7 Fun Baseball Drills for Kids

7 Fun Baseball Drills for Kids

Practice. It’s amazing how one word can either make a player or coach cringe or smile. While practice is clearly necessary for any sport, often it can become stale and boring. The goal of any coach should be to incorporate a mixture of fun baseball drills and games to keep their players engaged.

The key to running a truly effective baseball practice is to have a mix of activities that are both fun and purposeful. Coaches who trot out to the ballpark and do hours upon hours of ground balls, fly balls and live batting practice are going to quickly lose the interest of their players. 

Effective coaching requires planning and the use of diverse practice plans that keep players mentally, physically and emotionally involved throughout the entire course of a training session. Specifically, implementing fun and interactive drills and games each time out will keep your practices fresh, keep the players on their toes, and aid in player-coach and player-player relationship building.

As the great New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio once put it, “when baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game.”

Best Fun Baseball Drills for Kids

Here are eight easy and fun baseball drills that you can implement to keep your players engaged and make the most of your practice time. Click on any of the links below to jump directly to that drill.

#1. Obstacle Course
#2. Goalie Drill
#3. Exit Velo Game
#4. Pass The Bat
#5. Put On The Gear Drill
#6. Knock It Off Drill
#7. Tennis Racquet Scrimmage

1. Obstacle Course

The obstacle course drill is a great way to incorporate some fun and competition into your baseball practice. In this drill, players work on their speed and agility by completing an obstacle course that requires baserunning, throwing and hitting skills. This drill is a great way for coaches to finish practice, as it incorporates some conditioning and builds team energy by getting all of your players involved.

How to Set Up the Drill: 

  1. Place a tee on home plate with a ball loaded on it.
  2. Place one bucket of baseballs in foul territory by first base.
  3. Place one bucket of baseball behind second base.
  4. Place one bucket of baseballs in foul territory by third base.
  5. Place two nets behind and in front of the pitcher’s mound.
    1. One net facing directly toward first base.
    2. One net facing directly toward second base.
  6. Place a bucket (or throwing target) near the on-deck circle in the third base dugout.

The purpose of this drill is to introduce competition into your practice, while also practicing several simple offensive and defensive skills in a high-pressure environment. This drill incorporates many of the skills often overlooked in winning baseball games: focusing on baserunning, sliding, and making accurate throws. 

How the Drill Works:

  1. The hitter starts out by driving the baseball off the tee. To beef up the competition here, set a goal for acceptable contact. With my teams, we’re always looking to hit line drives over the shortstop’s head.
  2. After driving the ball into the outfield, the player sprints to first base, making a hard turn and diving back to the bag to simulate a game-like scenario.
  3. After diving back to first, the player then bounces up quickly to make an accurate throw into the net facing first base. 
  4. The player then sprints to second base, sliding hard into the bag and popping up quickly.
  5. Next, the player grabs a ball out of the bucket behind second base and makes another accurate throw into the net that’s facing second.
  6. After the successful throw from second, the player sprints to third, making a hard turn around the bag and getting back to the base.
  7. The player then grabs a ball out of the bucket located behind third base and fires it to a designated target located near the on-deck circle (by the third base dugout). Note that you can be creative with this target, but make it challenging. I like to put a helmet on top of a bucket, challenging players to make an accurate throw and knock the helmet off its stand.
  8. After the successful throw from third base, the player sprints home. This concludes the drill.

Coaches should have a stopwatch to time the players for completing the obstacle course, starting as soon as the player makes contact off the tee and stopping once the player touches home.

What to Watch For:

When coaching this drill, be sure to not let your players cut corners or sacrifice their mechanics to get a better time. The first thing to focus on is to not allow your players to get lazy with their first tee swing. We do not want our hitters just making lazy contact or rolling the ball over to the shortstop in order to get out of the box quicker. Don’t let your players cheat themselves by making weak contact!

2. Goalie Drill

This is one of our favorite defensive drills for infielders. Similar to the obstacle course drill, we use this drill to promote competition among our infielders, while also getting a ton of ground ball reps in a short amount of time. In this drill, players work on their fast-twitch movements and get comfortable with fielding ground balls and keeping the baseball in front of them (at all costs). The goal of this drill is to stay in the goalie box, fielding the baseball cleanly and keeping it in front of them for as long as they can.

How to Set Up the Drill: 

  1. Set up cones, buckets, or even a couple baseball hats to create a “goalie box” on the infield dirt.
  2. The coach will need a bucket of baseballs and a fungo bat. He or she will set up about 40-60 feet from the player.
  3. From here, it’s rapid fire of hitting ground balls to the player until they either fail to field the ball cleanly or the ball gets by them.
  4. Make your players work! Focus on hitting a mix of ground balls to the backhand, glove side, and right at them. Keep your players on their toes and force them to work hard on staying in the goalie box.

Purpose of the Drill:

The purpose of this drill is to make your infielders work! Repetitive ground balls and infield/outfield can get boring. In this drill, we’re working extremely fast and pushing our athletes to their limits.

Focus on fast-twitch movements and pushing your players to make tough plays. After spending a few minutes in the goalie box drill, your infielders will feel much more comfortable with both routine ground balls and those web gem plays on hard-hit balls in the gaps.

What to Watch For

When coaching this drill, be sure to avoid hitting balls too predictably. With less time to react, human beings (your players included) are always trying to pick up on patterns. Our standard daily infield drills generally consist of glove side, right at them, and backhand. These drills can become repetitive because the players know what’s coming and often end up just going through the motions.

This drill is designed to get rid of that predictability. Move balls from side to side, and find a good groove of making your players move and work to keep the ball in front. With practice, coaches can learn their players’ strengths and weaknesses, and get very skilled at pushing their players in this drill by where they hit the balls.

3. Exit Velo Game

At The Hitting Vault, the Exit Velo game is hands down one of our favorites. The idea behind this drill is very simple: we want to teach our hitters to hit the ball hard and do damage.

While we spend a ton of time working on mechanics and the correct swing movements, this drill is a fun one to see who your team leaders are when it comes to hitting the baseball hard.

This is also a great drill for those rainy days when you’re stuck indoors, and reinforces the philosophy of hitting the baseball with authority. To conduct this drill, all you need is a tee and a radar gun to capture your hitters’ exit velocity.

How to Set Up the Drill:

  1. Set up your tee in either the cage or facing a net.
  2. Stand behind the hitter and record the exit velocity of the balls hit off the tee.
  3. Make a game out of it by tracking the exit velocities of every hitter on your team. You can also split up your team into smaller groups and combine exit velocities for a team score. 
  4. Set the drill up so your players have three rounds of two swings to produce their best exit velocity. 

What to Watch For:

When coaching this drill, be sure not to let your hitters allow their mechanics go out the window. It’s important that your hitters refrain from cheating themselves by taking non-game-like swings. To prevent this, you can make the first two rounds game-like swings, and then, in the final round, let your players experiment a little to see if they can improve their number. 

Learn how to measure exit speed

For example, let your players incorporate a higher leg kick, or something different in their swing that they think could help their score.

For more information on this, check out our post on the swing movement spectrum. If your player has a small leg kick, encourage them to try it at a Level 10 and see what the result is. This keeps practice fun and encourages your hitters to look for small tweaks that can lead to more power, more bat speed and more distance.

4. Pass The Bat Drill

In this drill, we’re focusing on offense and putting a small twist on standard batting practice. After going through a few rounds of BP, this drill is a great change of pace to incorporate competition while stressing the importance of quality at bats with your hitters.

For this game, hitters are given one swing to put their best contact on the baseball and are evaluated using the scoresheet below.

How to Set Up the Drill:

  1. Divide your team into two even groups. One group will be hitting while the other group is on defense.
  2. The defense can play anywhere in the field. If you’re short on players, spread them out evenly since this is an offensive drill. If you have enough players, then go ahead and place them in their normal positions so they can get game-like reads at their positions.
  3. The offensive group is given a specific amount of time to hit. I generally do five minutes.
  4. This drill can work with a coach pitching, front toss or off of a pitching machine. I generally like to use a machine for this drill, so my hitters are getting consistent, game-like pitches.
  5. When the clock starts, the offensive team gets in line and takes one swing. After that, the next player jumps in and we rotate through as many times as we can in the specified time period.
  6. Have a scorekeeper track each plate appearance and document the score using the scoresheet below:

Pass The Bat Scoresheet:

Positive PointsHit TypeTallyTotal
1 PointGround ball to grass
2 PointsIn air to outfield
3 PointsBall rolls to fence
4 PointsOff the fence
5 PointsOver the fence
Negative PointsHit TypeTallyTotal
-1 PointSwing and miss
-1 PointFoul ball

What to Watch For:

This is a great drill for breaking up the repetitiveness of standard team batting practice. It also emphasizes the importance of every swing and at bat.

When your hitters are taking multiple hacks in a round of BP, it can be easy to not take their best swing on every pitch — swinging at balls outside of the zone, getting tired and developing bad habits, or swinging without intentional purpose to do damage. 

By only allowing one swing before rotating to the next player, this drill emphasizes the need to put their best swing on every pitch. The fast pace and competition aspect of it is also a great way to keep your players engaged. 

5. Put On The Gear Drill

This is a fun drill for youth baseball players, all the way up to your high school teams and older age groups. In the form of a relay race, this drill is great for conditioning at the end of practice and takes your players out of the grind of working on the fundamentals. All you need is two sets of catchers gear and two even teams to compete against each other. 

Note from Coach Lisle: You need two sets of catcher’s gear for this drill. Divide the team into two groups of 5-6 players. Put one set of catcher’s gear at third (helmet, glove, chest protector and two shin guards) and put one set at first.

When the race starts, Team A will have their first runner run from home to third and grab the catcher’s glove and run back and hand it to the next teammate in line.

That teammate will run to third and grab the helmet and then run back and hand the helmet and the glove to their next teammate and so on, until the last teammate is fully dressed in catcher’s gear and runs to third and back. The other team is doing the same thing, but running to first. 

How to Set Up the Drill:

  1. Place one set of catcher’s gear (helmet, glove, chest protector and shin guards) at first base, and one set of gear at third base.
  2. Each team lines up at home, with one team racing to first and the other racing to third.
  3. When the race starts, one member from each team will race to their respective base.
  4. The player grabs the catcher’s glove, and then races back to home plate to hand it to their teammate.
  5. From here, the player puts on the glove and runs back to the base, grabbing the next piece of equipment, putting it on, and running back to home to swap with their teammate.
  6. Continue this process until the last player is in full catcher’s gear and sprints back to home.

The main purpose of this drill is conditioning. Anyone that has ever been a catcher knows how tiring it can be running down the line in full gear, so this is a great opportunity to let some of your position players and pitchers in on the fun!

6. Knock It Off Drill

This is another great drill for youth baseball players that are still learning the fundamentals of throwing. Essentially, this is a game of target practice for your players to work on their throwing accuracy and compete against each other to simulate pressure situations. 

How to Set Up the Drill:

  1. Set up a bucket or chair at a favorable distance, depending on the age group of your players.
  2. Place a batting helmet or other object on top of the bucket or chair as a target for your players to throw at. 
  3. Split up your team into two even groups in one line; each team will have a bucket of baseballs at their disposal. 
  4. Players must throw the baseball and knock the helmet off of the bucket.
  5. After hitting their target, they must run and set up the target for their next teammate.
  6. Each player will go through the drill until they have successfully hit their target.
  7. The winner is whichever group finishes hitting their targets first. 

What to Watch For:

When coaching this drill, make sure your players are stepping into their throws and staying focused on hitting their target. To keep the relay race fair, ensure that players return to the line before the next player begins throwing at the target (e.g., don’t let them throw or toss it back to their teammates). 

7. Tennis Racquet Scrimmage

The last fun baseball drill on this list is a little unorthodox, but a major hit among players as a fun drill to incorporate into practice. For this drill, we want to whip out some tennis balls and a few racquets to turn the baseball field into a tennis court (of sorts).

How to Set Up the Drill:

  1. Replace the baseball with a tennis ball, and regular bats with a tennis racquet.
  2. Have a coach pitch to save your players’ arms, with one group in the field and one team waiting to hit.
  3. Run a quick scrimmage (three to five innings), playing as realistically as possible while using the tennis ball and racquet while the defense makes plays.
  4. Keep score, and create a competitive atmosphere to keep the energy up.
  5. For added variation and fun, have players run the bases backward.

The purpose of this drill is to shake things up a little bit and keep the practice fun for your players. Running the bases backward and using a tennis racquet may seem counterintuitive for a baseball team to get better, but as coaches we need to remember that baseball is supposed to be enjoyable! Switching things up and stepping away from the daily grind with a fun drill can bring a lot of joy to your players and is a great team-building exercise. 

Fun Baseball Practices for Kids – Final Thoughts

The fun baseball drills outlined above are a great way to mix things up in your practices and keep your players engaged. The best baseball coaches are able to keep things fun with their athletes, while also focusing on fundamentals and skill development. 

When it comes to incorporating these types of drills into your baseball practice plan, we are not recommending these become daily staples of your training sessions. But when your players need a change of pace or a step away from the regular drills, these can be great resources to leverage. 

The major emphasis in each of these drills is competition. As coaches, we want our players to get comfortable with competition and enjoy it. The game of baseball is a constant competition, and the best way to be comfortable in competitive situations is to practice them and create a culture of competition in your practices. 

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