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Practice Makes Perfect

posted Oct 24, 2011, 10:55 AM by Ray Hughes   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 3:27 PM by Pam Nelson ]

Baseball is a very difficult sport to master. This is because it requires more skills than most other sports. The good news is that by practicing regularly you can get better than other players who don't practice very much. More good news is that baseball doesn't require great size, strength or speed. Being quick and agile are more important than being powerful.  

Sometimes practice seems boring compared to actually playing in the games. But the number of chances you have to make defensive plays and the number of at bats you get in a game are limited to the time allotted. You may only get a few fielding plays and 2 or 3 at bats during the game. So, if you want to make good plays in the game, you have to practice a lot. And if you want to have good at bats, you have to practice a lot.  

I have outlined many drills young players can use to improve their game at home or at a nearby park or baseball field. Some drills can be done alone, some require only two or three people and some require 5 or 6 kids. These drills are included on our practice guides for T-Ball, Coach Pitch and Kids Pitch levels. These along with many other coaches tools can be found at the Coaches Resource page on the Dierker's Champs website.

It is more important to practice often than to have one long practice once in a while. Parents can help with a lot of drills, but the most fun is to get a small group of players together where there is enough room to throw, hit and field. I have described how work-ups is played, but there are lots of variations. Make up your own game. Have some fun with it.

The main thing is to get lots of repetition using good hitting, throwing and fielding techniques. And if you don't think practice counts for much, consider the case of Michael Jordan. When he tried to play professional baseball after he turned 30, he was a total failure even though he was probably the best athlete in the country. But, since he hadn't practiced since high school, a lot of other dedicated ballplayers performed better than he did because they had been practicing baseball all their lives. And the guys who beat him were not blessed with his athleticism!

-Larry Dierker