The Drill Doctor: Catcher Back Picks Drill

The Drill Doctor: Catcher Back Picks Drill

Saw this drill this past Sunday and thought I'd start a new blog post series called "The Drill Doctor", where I examine a drill to see if it is well or not well. If the drill is not well, I will give a short prescription to make it into a healthy drill. The Doctor is...
Make Over Your Youth Baseball Pre-Game Routine

Make Over Your Youth Baseball Pre-Game Routine

It's game day. You tell your youth baseball team to meet you at the field. When your players trickle in, they start pairing up and play catch with each other for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Maybe you then throw your players some fly balls or hit grounders. Then it's game...
Why Competitive Games In Practices Aren’t Always Great

Why Competitive Games In Practices Aren’t Always Great

If you've poked around on the internet for youth baseball coaching tips and drills lately, you've likely seen that almost everyone sings the praises of competitive games during practices. It makes practices more fun, gurus say. It makes practices more engaging,...
Baseball Olympics Drill For Youth Baseball Practices

Baseball Olympics Drill For Youth Baseball Practices

Dan Keller mentioned in Session #89 of the Youth Baseball Edge podcast that he liked a drill he called the "Buffet Drill" where he strung together several skills. I've also done the same drill (except I called mine "Training Camp", the name of which might have turned...
How To Definitively Find The Best Bat For Your Child

How To Definitively Find The Best Bat For Your Child

One of the most common questions parents ask coaches—perhaps more than "Why isn't Johnny playing infield more?"—is "What's the best bat for my kid?" Interestingly, the flip side of that question ("What's the best glove for my kid?") is rarely asked. (At least in my...
The Lowdown on Rundowns: 3 Simple Rules

The Lowdown on Rundowns: 3 Simple Rules

Check out this typical baseball rundown (you can skip to 0:21 in the video to start watching): I say 'typical' because this is what typically happens in a youth-level rundown. A lot of throws (seven, not counting the cut-off man's initial throw). And the runner...
Pro Tip: An Advanced Way To Wear A Baseball Glove

Pro Tip: An Advanced Way To Wear A Baseball Glove

On both the podcast and the blog, one of my goals is to separate misinformation from true information about coaching youth baseball. For the longest time, I thought there was only one way to wear a baseball glove: In other words, just stick your entire hand inside...
“Get Your Back Elbow Up”?

“Get Your Back Elbow Up”?

"Get your back elbow up!" Have you heard that before? Maybe you've said it yourself. It's one of the most common hitting cues that I've heard—even for kids as young as five years old. Sometimes it seems it's a cue that parents say because they want to say something...
Scrimmages: Good Or Bad?

Scrimmages: Good Or Bad?

My opinion of scrimmages have run the gamut. My initial view of scrimmages When I first started coaching, I used the concept of a "quad game", which Justin Stone taught at a coach's clinic. A Quad Game is basically a scrimmage where you divide up your team into four...
Minimizing Use Of The Term “Practice” For Practices

Minimizing Use Of The Term “Practice” For Practices

When a youth baseball coach wants his team to practice, he always calls it a "practice". "Our next practice is..." "At our next practice, we will..." "Let's work on that in practice..." "That was a great practice!" And so forth. But is that the best term? What is...
Travel Baseball: A Flawed System

Travel Baseball: A Flawed System

This is a guest post by Larry Owens, head baseball coach at Bellarmine University It starts early Travel baseball picked up steam about 20 years ago. As I look back today, it is easy to see its transformation over the years. As a young college baseball coach in the...
Do you tell your kids to “get more hits”?

Do you tell your kids to “get more hits”?

I've previously posted how common it is for coaches to tell their kids to "throw strikes" and why that's not a wise thing to say. Let's take a look at another common phrase among youth and high school baseball coaches—this time on the hitting side. We need to hit...
It’s Time For Coaches To Stop Showing Up Kids In Practices

It’s Time For Coaches To Stop Showing Up Kids In Practices

As a prelude to my upcoming podcast series on resilience, I wanted to tackle a particularly insidious issue involving the mental side of baseball that not only happens at every practice but happens many multiple times at every practice. Consider this... In the typical...
The Secret Alternative To Developing Pitching Prospects

The Secret Alternative To Developing Pitching Prospects

Every baseball parent wants one. Every baseball coach wants one. Every baseball player wants to be one. "One", of course, refers to a "pitching prospect". When it comes to youth baseball, nearly everyone considers the key position for non-pitching leagues (think...

Why (Most) Youth Baseball Drills Are An Utter Waste Of Time

Coaches love drills. To paraphrase a well-known iPhone slogan: "There's a drill for that." A youth baseball practice that contains multiple stations running various drills looks—to the casual observer—like an efficient and effective practice, and that the coach must...
How To Optimize Your Batting Order Lineup

How To Optimize Your Batting Order Lineup

Most youth baseball coaches don't think twice about optimizing their batting order—until something like the following happens. It's the bottom of the seventh and final inning for your youth baseball team, which is trailing by one run. The last four hitters on your...