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Fundamentals of Hitting

1. A firm grip with the bat held by the fingers, not the palm of the hand
2. A balanced workable stance with both eyes facing pitcher
3. Moderate stride with the front toe closed
4. Maintain the weight back during the stride
5. Have the bat in the launch position when the front toe lands
6. Start with a strong, level rotation of the hips: this pulls the knob to the ball
7. Weight shift from firm back side to firm front side
8. Strong wrists release the barrel to the ball
9. Bat should be level to slightly upward through the hitting zone
10. Keep the head still throughout


Fundamentals of Throwing

1. Grip with light pressure, two fingers on top and edge of thumb on bottom of ball
2. Athletic position has weight on balls of the feet, nose over toes
3. Action begins with thumbs and palms down, throwing hand on top of ball
4. Reverse arm swing stays even of ahead of the shoulders (never behind shoulders)
5. Lead shoulder and lead hip pointed at the target, lead heel to the target
6. Throwing elbow should be above the shoulder at launch
7. Weight should be on the back leg at launch
8. Throwing action begins with a strong, level rotation of the hips and trunk
9. Throwing elbow and shoulders are aligned at release point
10. Throwing motion finishes as long in time and distance as possible

Pitch counts should be monitored and regulated in youth baseball.

Recommended limits for youth pitchers are as follows:

Avg Max. Max. Max. Max.
Age Pitches/game Pitches/week Pitches/season Pitches/year
9-10 50 75 1000 2000
11-12 75 100 1000 3000
13-14 75 125 1000 3000

Fundamentals of Infield

1. Athletic position with feet at shoulder width, knees bent, weight on balls of feet
2. Get ready as the ball is pitched, keeping glove open
3. Approach the ball slightly to the right of the ball
4. Get lower as you approach the ball, like an airplane, not a helicopter
5. Glove is on the ground out front, feet and glove make a balanced triangle
6. Bare hand is above the glove, heels of both hands together, butt down
7. Receive the ball by bringing the glove and bare hand toward the body (soft hands)
8. Grip the ball by four seams
9. Jab step the back foot in front of your body
10. Follow the fundamentals of throwing above

Fundamentals of Outfield

1. Starting athletic position with shoulders square to hitter
2. Weight shifts to balls of the feet as pitcher delivers ball to the plate
3. Concentrate on the ball contacting bat to anticipate ball flight early
4. Response to the ball is open move so your chest faces the ball
5. Sprint behind fly balls so you are moving toward the target when ball is caught
6. Catch fly balls slightly to the throwing side, glove above the cap
7. Field ground balls like an infielder unless a quick throw is required
8. Crow hop jumps off the front foot, back foot comes in front replacing front foot
9. Fundamentals of throwing are followed after completing crow hop
10. Cutoff throws should be aimed at the knees


Fundamentals of Catching

1. Set up a little to the backhand side
2. Feet outside shoulders with toes slightly out
3. Make sure the target to the pitcher is a flat mitt
4. With man on bare hand goes with glove since tips go above or below the bat
5. If you can touch the hitters back elbow you are at the right distance
6. Relax your arm and let the ball come to you
7. Begin the throwing action before you receive the ball ( ball 10 feet from plate)
8. Ball to middle or right is jab step, ball to left is replace left foot with right
9. Push the ball to the right shoulder with the glove; follow throwing fundamental
10. Block by replacing feet with knees using glove to plug the hole between your legs

Fundamentals of Base Running

1. Athletic stance for lead off
a. Feet at shoulder width
b. Knees slightly bent
c. Arms flexed in front of body
d. Weight on the balls of the feet
e. Body bent forward at 45 degrees
2. Pivot on the right foot, drive left hand toward 2nd base, right elbow back to 1st
3. Crossover with the left foot and stay low as you accelerate
4. Maximize the effort going forward, minimize other directions of movement
5. Arms, hands are relaxed and swing parallel to running line
6. Push hard off the back and stretch the lead knee out forward
7. Land on the ball of the lead foot and push off the ball of the back foot
8. Try to keep the head level


NWCBA PRACTICE PRINCIPLES: PRACTICE BY THE 50S

1. A minimum of 50% of every practice should be spent working on fundamentals
a. After warming up throw for accuracy or distance (long toss) 50 times
b. Run the equivalent of 50 bases
c. Field a combination of 50 ground balls and/or fly balls
d. Swing the bat 50 times

2. Develop assistant coaches. Additional people are required to run multiple stations so the players are not standing around. All players should be busy nearly all the time.

3. THROWING: Throw against a wall, throw in the batting cage, throw at the side of the cage, throw to each other or throw with a coach or parent. Emphasize fundamentals of throwing, velocity and accuracy; in that order of priority.

4. RUNNING: Run the bases for time, do slide practice in the grass, run laps, practice leadoffs, practice against pickoff moves or have the players race. Concentrate on proper running form at every practice.

5. INFIELD: Field balls thrown against a wall, throw ground balls to each other, have multiple coaches hitting grounders, work on short hops, work on charging dead balls, play pepper. Concentrate on the fundamentals of infield play.

6. OUTFIELD: Hit fungo, work on balls over left shoulder or right shoulder, work on balls in front, work on sliding to catch the ball, introduce the fence to the players, work on crow hops, work on communication between outfielders.

7. HITTING: Hit wiffle balls, hit off a tee, hit soft toss, hit short toss, have players practice hitting fungo, play pepper, work swinging bat with each arm individually. Try to minimize the amount of batting practice taken on the field. Concentrate on the fundamentals of hitting at every practice.

8. Do some type of competition at every practice to keep the players interest and use the competition to measure skill level and improvement.

9. Players need to learn to play a variety of positions as they progress through the different baseball leagues. No one can be certain what position a young 10 year old player may end up playing if he is skilled enough to play in high school or college.