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Quick Tip #22
Coaches should teach players at the youngest age that blocking the ball and keeping it in front of them is just as important as catching the ball cleanly. In The Block It Drill, coaches can have a few stations with their assistant coaches and parents.
The coach will roll balls to the player and he has to move from side to side between two cones, blocking the baseball and keeping it from getting behind him. The player becomes kind of like a hockey or soccer goalie. This drill is also important by helping to teach the young athlete to move his feet to the baseball instead of just reaching with his arms.
This drill can also become a competition. How many balls can the player keep in front of him in a predetermined time? Players can also compete against one another to see who can save the most goals. Young players love competition and most times this can be the best way of teaching techniques. Coaches should make sure this is done on an area where the grass is fairly thick. The kids will really get into diving to stop the balls, and if this is done, say on the infield dirt, it can be problematic. A simple drill like this can be used from t‒ball all the way up to high school baseball. This drill is a great conditioning drill as well.
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