Series National Champion / 8x World Series Participant; 2010 and 2012 National Coach of the Year; averaged 46 wins over 10 seasons as head coach

Teaching the Game: Pitching Skills and Drills for Youth Baseball

Pitching, like other aspects of baseball, is done best when it's simplified. Three-time NJCAA National Champion Marc Rardin breaks down the youth pitcher's windup in this presentation that focuses on his three keys to good baseball: balance, timing and direction.

Coach Rardin's philosophy is if you're throwing strikes, the other team has to put the ball into play. The way for pitchers to throw more strikes is by building a consistent motion. Coach Rardin shares multiple drills that emphasize staying "connected" and generating power through the natural movement of the body. Watch as he demonstrates these simple actions and learn how to help your pitcher throw with added control.

In "Power Position," Coach Rardin explains the proper position for the pitching elbow by comparing it to arm wrestling. People don't arm wrestle with their elbows extended. Instead, they keep their arm at 90-degree angle because it is the natural position for the body to generate the most power. This is the type of simple, easy-to-grasp example that makes Coach Rardin's drills so effective, memorable, easy to learn and easy to execute.

Coach Rardin's pitching drills will help pitchers of all ages get back to the basics and throw more strikes. This is a great presentation for anyone who coaches youth baseball. 70 minutes. 2014.

Teaching the Game: Hitting Skills and Drills for Youth Baseball

Iowa Western Head Coach Marc Rardin shares more than 20 drills designed to teach the fundamentals of a good swing. Though these drills were developed for youth players, they can also be used at the collegiate level to improve performance in more accomplished athletes, as proven by Iowa Western's 2014 NJCAA National Championship.

Coach Rardin's three keys to good hitting are balance, timing and direction. His presentation includes multiple skill progressions that integrate hitting off a tee and soft toss. Coach Rardin emphasizes hitting the ball with your hands, not the barrel of the bat. If the hands are in the correct position, the barrel will follow!

In the "Two-Two-Two Drill," players eased into correct swing fundamentals by progressing through phases that train them to hit the ball with their weight on their front foot. Players begin with two repetitions of the "Back Knee Through Tee Drill" and then use the same technique with two soft tosses and finally the regular swing with two soft tosses. Transferring energy from the back foot to the front foot in the swing makes the hitter more powerful and consistent.

Let Coach Rardin help you train your youth hitters and assist them in building a reliable swing that puts more balls in play. 65 minutes. 2014.

Teaching the Game: Fielding Skills and Drills for Youth Baseball

Iowa Western Community College Head Coach Marc Rardin shares some of his favorite drills to help youth baseball players become more efficient in the field.

Coach Rardin runs players through numerous drills that work on breakdowns, recovery, feel, fielding stance and more. Rardin's unique practice perspective focuses on cutting dead time and packing as much drill time into two hours as possible. Your practice sessions will become more productive and efficient.

In the "Four Corners" drill, players warm up their bodies and arms while working on essential throwing and catching fundamentals. This drill shows players how to use body momentum to produce crisp, efficient throws, underhand tosses and backhand tosses. As players warm up, the distance of the throws increases and variations are added to the drill. These adjustments keep players engaged while playing a better game of catch.

Other drills in the presentation include:

1) Man in the Middle-Prepares players to throw the ball before they receive it, ensuring a quick release.
2) Approaching Ground Balls-A great fundamental drill for getting players in position to field ground balls and for increasing their fielding "surface."
3) And more...

Throughout the presentation, Coach Rardin shares nuggets of baseball wisdom that will help you run better practices and improve your team athletic ability. Running practice on your own? Learn how to run drills using cones as "assistant coaches." Get simple tips for overcoming errant throws that will keep drills moving and maximize practice time. Discover how small adjustments can improve players' chances of fielding the ball cleanly.

Coach Rardin fills each drill with teaching points, cue words and baseball wisdom. Each drill is demonstrated by a 12-year-old player.

Coach Rardin's practice drills will help your youth players improve their fundamentals and get in as much training as they can during every practice. If you're organized and ready to coach a practice, your players will know it and will respond! 55 minutes. 2014.

Teaching the Game: Game Situations and Drills for Youth Baseball

In this collection of drills from Iowa Western Head Coach Marc Rardin, you'll learn to train your players to become better hitters and fielders.

Coach Rardin shares drills to help you read the pitcher while you have a leadoff on first base. You'll also learn how to make reads on balls hit to the shortstop when you're the base runner on second. Finally, you'll get various drills that give players reps at the plate while the rest get game-like experience in the field.

In the "Total Team Relay Drill," your players learn all aspects of the game. Create scenarios with runners on certain bases and teach your players what to do if a ball is hit to the outfield. Coach Rardin provides an example of a ground ball hit to the outfield with a runner on second. The outfielder uses good fundamentals by fielding through the ball and hitting the cutoff man on the way to home plate.

Coach Rardin's emphasis on fundamentals and teaching players all aspects of the game are key reasons his teams are so successful. His offensive and defensive drills reflect those values and are a valuable asset to any coach's library. 65 minutes. 2014.