Pre-game drills for a great game
Over the years having been through more pre-games than I can remember I have developed a pre-game routine that I like and think gets the boys ready to play. I have learned that I had to invest some money into a few products to make it effective, but it has been a cheap investment for what I have obtained from it.
I always request the boys get to the game 45 minutes before the first pitch. I am a believer that this is the right amount of time, and that too much time before the game is just as bad as too little time before the game. I always have the boys jog and stretch as a team. When this is done I pull off 3 boys to start them through the hitting stations. The rest of the team goes through our throwing routine in order to get their arms loose. The stations are 1) warming up 2) soft toss and tee into a portable hitting net and 3) taking live hitting with poly balls (wiffle balls). I have found that a key to a portable hitting net is that it is easy to assemble and breakdown and that it is light weight for transportation purposes. Two of the better nets I have found that fit this criteria are the Hurricane Sports Net and the Muhl Tech 90 Second Net. Coaches have to bring equipment bags, helmets, scorebooks, baseballs, and other things. The last thing they want is to have another piece of equipment that is heavy and bulky. Additionally, they do not want to spend 10 minutes assembling and breaking down the equipment when there is only 45 minutes before first pitch. As kids get through the stations I rotate them with the boys playing catch until everyone is done.
After throwing and hitting is completed, I start on defensive work. This entails splitting up the boys into ground balls and fly balls. As mentioned in my other pre-game article having multiple coaches that can hit fly balls is key. If needed the Accubat can be used. After this is complete, move on to the pre-game pep talk and then onto a victory!