Players at this age should be able to perform these tasks with minimal difficulty by the end of the season.
- Each player should be able to lay down a bunt properly.
- Player should be able to demonstrate a swing that shows proper foot positioning including stride toward the pitcher, ‘squashing bugs’, hands high and level through the strike zone.
- Player also should show the ability to lay off of bad pitches that are outside the strike zone.
CATCHING AND THROWING
- When playing in the outfield, the player should be able to position himself under a fly ball, whether on the run or stationary, catch with both hands, and come up with a crow hop to motion to throw.
- Player should be able to participate in a throwing ‘speed drill’ and ‘relay drill’, which demonstrates proper body positioning to throw to the teammate.
- Field grounders with proper body position square to the ball, with the ‘butt down’, hands properly down and slightly forward.
- All catching motions should directly transfer into throwing. Throwing should be using proper “crow hop” if in outfield. Body should be aligned so that feet are already in position to throw upon catching the ball.
- Players in the outfield should know to look for and throw to the proper infield cutoff location.
- Avoid throws from the outfield that are high and arcing in fashion. The straight ‘line drive’ type of throw is preferred.
- Players should always throw ‘over the top’ of the shoulder. Any type of side arm throw, regardless of accuracy, should be discouraged.
- Each player should know how to round the bases properly while running.
- This should be worked on frequently during practice.
- While running bases, player should tune in to and listen for his coach. He should ALWAYS run hard and avoid watching the path of the ball while running.
- While on base, the runner should take a proper ‘shuffle’ lead upon every pitch.
DEVELOPMENT OF DEFENSIVE SKILLS
- Each player should know the responsibilities of each position on defense.
- Although he may not play in every position, he must know what his teammate will be doing in any given situation.
- Infield players will know proper cutoffs in relays from the outfield, depending on the base runner situations.