Hard Ball Talks
Date: October 12, 2015
Guest: Elliott Finkelstein, Director at Triple Crown Sports. You can learn more about Elliott and the professional events that Triple Crown Sports hosts at www.triplecrownsports.com.
Topic: With an increasing number of youth clubs forming, more and more tournaments and events popping up, it is critical for us coaches and parents to take a more active role in the assessment of finding the right experience for our athletes. Events have the ability to be a contributor to the right experience in youth sports or a deterrent. Elliott took some time with us to discuss sports events, tournament experiences, and his overall passion to improve the youth sports platform.
By Coach Brett Swip
Develop a throwing progression that encompasses things like:
- Stand sideways and get the arm to move in a circular motion ( separate hands in a down and out motion then up to throw) also have them work on shifting their weight to their back leg and then to the follow through)
- Stand sideways and use a shuffle to throw
- Stand normal and learn to “step and throw” (walkthrough version of a crow hop)
- Imagine fielding a ground ball and then incorporate the step and throw
(MOST IMPORTANT FUNDAMENTAL TO CONQUER AT A YOUNG AGE)
- Hand-eye coordination
- No chicken-winging
- Fingers up when catching
- Lots of wiffle balls, tennis balls, and nerf balls with no gloves to start
- Transition to using soft hands paddles to catch with two hands (you can use oven mitts if you don’t have access to paddles)
- Catch barehanded so they can see their elbows stay down and their fingers stay up.
- Let them use their glove only once they’ve master bare hands and oven mitts
- Use softie balls with gloves, then move to regular hard balls when the skill of catching is achieved.
- Assure that they are playing catch at home at least 3 times per week (the ability to throw and catch is where games are won at this age) – the inability to throw and catch is the main reason that kids quit baseball and softball at a young age.
- Getting their feet to the ball before putting the glove up in the air
- Put a helmet on them, throw a wiffle in the air, have them run to where they think the ball will drop and let the wiffle hit them in the helmet (kids love this drill!)
- Then progress to barehands and teach them to catch it with their elbows down and near their chest (allowing their eyes to see the ball over their fingers)
- Then progress to gloves
- Circle Drill – put 5 cones on the ground in the shape of a big circle, have them start at one cone and throw a ball in to the middle of the circle, they run to the middle and catch the fly ball, then they go to the next cone. Repeat at each cone for a series of 5 fly balls from different angles.
Use a progression
- Knees No Gloves
- Stool No Gloves
- Standing No Gloves
- Standing No Gloves Transitioning in to throwing
- Then add paddles or oven mitts
- Then add gloves
- Then add force outs
- Then add tag outs
- Then add throws to bases on the field
Start with bunting to teach them the importance of hand-eye coordination.
This will also teach them where the barrel of the ball is and how to watch the ball hit the sweet spot. Then progress to swinging.
As you can see, I’m a believer in progressions 🙂
- Tees with bottom hand only with small bat
- Tees with top hand only with small bat
- Tees with both hands with small bat
- Tees with both hands with regular bat
- Soft toss with bottom hand only with small bat
- Soft toss with top hand only with small bat
- Soft toss with both hands with small bat
- Soft toss with both hands with regular bat