General: Players will learn all positions and where to play them on the field.
Ready Position: Players will learn proper hitting and fielding “pre” stances, emphasizing a balanced and athletic position – hips and shoulders between their feet, legs flexed, and hands relaxed and ready.
Catching & Throwing: Players will learn to properly throw and catch a baseball, including the use of proper grips, and where to catch the ball in their glove (in the “C” of their index finger and thumb)
Throwing I: Players will learn a standard, “high to low” throwing motion (2 o’clock to 8 o’clock for right-handers, 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock for left-handers), while learning to rotate their hips and shoulders away from their target before returning back to their target with momentum. (NOTE: There will be players who naturally throw with alternate mechanics – the above description is simply a general guideline.)
Throwing II: Players will learn to initiate throwing a baseball by using the ground for force, pushing off from the ground with their back foot and landing with momentum into a strong front side. Excellent throws always include the transfer of weight from the back foot to the front foot – using the ground to create momentum.
Fielding I: Players will be introduced to the “Three B’s” as a mental tool to prepare themselves on defense. Players should learn to assess their current responsibility, on any play prior to the ball being pitched, using the following “Three B’s” criteria:
“BALL” – What play do I make if the ball comes to me,
“BASE” – Do I have a base to cover if the ball does not come to me,
“BACKUP” (or Cutoff) – Where can I position myself to either backup a play, be prepared to backup in the case of an overthrow or error, or to cutoff a throw on a play in the outfield.
Hitting: Players will learn the “sequence” of a sound swing – starting from the ground up. The strong parts of the body (lower half) should start the movement. The trunk and chest should follow, rotating and creating momentum. The hands are the last to move, delivering the knob first, and then the barrel, to the ball. As players begin to master this sequence, and become more comfortable, their stride and follow thru should develop naturally.
Baserunning: Players will learn the proper methods of running to 1st base, either a) running through and past the bag on an infield ground ball, or b) rounding the bag and turning towards 2nd on a hit to the outfield. (EMPHASIS: For both methods, players should only slow down to return to the bag.)
Baserunning: With the assistance of their base coaches, baserunners will learn to understand the proper times to advance on the basepaths, including the concepts of going “half way” (for fly balls to the outfield), “freezing” (for line drives possibly caught by an infielder), or “tagging up” (to advance after a catch, with less than 2 outs).