During baseball tryout season, a coach is not only excited but has the responsibility of getting players selected for the team. It is necessary to determine which players excel in hitting, throwing, running, and catching, all these elements make up a strong team. But the baseball tryout drills given in this article doesn't just help build a strong team. In fact, you also get an opportunity to gain knowledge about each player's maximum potential. Every player has his/her strength and weakness, and as a coach, you need to be able to evaluate it on the basis on effective drills. For a player, excelling in these drills can be the difference between making the team or missing out. Which is why, before the team is selected, try these drills and find out which player will make the team.
Baseball Drills to Start With
In baseball, there are certain skills upon which a player has to be judged. These areas are - hitting (batting), base-running, fielding, and throwing (pitching). Keeping this in mind, a coach requires to implement these tryout drills and assess the players.
Tryout Drill I - Hitting
While batting, a player has to wait for a good pitch that can give him/her either a home run or the chance to get on the bases. And as luck would have it, not every ball is going to give you a home run. During tryouts, a player's responsibility is to hit the ball with as much power as he/she can.
- Warm up is necessary before any and all tryouts.
- To warm up, have players swing baseballs on the batting tee.
- After this, have each player step inside the batting cage one after the other and hit 10 balls in a row.
- The coach needs to check if the batters could powerfully make contact with the ball and that too with accurate form.
Tryout Drill II - Base-Running
Running between bases means being swift and quick on your toes. Fast runners have this to their advantage as they can steal bases whenever opportunity knocks. However, this doesn't necessarily mean a player runs between bases without being cautious.
- Keep 1 player at home, 1 player as base-running coach, and 1 player at 1st base.
- You (the coach) will stand at the mound with baseballs and yell out "GO".
- The player at home will run to 1st base as the coach throws a ball to the player standing at 1st base.
- Here, the coach has many options to see whether the player makes it to 1st base and the other player catches the ball.
- Overthrow the ball a few times to see whether the player at 1st base can get the ball in time to get the runner out.
- Give a good throw and see if the 1st base player catches the ball in time to get the runner out or not.
Tryout Drill III - Fielding
While fielding, a player has to be alert at all times. Also, communicating with other players on the field is vital as the chances of making errors can be reduced drastically.
- The coach will throw a fielder 10 balls total.
- The first 5 balls will be ground balls where the fielder has to chase the ball to catch it.
- The second 5 balls will be fly balls either thrown in the air or batted.
- The coach will then determine whether the fielder is capable of catching ground and fly balls effectively or not.
Tryout Drill IV - Pitching
Pitching and throwing drills somewhat go hand-in-hand. The most important thing about pitching and throwing is to know which position is the best for the player. For a pitcher, strength, speed, and accuracy are his/her major advantages.
- The pitcher will stand on the mound and go through the full wind-up.
- At this time, the player doesn't have a baseball in his/her hand.
- After balancing at the mound, the pitcher has to stop and hold this position.
- The pitcher will then turn his/her head towards where the coach is standing (next to the player).
- Coach gives the ball and the pitcher shifts his/her attention forward and throws the ball to the target.
- Here, the entire process of balancing, stopping, turning head, grabbing the ball, throwing the ball, and ending with a follow-through has to be perfect.
You, the coach, can use these above mentioned baseball drills for high school or college teams. After individual positions' tryouts are completed, the players should be made to play a game. This way, the coach can better understand where each player's true potential lies.