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Baseball Drills Coaching Tips
for Spring Training

baseball pitching techniques for spring training

Spring training is a great time for baseball drills coaching tips. Spring training in youth baseball is the time between the first practice and the first games early in the season.

Sometimes this is called the pre-season spring training segment of the baseball season. This is a very crucial time for my high school and a youth league ballclub.

As a baseball coach this is vitally important time to set up your season. I use it as my coaching clinic for my entire high school baseball system.

Pitchers & Catchers Report 3 Days Early

baseball pitching windup technique

I have my pitchers and catchers only, out the first three days of baseball practice. This is premium time to work exclusively with pitchers and catchers. The other position players will begin on the fourth day of practice. I have so much to cover with these two positions that I need a head start. I need premium time to spend on…

  • Pitching Mechanics: I work several hours on pitching mechanics and pitching drills during these three days. I gather all the pitchers in my high school system from 9th graders to seniors.
  • You should have 15 to 20 pitchers in a four year high school. Many of the pitchers will not pitch very many innings but you need pitching depth. You need to start coaching and polishing the pitchers from day one.

  • Pitchers Fielding Practice: Teaching pitchers how to field their position is vital to a contending high school team. Fielding bunts, covering first base, pick off plays, backing up bases, throwing to bases, covering home on passed balls and wild pitches are all vital baseball skills and drills that need to be thoroughly covered over and over.

Pitchers & Catchers Spring Training

baseball pitching delivery Steve Renko
  • Defense the running game: Making it difficult to steal bases by your opponents is a pretty big aspect of a team’s success. I use the pre-season to establish baseball drills coaching tips on how we are going to defend the running game.
  • I have a very distinct way I want pitchers to pick-off, hold the ball, step back and so forth with runners on firstbase. I am not big on the slide-step all the time but I do want the pitchers delivery out of the stretch to be up tempo.
  • Getting the throwing arms in shape: Having a three day head start does give the pitchers and catchers more time to throw and bring their arms into shape for the season.
  • Most every pitcher will be sore on the second and third day of baseball practice. By the fourth day the soreness is mostly behind them and they are ready to continue building up arm strength.
  • Going over the basic pitches: I expose my pitchers to the fastball family of pitches plus a breaking ball which can be a curve, slider, a blend of both or both. I teach the four seam fastball, the two seam fastball, the hump-up fastball and the change-up.
  • Now there are any numbers of pitches that can be considered a change-up. I teach the basic change up by just choking the ball in the middle of the hand and eliminate the wrist snap. Once a pitcher can command this beginner change up they can migrate to more of a ‘circle’ change-up.
  • Our pitching mechanics go hand in hand with our pitches. Throwing strikes is a must. Commanding at least two pitches for strikes is huge. Good consistent mechanics gives us the best chance to command and control these basic pitches.

Catcher's Pre Season Drills & Skills

catching drills for spring training tips

Catchers Get Exclusive Time: Baseball drills coaching tips during spring training for catchers is a must. Sometimes I will bring out the catchers only on a Saturday morning for a couple of hours of exclusive baseball drills coaching tips for catchers.

  • First the catchers get three days of squatting and leg work that is going to cause soreness. After three days of leg work and throwing their muscles should be able to start adjusting to the workload and the muscle pain, soreness and discomfort will be reduced.
  • Second, I can polish their catching skills. We will get some extra work on blocking pitches, giving a target, receiving, giving baseball signs, fielding bunts, catching pop-ups, tag plays, throwing to bases, pick-off plays, backing up first base and stuff like that.
  • Third, I can educate them on calling the pitches. I have my pitchers and catchers call their own pitches most of the time. In order to call a good game I have to teach them what to look for and how to think. This takes a little bit of direct teaching or even classroom teaching to get everyone on the same page.

Full Squad Reports All Position Players

On the fourth day of baseball practice I bring out the entire full squad. That means everyone. From 9th graders all the way to seniors, every player practices together for at least a week or two.

I want to break in all the position players to my practice template. I also want my assistant coaches on the freshman and JV teams to know my practice template and system.

Many of the 9th and 10th graders will be very inferior in ability compared with the 11th and 12 graders.

A 14 year old playing with a 18 year old can be very intimidating to younger kids but the upside is so huge to have the older kids model ‘how we do things and how to we go about our work’ implementing our practice system.

Showing our entire organization the baseball drills coaching tips sets the foundation for my developmental system.

The Ballgames Begin

After the spring training pre-season baseball drills coaching tips are introduced in the first two or three weeks we are ready to start playing games. Baseball intra-squad games and practice exhibition games with other teams.

These baseball games are for the purpose of getting a large number of players as many innings and at-bats as possible. You are giving everyone an opportunity to show their stuff and gain experience.

I never cut players so I have to give kids a chance to play to evaluate their skills and abilities, which dictates playing time. Look at all your pitchers. Run all the pitchers out to the mound and see what they can do.

Winning at this point is not as important. Getting a look at all your players in live game situations is more valuable at this time and will give your roster more depth to manage through a grinding season and a playoff run in post season.

Ultimately, the best players will end up playing the most and this is the time of year after baseball drills coaching tips during pre-season where we find out who is the best at this point.

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