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Monday, March 18, 2013

Baseball Warm-up Exercise for Kids : "Base Tag"

A lot of times teams "warm up" by throwing and running while a coach tells them where to throw and when to run. This warm-up accomplishes that, but it's fun because it’s in a “game” structure, and a lot of the kids I've worked with are motivated by that.   Plus, once they know the rules, they will play without supervision for quite a while - I’ve found you have to stop them or they will tire out.

Setup: 
  • 2  "fielders" with gloves and a ball stand a baseline-width apart
  • A 3rd kid is the “runner”, standing on base with the fielder who has the ball
Rules: 
  • The runner starts running at any time, and the fielder with the ball tries to throw them out
  • The person with the ball can’t throw until after the runner starts running
  • Start by assuming the play is a force... any good throw is an out
  • For kids where this is easy…. it’s not a force…you’ve got to tag them in a rundown
Options … add points for kids who no longer seem motivated by the game (some kids love points, others don’t) ... for example:
  • Runner gets two points if he gets to the other base
  • Fielders get one point if they throw him out
  • Fielders lose two points if they overthrow! 
Purpose:
The point is to develop and value consistency in young fielders… where unnecessary risks aren’t taken, and accuracy/speed are stressed.  Points, rules, etc. change as skills and the coaches needs change.


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