Baseball Toolbox

Resources for Baseball Coaches

Practice Planning: Progressive Drills

By Steve Nicollerat

Founder of Coach Baseball Right, Coach Nicollerat spent about 40 years coaching varsity high school baseball, youth baseball teams and camps. He’s also a nationally Master Certified Epstein Hitting Instructor.

As your seasons potentially begin to start, it might be a good idea to ask yourselves (as coaches) some important practice questions. Some of the questions you might consider asking yourself are:

  • Will you practice very much after the season started?
  • How will those practices go?
  • Will they be organized and scaffolded for development?
  • Will you have a plan?
  • Will you keep the kids busy, or did you have a great practice that built on the last practice.
  • Will the kids actually learn things in practice?
  • Will there be something that you might need to improve upon?
  • Will you build skills as the season progresses?
  • Will we use progressive drills to build these skills?

Progressive drills is one of the most important things that Coach Baseball Right can help you with! We wrote a blog discussing what we mean by progressive drills vs. random drills. Instruction, teaching, and coaching all need to be educationally based and sound to provide the best opportunity for your players to succeed. Yes, just like in school. So we want to help you start to develop your coaching the right way…scaffolded and educationally sound practices.

Here is a very rough practice plan. The key here is to build in Progressive Drills and not random ones just to fill time.

This structure will stay the same, but the things we do in each of the time frames will change. I am sure many of you do something like this. You can also get this downloadable and with video drills by getting our Free Practice Template.

0:00 stretch

0:10 bases

  • lead after with pitcher and ball
  • right hand pitcher read/keys
  • delay steal
  • walking lead from 2b
  • run thrus at first base (break down and look to right)
  • read feet of 1b and react

0:25 play catch/purpose (play with guys who play your position)

0:35 throwing drill line drill

0:40 drill work by position (I did not fill this in, but each group will have specific drills by position)

  • infielders
  • catchers
  • outfielders

0:55 team defense

  • rundowns
  • 1st to 2nd
  • 3rd to home
  • force balk defense

1:10 team bunting-4 groups

  • 1 gr sac to 1st, 1 group sac to 3rd
  • 1 group drag 1 bunt push
  • You can finds some really helpful ways on how to teach this in our Coaching Academy

1:30 team baserunning

  • 1st-3rd
  • 2nd to home

1:40 pitcher fielding practice and pitcher’s throw pens and batting practice in cage

Need help with progressive drills in each of these categories? Check out our Free Practice Drills