For most of us, coaching baseball fundamentals and teaching baseball to kids is a rewarding challenge.
It is not an easy game to teach since there are many facets of the game. There is the whole pitcher, catcher and hitter area that can be quite complex.
Then there is baserunning, game strategies, and knowledge of the rules. In addition, there is infield and outfield play.
This advice filled baseball article teaches the quickest way to teach kids how to play baseball when it comes to outfield and infielders practicing cut-offs and relays.
Talk to 100 youth baseball coachesfrom little league, Ripken baseball, High School coaches, college and the professionals and you will get almost 100 different ways to conduct cut-offs & relays while coaching baseball.
Not every instructor is going to use the exact same alignments and techniques. And, you really do not have to teach baseball the exact same as anyone else.
You do need to teach a system that leaves room for improvement and allows the players to critically think as the play evolves. Cut-off and relays is a constant teachable moment because it is difficult to execute perfectly even for the major leaguers.
Years ago I was working as a capable body at a Boston Red Sox fantasy camp. One morning workout practice they were practicing drills on cut-offs. Hall of Famer and class gentleman Bobby Doerr and was there as a former major leaguer as a guest instructor.
Someone asked Bobby as a former second baseman, to show us where he would go on an extra base hit in the right centerfield gap. Bobby said humbly but honestly, “I really cannot tell you where to go, but hit the ball out there by the fence and I will be in the right spot.”
Really what Bobby was saying is there is no exact playbook cookie cutter answer. Every play has its own uniqueness. We mainly need to understand the baseball basics and use our framework to do the best we can as players and coaching baseball.
Since every play is unique we have to work within procedures of our personal teams’ framework. Here are some baseball tips to help shape your teams’ fundamental framework during while you are coaching baseball.
The one common thread you want your youth sports players to keep in mind and work off of is: Make sure everyone is either
1) Covering a base or
2) Backing up a base or
3) lining up as a cut-off man.
If you can get your team to understand that then a high percentage of your defensive plays should be fairly well done. At least the kids are in the right place…catching and throwing accurately is another story.
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