6 Tips for Building Better Baseball Practice Plans

August 1, 2012

Must See Baseball Videos

It can be challenging to devise baseball practice plans that addresses all of your team's needs, particularly since the NCAA limits the number of hours coaches are allowed to work with their teams each week. To avoid wasting precious time, coaches need to identify areas of their team's game to focus on.

To develop an effective baseball practice plan, you must first answer some questions. What are your team's strengths and weaknesses? What do you need to work on most? Will you be indoors or outdoors? And, most important, how much time do you have to work with? Once you have answered these questions, use the following recommendations to get the most out of your practices.

Budget Your Time

There's nothing more frustrating from a coaching standpoint than having a few drills left on your practice plan when practice ends. If every day were spring training and your team and players could work out all day, there would be no need to budget your time. However, this is never the case unless you are coaching at the big league level. If you want to cover bunt defense, first and third offense, live bullpens and on-field batting practice, allot enough time to work on those aspects without forgetting the basics of throwing, hitting and fielding.

Prioritize

This goes hand in hand with budgeting your time. If you feel that your team needs better bunt defense to win an upcoming game, that should be your priority. Don't waste time on areas that may not be as important to your team on that particular day.

Short Segments

Players' attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Avoid spending too much time on a particular skill or drill, so the players can focus on what you are saying and demonstrating. A good target is 15 to 20 minutes per segment. If you get to the 20-minute mark and feel like you haven't accomplished what you wanted, move on to the next drill. You can always come back to it later in the practice or even the next day. Limiting the time you spend on each drill will allow you to move quickly from drill to drill and make practice crisp and clean.

Check out STACK's library of short, effective baseball drills.

Short(er) Practices

Your target should be two to two and a half hours of practice. The longer your team practices on a given day, the less they will retain near the end of practices pushing three hours. In fact, they may not even retain what was covered at the beginning of practice.

Baseball practice plans should be about repetitions, focusing on quality more than quantity. This applies most to in-season practices. In mid- to late-April, there should be no need to practice as long as you did in January. Keep it short and get the most out of your players.

Pitchers Only

We have all heard it and said it a million times: pitchers are a different breed of baseball player. So it makes sense for them to have their own practice plan. Because team chemistry is so important, it's natural for coaches to want the whole team to practice together. However, to get the most out of practice, pitchers must be left alone (or with a pitching coach) to complete their daily routines. Too often a pitcher's time is wasted on shagging fly balls or running bases, when he could be working on specific drills, whether mechanical work or conditioning, that will help him on the mound.

Dynamic Warm-up

Much time is wasted on stretching before practice. Don't get me wrong, flexibility has its place in baseball. However, if you have limited time for practice, warm your players up as quickly as possible. A dynamic warm-up is a great way to get their blood flowing in a short amount of time. The best warm-ups incorporate baseball movements in the drills, helping to prepare each player for their individual skill work. Be sure to allow time at the end of practice for players to perform static stretches. This will help cool down their muscles and improve their flexibility. This is also a good opportunity for coaches to address their teams about the days ahead.

Photo: Misterbaseball.com

Topics: BASEBALL
Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...
Eric Bunnell
- Eric Bunnell has coached college baseball for nearly a decade. He currently works with infielders, catchers and base runners at Lake Erie College in Painesville,...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,830
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,502
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,270,518
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,626,320
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,144,153
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,437
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,256
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,395

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Basketball speed is critical to offensive success. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to executing layups. One of the principles that I use...

The Football Route Tree, Explained

The Football Route Tree, Explained

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Fastpitch Softball Hitting Drills for Beginners

Fastpitch Softball Hitting Drills for Beginners

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

Learn to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

Learn to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

How to Dribble a Basketball

How to Dribble a Basketball

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

How to Punt a Football: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide

How to Punt a Football: A Step-by-Step Photo Guide

YardBarker