The Dugout

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Use This Fielding Drill to Build a Strong Foundation

When building a house, the first structural phase of the project is pouring the concrete foundation.  The foundation sits at the bottom, supporting the rest of the home.  The windows, trim, and those brick accents may look nice, but they would crumble to the ground without a solid foundation underneath them.  Much like a house, a baseball player’s foundation starts at the ground with their feet.  So much emphasis is put on upper body mechanics, but the best ballplayers and coaches know that every key move in baseball  begins with a solid base.  This solid base enables us to get in position to make the play.  A poor base makes it hard to make even the most routine plays on the infield.  

Here is a great, easy to teach drill that will have your players ready from the ground up to make plays.

The 1234 Hold

This is a great move to use at the beginning of your fielding practice.  You can do this in small groups or with your whole team.  There is no ball in play here, as we are focusing on the core moves to get into fielding position.  Set balls and/or cones about 8 feet apart.  For whole  teams, use a layout like this to keep everyone within listening distance but with enough room to move.

Step 1- Start players with their throwing side foot in front of their glove side foot.  Their weight should be on their back foot.

Step 2- Move the front foot into the proper base- feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart, with the glove side foot slightly in front of the other.  This slight offset is important for an infielder because it enables them to have a strong step through after receiving the baseball moving towards their intended target. 

Step 3- Have your players drop their elbows to their thighs, pressing their butt back and keeping the back flat.  This position matters- butt back and back flat allows players to see the ball coming toward them with minimal head movement.  Keeping the head still will greatly improve field vision and help your players catch the ball more consistently.  

Step 4- Extend hands in front of their body, and get into good glove presentation near the ground.  Pay attention to the glove!  We don’t want a ramp for the ball to travel up.  The glove should be pointed toward the ground with a good extension of the wrist.

Simply call out the number and have them move!  As players progress, you can add timed holds, especially at position 3 and 4, to help your players build leg strength and see their feet, glove, and head positions.  Make it a competition and see who lasts the longest! Work this into your next practice and see how quickly your players pick it up!

To see this drill in action and our other training videos and pages, click here to see what it is all about!

3 Ways To Max Out Batting Practice

3 Ideas To Run Effective Batting Practices

Running a fun, dynamic baseball practice can be hard todo!  If you are not adequately prepared to keep the kids busy, you will likely look up and see kids standing around, getting bored, and not getting any better. This is especially true during practice in the batting cages.  Often times, you may have only one or two lanes available to work 12 or more kids through in your time slot.  That can lead to a lot of dead time for your players. Here are 3 ways to get your players more reps and keep them engaged during cage time.

Multiple tees in the same cage

If your lane is big enough, get multiple tees going at the same time.  Make sure to properly distance the tees apart so that kids are not in danger of hitting other players.  You can use the L screen to sub-divide the cage into two parts.  When doing this, make sure your players are hitting the same direction if they are hitting into the side nets, or if hitting front to back, make sure they are hitting in opposite directions.


Set the tee up so that each player is working to hit the ball straight over the pitcher’s head up the middle. Get 15 reps and switch players. Do this so each player gets at least 2 rounds.  Move quickly and keep the kids focused.

Short rounds vs long rounds

Once you start short tossing or throwing BP, limit rounds to12-15 swings per round to keep kids moving. Do you lose a little time when kids are shuffling in and out?  Yes.  But, the quicker rounds mean kids are hitting more often and can stay more focused.  Also, kids tend to tire out as the round extends and that can lead to bad habits.  

Give your players a specific goal

Batting practice is all about helping players repeat consistent movements over and over. Consider telling your players to only hit opposite field for the first five swings.  Then, have them turn on balls for the next five swings.  Give them something to achieve where they can get instant gratification from the results.

Create a contest

Have you ever noticed how much more your players get excited when you tell them you are keeping score? It doesn’t matter if it is ground balls, strikes thrown, or sunflower seeds eaten in the dugout.  Kids love to compete!  Don’t leave that out during cage work.  Here are a few ideas you can use:

·      Have the player step into the cage with an 0-0count and progress through an at-bat.  You can then ‘judge’ whether their hits are outs, base hits, or even dingers.  This also helps players learn situational hitting as opposed to just taking swings

·      Divide the team into groups and count hard-hit balls for each group.

·      Have players step in with a 1-2 count and tell them the winning run is on third base. Get that run in!


Whether you have 30 minutes or an hour, if you come prepared you can get your players a ton of quality reps during cage time.  To stay team-focused, I like to keep individual instruction to a minimum while a player is hitting.  If you can get your other coaches to pitch, use the time while that player is waiting to hit to talk to them and identify any issues.  Then, let the player try to put those tips into action the next time in the cage.

Now let’s get going!

My Favorite Baseball Hitting Drill- The Knob Thrust

For those of you who work with and coach younger players like I have the past 5 years, you will encounter players of all skill levels and experience.  It can be challenging to teach hitting properly when many of your players have never received any real instruction on proper mechanics.  One key lesson I have learned is to keep it simple! Beginners and younger players especially have a hard time retaining multiple tips or lessons you share.  If there is one hitting drill that players of all ages can do and benefit from doing, it is the Knob Thrust.

The reason I love this drill is that one of the common miscues we see is a long backswing where the hands disengage from the body and therefore lag behind (and typically drop) during the swing.  Most young players these days swing 2 ¾ inch barrels with a weight distribution that makes it way too easy to drop the backside and get long to the ball.  The Knob Thrust forces a player to stay inside the baseball and helps keep the hands, upper body, and lower body in sync during a swing.


The way we teach this drill also helps a player visualize where the hands should be relative to the body and actually ‘feel’ when approaching the baseball. As you can see in the side by side below, the hands are thrusting directly to, not around, the baseball.  At the same moment, the hips are thrusting, resulting in a full-body swing loaded with power.

Have your player perform the thrust and pull back like you see below.   Then after pulling back, have them take a full cut through the baseball. Do this ten times for a few sets during batting practice each week and you will see a noticeable difference in your player’s swing.

We’ve got this training video and 80 more waiting for you in our Standout Training Library.  Click here and go to Plans to learn more about our Training Library and see how we can help your players stand out on the ballfield.

3 Simple Ways to Keep Kids Loving Baseball

Last week, I attended the ABCA (American Baseball Coaches Association) annual convention in Dallas, TX.  There, I joined thousands of college, high school, travel, and youth coaches to see the latest gear and hear from top coaches around the country about ways we can continue to improve our game.  One of the takeaways I got was that baseball loses more players by age 13 than any other sport in the U.S.  As a youth coach, that hit me in the gut!  

What is happening during that time to push players to other sports or out of sports entirely?  What can we do differently to slow that attrition and keep more kids in the game through their teenage years?  Here are three basic concepts that can help.

Keep it fun

Coaches, our first goal with youth baseball players is to create a fun environment.  Fun does not equal silly.  Fun can be competitive and it can be challenging.  But at the end of the day, if a kid is not enjoying their time on the field, they will likely not be back.  I love running baseball practices that are fast-paced, encouraging, and keep kids moving.  Our Standout Baseball practice plans can give you a great guide to do this all season.

Parents, this goes for you (us) too!  Cheer for your kids rather than correct them.  Allow them to fail and figure it out next time.  As a dad, I realize that I’m going to blink and my 10 year old son is going to be a grown man and the days at the ballpark with him will be long gone.  Enjoy the time on the field for what it is, and help your players do the same.  Especially at the pre-teen ages, remember this- there is no college scholarship on the line.  The varsity high school baseball coach is not watching.  It’s kids and their families, that’s it.  Take a moment to enjoy that before it all changes.

Keep it simple

As adults, it is easy to complicate a situation to its maximum extent allowed.  Take this scenario.  As a coach or trainer, we may see 5 flaws in a player’s swing.  Hands get out of sync with the body.  Head is moving all over the place.  Load is too soon or too late.  Barrel drops.  Weight is not balanced.  Whatever.  Our brain wants to address all five problems, because we are experts as coaches and can fix it all, right?  We just know we can get that player to have the perfect swing that results in line drives every at bat.  

As for the kid, they just want to hit the ball hard.  They also need to be able to understand why they hit it hard (or didn’t) without a lengthy explanation from a coach or their parent in order to repeat the movement or make changes to improve. So, maybe our approach should be to pick the one or two biggest flaws and work to address those.  The swing may not be perfect, but it will be improved, and the kid will see better results.  Most importantly, keeping it simple in this scenario makes it easier for the player learn and repeat the correct movements.  That builds confidence.

Keep it real

Last but not least, keep it real!  Give kids praise for improvements to their fundamentals.  I’m not sure I’ve met a youth athlete that did not smile when being told they did something well.  Most of us, but kids especially, feed off the energy around them and the environment that leaders create.  

On the flip side, constructive feedback can go a long way too.  We learn more from our failures than we do our successes.  As coaches and parents, we need to provide feedback to our players in a way that they can identify the failure as a learning opportunity and not as a definition of who they are.  Constructive feedback does just that.

Baseball is a tough game with life lessons throughout.  If we as parents and coaches can do these three things, we give our kids and players a much greater chance of playing for longer.  

If you are a baseball coach or baseball parent, check out how Standout Baseball can help you on this journey!  We’ve got resources to help you and your players learn the fundamentals of the game and have a great time doing it!  

6 Tips to Help You Stand Out During Baseball Tryouts

When you prepare the right way, you're guaranteed to stand out.

Baseball tryouts can be a nerve-wracking experience, as players are eager to prove their skills and secure a spot on the team. However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can make a lasting impression on the coaches.

At Standout, we’ve helped tons of young baseball players prepare for that big moment where they have to show coaches what they’re made of. Below are six effective strategies to ensure you are standing out at baseball tryouts and increasing your chances of making the team:

1. Preparation Is Key

One of the most important aspects of performing well at baseball tryouts is being well-prepared. This means practicing your skills regularly, staying in good physical shape, and understanding the game's fundamentals. 

By practicing even a little bit each day, you can quickly get comfortable with all aspects of the game, from hitting and fielding to base running and situational awareness. You should also ensure that you are familiar with the specific drills and exercises that may be used during tryouts.

2. Show Up Early and Be Ready to Go

First impressions can be everything. Do what you can to show up to tryouts early. This demonstrates your commitment and enthusiasm for baseball and the team. If you can talk your parents into it, shoot for at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to give yourself enough time to warm up, stretch, and mentally prepare for the day ahead. 

Don’t forget any of your equipment! Double check that you have your glove, bat, helmet, and cleats, and be dressed in appropriate clothing. This will show the coaches that you are serious about your performance and ready to compete.

3. Stay Positive and Show Enthusiasm

Attitude goes a long way in determining how coaches perceive you during tryouts. Try your best to stay positive, willing, and enthusiastic throughout the entire process, even when things may not be going your way. Even if you’re super competitive, do your best to let your play speak for itself and channel that competitiveness towards supporting your team with a positive attitude.

This will not only help you perform better under pressure but also show the coaches that you are a team player who can maintain a positive outlook in difficult situations. Remember, coaches are not only evaluating your skills but also your character and how well you will fit in with the team dynamic.

4. Be Coachable and Show Respect

Coaches always want talent, but they mostly have an eye out for players who are willing to learn and can take constructive criticism. So, be open to feedback and willing to make adjustments as needed. Show respect to the coaches and your fellow players by listening attentively, following instructions, and maintaining a positive attitude. 

Being coachable shows that you are a team player who is willing to put in the effort to improve and contribute to the team's success.

5. Highlight Your Strengths and Showcase Your Versatility

When it comes to showcasing your skills during tryouts, it's important to focus on your strengths while also demonstrating your versatility as a player. If you excel in a specific position or skill, make sure to highlight this during drills and scrimmages. However, don't be afraid to try new positions or take on different roles during tryouts. 

Coaches appreciate players who can contribute to the team in various ways, so showcasing your ability to adapt and be a well-rounded player can help you stand out from the competition.

6. Leave It All on the Field

Most importantly, give 100% effort during every aspect of the tryout. Coaches want to see players who are willing to push themselves and compete at the highest level. This means hustling on every play, diving for balls, and giving maximum effort during drills and scrimmages. By leaving it all on the field, you demonstrate passion for the sport and commitment to perform at your absolute best.

Stand out with Standout Baseball

By following these six tips, you can increase your chances of making a positive impression on the coaches. Remember, preparation, attitude, and effort are all crucial factors in your performance during tryouts. So, stay focused, give it your all, and be the best player you can be. By doing these things, you'll have a great shot at making the team!

Standout Baseball offers online baseball training content focused on bringing together players, parents, coaches, and leagues. Our goal is to help young athletes and coaches learn the fundamentals of this great game in order to be confident players and coaches. So, if you’re looking for important skills, drills, and secrets you need to know, get started with Standout Baseball today!

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10 Reasons Baseball Is Great for Kids

The benefits of playing baseball go FAR beyond just having fun.

Baseball is more than just a game, it's a national pastime that has been enjoyed for over a century. From the thrill of hitting a home run to the excitement of stealing a base, there's no denying the friendships, excitement, and fun that baseball can bring to kids. But the benefits of playing baseball go far beyond just having fun.

In this article, we'll explore the top 10 reasons why baseball is great for kids.

1. Develops Hand-Eye Coordination 

Baseball requires a high level of hand-eye coordination because of the precise timing and spatial judgments needed. When hitting a ball, players need to time their swing just right to connect with the ball. This requires quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination, which can be developed through practice and repetition.

2. Builds Strength and Endurance 

Playing baseball requires a lot of physical exertion, which can help kids build strength and endurance. Running, throwing, and hitting all require a great deal of energy and can help kids develop their muscles and cardiovascular system.

3. Improves Mental Focus 

Baseball is a game of strategy and requires a lot of mental focus. Players need to be able to analyze the situation on the field and make quick decisions based on what's happening. This can help kids develop their critical thinking and decision-making skills.

4. Teaches Teamwork 

Baseball is a team sport, and success on the field requires players to work together. Kids who play baseball learn how to communicate effectively with their teammates, how to support one another, and how to work towards a common goal.

5. Enables Players to Build Confidence in Themselves 

There's nothing quite like the feeling of hitting a home run or making a great play in the field. These moments can do wonders for a kid's confidence and self-esteem. By learning how to play the game of baseball, kids can develop a sense of pride in their abilities and feel more confident in their own skin.

6. Encourages Healthy Competition 

Competition is a natural part of sports, but it can be healthy when approached in the right way. Baseball teaches kids how to compete in a healthy and constructive manner, which can help them develop a sense of sportsmanship and fair play.

7. Provides Opportunities for Socialization 

Playing baseball provides kids with opportunities to socialize and make new friends. Whether it's bonding with teammates during practice or competing against other teams, baseball can help kids develop meaningful connections with others.

8. Fosters a Love of the Outdoors 

Baseball is an outdoor sport, and playing it can help kids develop a love of nature and the outdoors. Spending time outside can be beneficial for both physical and mental health and can help kids appreciate the beauty of the world around them.

9. Develops Persistence and Resilience 

Baseball is clearly a game of ups and downs, and players need to be able to handle both success and failure. By playing baseball, kids can develop persistence and resilience and learn how to bounce back from setbacks.

10. Provides Opportunities for Growth 

Baseball provides kids with opportunities for growth and personal development. By setting goals, working hard, and striving for success, kids who play baseball can learn valuable life skills that will serve them well in all areas of their lives.

Unleashing the Benefits of Baseball for Kids

Baseball is a great sport for kids to play. From developing hand-eye coordination to fostering a love of the outdoors, the benefits of playing baseball are numerous. Whether your child is a seasoned player or just starting out, there's no better time to lace up their cleats and hit the field.

If you are looking for baseball training, check out Standout Baseball. We are an online baseball training company with engaging training content focused on uniting youth baseball players, parents, coaches, and leagues. Get started and stand out on the field! 

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3 Easy Summer Drills for Younger Baseball Players

Depending on where you live, many rec seasons have ended and summer break has begun!  Pool parties and water gun fights will take the place of baseball practice and games, but that is no reason why your player can’t continue to learn baseball skills this summer.  Especially for the younger players, muscle memory is key to development.  The more reps a player gets, the more likely they are to master a skill.  Mastering skills brings confidence in these kids.  Here are three easy drills you can do with your player at home a few times a week to work on that mastery.

Hitting off the tee

All you need is a tee and a net.  Even if you don’t have baseballs, tennis balls or similar will work just as well.  Have your player hit 10-15 balls off the tee and do this two to three times.  For ease, line them up to hit balls straight ahead as if it was a pitch down the middle.  For younger baseball players, a great drill to include is the Slow Motion to the Point of Contact Drill.  Have your player take their swing in super slo-mo up to the point of contact.  Then, reverse back to starting position, and swing full speed.  This drill helps a player visualize where their hands, bat, and lower body are while they are swinging. Click here to see it in action.

Get that glove out

A simple way to get started here is to get your player about 15 feet away and simply roll them ground balls.  Move them around, change speeds a little, whatever you  like.  The point of this repetition is to get comfortable attacking the baseball.  To get more advanced, one of our favorite drills for fielding work is the 1-2-3-4 Hold.  You don’t even need a ball for this one.  You can set a ball in front of your player for reference.  Your player will then go through the four steps of approaching the baseball, starting with a glove-side first step through getting down into the fielding position.  For members, click here to see the training video in action.  

Throwing- Who has a towel?

Beyond simply playing catch (which, by the way, is one of the best things you can continue to do over the summer), you can get your player to have some fun and try the Towel Drill.  The purpose here is to get your player’s throwing mechanics in order.  To get the pop of the towel on the mitt or the chair, a player has to use good form to get their arm back and up and then extend past their body and whip their wrist downward.  This mimics getting the ball to spin up and down as opposed to sideways, which we see in many younger players with improper form.  Here’s  the drill in motion.

Try to do these baseball drills a couple of times per week in the backyard or even in the living room for the last two.  You’ll see continuous improvement in the player’s form and most importantly, in their confidence.

If you are reading this and are not a Standout Baseball member, click here for more information and to sign up to get full access to our Training Library!  You can use promo code GAPTOGAP with our monthly membership to try us out, and you can cancel anytime.

And be sure to follow us on our social media sites for regular updates and tips related to youth baseball training!

The 6:1 Ratio - Why Positive Reinforcement Matters

Analyze the behavior, not the results.

In 2013, Harvard Business Review published an article called ‘The Ideal Praise To Criticism Ratio’ that studied the effectiveness of leadership teams in a variety of business units.  The study found that the highest performing groups had a nearly 6:1 ratio of positive comments to negative comments within the team. 

On the flip side, the lowest performing teams had a ratio of 0.36:1, or nearly 3 negative comments for each positive comment.  While this study was performed on groups of working adults, the results can be applied to nearly any team setting, including youth baseball!  Let’s look at a few ways we can apply the study’s results as coaches and as parents to help our players develop in this game.

  1. Praise the fundamental development
  2. Frame player dev in a positive way
  3. Criticize behavior, not results
  4. Remember its a game

Appreciate the fundamentals

Mastering a specific skill can be hard!  Many players we coach are new to the game, and we are throwing a lot of baseball information their way.  Even advanced players are learning more detailed skill development every year as they get older. 

Take time to pat a player on the back or give them a high five when they do a drill correctly or make what you consider to be a routine play in a game.  Learning the proper baseball mechanics is crucial to long-term success in this game.  We want players to want to get better, and positive reinforcement, even for small wins, goes a long way towards that.  

Be critical of behavior, not results

It is easy to get upset when your players fail on the field.  As coaches, we often times see our players’ performance on the field as either a confirmation or an indictment of our coaching and expect too much from our players in terms of results and outcomes.  I remember a few years ago yelling at my son from the dugout for missing a groundball and letting a run score.  A dad in the stands looked over at me and said, “that’s the dad coming out in you.” 

As a coach (and his dad), I wanted him to make that play, but his miscue wasn’t due to lack of effort.  He’s a kid and he simply missed the ball.  I learned a valuable lesson that day. We’ve got to allow players room to fail and learn from their miscues.  These young players have enough pressure to impress mom and dad in the stands, so we don’t need to add to that. Instead of being critical, offer support and use these moments as teaching opportunities back in the dugout or at the next practice. 

It is important, though, to be critical of behavior.  Young players need to know there are rules to the game and ways to be good teammates.  I equate it to what I expect my childrens’ teachers to do at school.  They aren’t going to reprimand a student for a bad quiz or test, but they will reprimand a student who is being disruptive to the class. 

So, save the negative feedback for issues like not hustling, or not supporting teammates, but be sure to do it in a way that is appropriate for the age of the player so they can learn from the experience.

Remember, it really is just a game

Games are meant to be fun.  No world events are changed, and no scholarships won or lost in a youth baseball game.  Go into leading your team with a mindset that having fun is as integral a part of development as learning proper mechanics.  Be intentional with your comments and feedback, and help foster a team culture that will make players want to come back out again next season.

Link to original HBR article here.

5 Tips to Max Out Training in Small Group Baseball Stations

Step it up a notch with these tips to max out reps for your players.

Do you struggle as a coach to get meaningful repetitions for your players during baseball practice? Especially at the youth level, coaches can feel overwhelmed trying to keep kids of a wide range of skills engaged, learning, and getting enough reps. 

While trying to cater to your entire team, it can be easy to overlook one of the most important parts of practice for player development- small group station work. Station work can be intimidating because it spreads your team out and decentralizes instruction across the field. Don’t fear it, make it work!  Here are 5 tips to optimize your drillwork during your on field practices.

Plan your time out before baseball practice begins

If you have one hour on the field, know how much time you want to spend doing station work.  At some ages, this may be 75% of your field time. For most teams, we recommend at least ⅓ of your practice time be allocated for your drills.  If you have 3 stations and 25 minutes set aside, make sure to pay attention to the time to keep things moving and get kids through each station. 

For our coaches enrolled in our Coach’s Plan or League Programs, we’ve got a variety of plans for station work that you can download and bring to practice.

Keep groups small

The goal of baseball station work is to max out specific movement reps and allow players to create the muscle memory needed to make plays on a consistent basis. To achieve this, keep group sizes small. If you have a team of 10-12 players, divide into 3 groups. 

This allows each player to get dozens of reps at each station. It also keeps the kids moving. With 3-4 players per group, you can move quickly and give the kids some cardio work too!  Most importantly, small groups let players get….

Reps, reps, reps!

A huge challenge we face as baseball coaches is getting enough field time. If we are on the practice field 1-2 times per week for a few months, we’ve got to take advantage of it and be ready to rep out.  Small group station work is where that happens. When you break your team into groups, make sure to keep a quick pace that is age/skill appropriate. 

When I have 8-10 minutes per station, my aim is to get each player at least 20-25 reps for the movement. This promotes muscle memory and enables players to get comfortable with the movement over time.

Spread out!

If you are lucky enough to have the whole field, work stations in the infield and the outfield. And don’t think twice about doing infield work on the outfield grass- location doesn’t matter. Try and get the groups far enough away from each other so that you and your coaches can provide instruction to a group without causing the other groups to get distracted by the noise (for those of you who have coached 7 and under, you know what I’m talking about!). If I have the whole field, I like working one drill on each side of the infield and the third group in the outfield, but most any configuration can work.

Involve your baseball parents

I’ve run so many practices and look up to see moms and dads hanging on the fence observing from a distance. Bring them inside the fence, grab a glove, and get on the field with you. Running three stations optimally will need six ‘coaches’, so that instruction can be given and order maintained. This also brings your parents into their kid’s activities, which is a good thing.

Over the course of a season, you can 10X the development of your players through small group work. It takes more planning and effort than simply hitting ground balls and fly balls to 9 kids across the diamond, but it is well worth the effort. We’d love to help you run a great practice with our Standout Baseball plans, so come check it out here.

5 Ways to Structure a Great Baseball Practice

No matter your coaching skill level, intentionality is essential to run your best baseball practice.

As we head into the spring season this year, this is a great time to set some goals as coaches for what we want to accomplish with our teams this season. For some, it is simply teaching kids to play catch, put a ball in play, and get to first base. For other coaches, you have more experienced players that are looking to take a step forward in development this season. Either way, we as coaches must be intentional in our planning to be successful. Having a structured plan for your practice time is a great start! We’ve put together 5 components for you to run a great baseball practice each time your team hits the field.

baseball practice plan blog image

1. Get the kids loose!

Don’t skimp on warmups! Baseball players of all ages need to prepare for the movement repetitions they will have during baseball practice. Start with some active dynamic warmups, such as high knees, butt kicks, walking lunges, and runs. You can line your players on the foul line and send them in groups towards center field and then back.

baseball practice drills blog image

2. Throwing warm ups – throw with intention

One of the biggest things we need to as coaches is teach young players how to properly throw a baseball! Often times we simply get the players out in right field and let them throw for a few minutes with no direction at all. Get the players throwing with an intention as opposed to just messing around. Pay attention to player form, footwork, and how they follow through. And let’s not forget this is where they learn to catch the ball too! Playing catch is the baseline of baseball. If you can’t catch and throw, it will be really difficult for the player to develop more baseball skills.

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3. Small group station work

Instead of diving into a full team drill or session, break the kids into small groups. This will allow for more reps and keep players engaged. For example, you could break your team into 3 groups of 3-5 players and run three stations of baseball fielding drills. By breaking into small groups, you can 3x the number of reps each player gets during your practice. This will pay huge dividends as the season and your practices progress. Tip- Get your parents involved. To run multiple stations, you will likely need more adults on the field. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents watching from the bleachers to grab a glove and help out.

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4. Team drills

While small group work promotes greater reps, players also need to learn and master how to work as a team.  Take time each practice to run full team drills, like a round of infield, or live BP. We’ve got some great ideas in our practice guides that we offer to coaches and youth leagues for a variety of age groups and skill levels.

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5. Baserunning and conditioning

A great way to end practice is with some baserunning drills and competitions. Teach the kids how to make a turn at first base to get that double and how to pick up their third base coach to snag the extra base on a ball to the outfield. You can also incorporate some fun races to give the kids a fun way to end practice while also getting some conditioning.

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At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do is provide your players with a consistent experience in which they are getting better and having fun doing it. Take some time to prepare for practice. We have an entire section of our Training Dashboard devoted to helping coaches run effective practices and help players get better (and have some fun). 

Click here to learn more about how we can help!

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4 Ways To Be A Great Baseball Teammate

Baseball is about teamwork and supporting our team in their individual efforts and development.

At Standout, we focus most of our efforts helping coaches and players fine-tune their individual skills on the diamond. After all, baseball is an individual game masked as a team sport. We challenge kids to "do their best and forget the rest’" and learn how to repeat movements time and again until they have them perfected. This is awesome stuff, but being a talented ballplayer will only get you so far in this game. Players need to be great at being a teammate too!

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"You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth

The Babe said this almost 100 years ago, and it stands true today. Here are four simple tips on how we can all learn to be a great teammate.

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Give your best effort

This should be pretty simple, right? Players need to come to the park and give their best. Baseball is a tough game, and teammates will benefit from seeing their peers trying hard and working to improve. Effort can be contagious, but remember, so can lack of effort! Giving your best does not always equate to success on GameChanger, but it resonates in a dugout of peers.

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Congratulate success of others

When a player does something well, let them know! We want this game to be fun and part of that is being recognized for doing something well. A pat on the back or a high five after a great defensive play goes a long way, and that is true for 5 year olds all the way up to the pros. Nothing makes me happier as a coach than seeing our players run over to their teammate for a high five after making a great play.

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Stay positive

You and your teammates have worked hard all season on baseball defense drills in practice. You know what?  Errors are still going to happen. Even Dansby Swanson made 8 errors last season on his way to winning a Gold Glove as the best defensive shortstop in the NL. When a teammate makes a mistake, don’t make it worse. Pick your teammate up and let them know they will get the next one.  

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Put WE before ME

As coaches, we must build a culture on our teams that the team success is greater than individual success. Sometimes we need a player to get a bunt down when they want to go for the double in the gap. Players need to believe that the bunt they laid down was every bit as great as the double they wanted to hit. This type of team attitude not only leads to wins on the field, but more importantly, helps players learn the value of teamwork, and this lesson can be  applied well beyond the baseball field.

So remember- it is not always about stats or wins.  Let’s build a culture where our players learn the value of working together and supporting each other.  

How to Become a Fielding Pro

It takes more than just natural talent. Your head and your heart have to be in it, too.

Every baseball player dreams of making highlight-reel plays on the field. But, to become a fielding pro, it takes more than just natural talent. Your head and your heart have to be in it – and this is what leads to dedication, practice, and mastering the fundamental skills. 

Whether you're a young player looking to improve your game, a parent seeking guidance for your child, or a baseball coach looking to enhance your team's performance, read on to get valuable insights on the key fundamentals of fielding

Key Fielding Fundamentals for Players

1. Develop Proper Footwork

Footwork is the foundation of any good fielder. It allows you to move quickly and efficiently, getting to the ball faster and making more accurate throws. To develop proper footwork, practice shuffling your feet in a controlled manner, staying on the balls of your feet, and keeping your knees bent. This will help you maintain balance and agility while fielding ground balls and fly balls.

2. Master the Ready Position

The ready position is crucial for fielding success. Not every pitch will get a hit that comes your direction on the field, but you still have to practice and get in the automatic habit of being ready – every single pitch. Mastering the ready position allows you to react quickly to the ball and make plays with far more consistency. To assume the ready position, bend your knees and keep your weight on the balls of your feet. Your glove should be open and ready to receive the ball, with your throwing hand above the glove. 

Keep your eyes focused on the batter or pitcher, and anticipate the ball coming toward you. Regularly practicing the ready position will help you become more comfortable and confident in the field.

3. Practice Proper Throwing Mechanics

Even if you can field the ball with precision and consistency, you still need to make the throw. A strong and accurate throw is a vital skill for any fielder. To improve your throwing mechanics, work on your grip, arm action, and follow-through. Hold the ball with your fingers across the seams, allowing for better control and spin. Keep your elbow above your shoulder during the throwing motion, and follow through with your entire body, not just your arm. 

Practice and repetition – especially when combined with some of our video trainings – is the only path to perfecting your throwing mechanics.

4. Learn to Communicate Effectively with Teammates

A strong defensive team knows the plan and knows how to communicate on the field. Knowing when to call for a ball, when to let a teammate take it, and how to relay information during plays can prevent errors and improve overall team performance. Practice communicating with your teammates during games and scrimmages, and don't be afraid to be vocal on the field. A strong, cohesive defense is built on trust and communication.

5. Embrace the Mental Aspect of Fielding

Fielding is not just about physical skills; it also requires mental toughness and focus. Learn to shake off errors and stay positive, even when things aren't going your way. Develop a pre-pitch routine to help you stay focused and present in the moment. Visualization techniques can also be beneficial, allowing you to mentally rehearse making great plays before they happen.

6. Attend a Baseball Academy or Training Camp

One of the best ways to improve your fielding skills is through professional instruction and practice. Attending a baseball academy or training camp can provide you with access to experienced coaches, cutting-edge training techniques, and the opportunity to practice with other talented players. 

Standout also offers on-demand training through our online video library for far less than your average personal baseball trainer. Check out what it has to offer here. These programs can help you refine your skills, learn new techniques, and gain valuable experience in the field.

The Journey to Fielding Excellence

Becoming a fielding pro takes time, dedication, and a commitment to mastering the fundamental skills. From developing proper footwork and mastering the ready position to embracing the mental aspect of fielding and seeking professional instruction, there are many ways to enhance your fielding abilities. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep working hard and never give up on your dreams of becoming a top-notch fielder.

Looking for ways to improve your baseball skills and connect with your community? Look no further than Standout Baseball! Our online baseball training private lessons offer engaging content designed to unite youth baseball players, parents, coaches, and leagues no matter where they are. 

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, our program can help you take your game to the next level. Don't miss out on this opportunity to improve your skills and become a standout player. Sign up today and start training like a pro!

4 December Activities for Youth Baseball Players

What youth baseball players can do in December to up their game.

4 December activities for baseball players

For many of us, when the calendar turns to December we all start thinking ahead to the holidays. The weather has turned colder, Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, and we are all ready to gain a few pounds over the next few weeks. Baseball is the last thing on our minds. Fall seasons have wrapped and we are ready for a break from organized baseball. And you know what I say to that? TAKE IT!  Here are 4 things you can do this month that don’t involve organized baseball that will help your players.

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Let the kids play

I laugh when I think about this phrase and how it defines some generational differences in MLB players. For this blog topic, it is spot on. Our players are involved in an ever-increasing amount of organized activities, from baseball to music lessons. I’m a huge believer in getting kids outside with minimal adult direction. Jump on the trampoline. Play whiffle ball. Get a game of HORSE going in the driveway. This allows kids to be creative and develop confidence in themselves in a completely different way than organized activities.

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Use Standout at home

If your player just can’t stand being away from the game, our Training Library is a full of baseball drills that can be done in your backyard, driveway, or even your living room. We have dozens of low impact drills that focus on movements over power, such as the LVI Throwing Drill, or the Backhand Variations, or the Slo-Mo and Reverse. These drills help players slow down and repeat movements that improve performance.  It also allows those arms and knees to ….

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Whether you are 5, 15, or 55, your body needs time to rest and heal. Baseball is demanding on joints and small muscle groups, and taking a break gives these parts of our bodies a chance to heal and get stronger. Trust me, my knees now wish I had taken more time to recover when I was a young player. Even major leaguers take up to a month off from baseball activities to give their bodies a chance to recover from the grind of the season.

(Giancarlo Stanton playing for his high school basketball team)

Play other sports

The debate on this on social media is endless, but I will stand firm that younger players especially need to develop a variety of skills that don’t all involve hitting a fastball. You may think your 10 year old is the second coming of Mike Trout, but he hasn’t even hit puberty yet.  Kids involved in a variety of activities develop new skills, and maybe most importantly, they may find new interests. It also minimizes the chance for burnout on a single activity, which we see all the time. I love this quote from Giancarlo Stanton on the topic:

“I played basketball, baseball, and football. I never had much downtime. But I think playing multiple sports helped tremendously in my baseball career. I have the agility of all three combined into one.”  

— Giancarlo Stanton

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

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27 New Baseball Training Drills Now Available

The newest additions to the Standout Baseball Training Library are up and live!

We are excited to announce that our newest additions to our Training Library are up and live!  We added 27 new baseball drills for our Standout Baseball players and coaches to use to improve their games.  We’ve created a new Catching Program and added to our already robust Hitting and Fielding Programs.  Read on to learn more!  

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Catching Category -  ALL NEW

We’ve added a brand new series of content to give our Standout catchers some love too!  With the help of several former players and coaches, we put together the core drills that will help new and experienced catchers get better at:

  • Receiving the baseball
  • Performing the movements needed to block poor pitches 
  • The footwork to throw out base stealers
  • Getting their pitchers strikes called on those close pitches

These core drills will build confidence in those new to the tools of ignorance as well as help experienced catchers stay sharp and impact the game. 

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Hitting and Fielding Category Updates

Our hitting and fielding curriculums got even more robust with the addition of our latest training pages.  The new hitting content provides additional drillwork to focus on the micro-movements needed for a powerful, controlled swing.  Many of these new drills build off of the foundational trainings.  These additions will add a new level of variety to your training program.

Our fielding additions will provide additional drills to improve footwork and be in the right position to field the baseball and get outs.  New drills will help players understand how to better move laterally to the ball and get their feet in the correct position to make strong throws across the diamond.

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The Standout Baseball Program

Don’t forget, our pages are not just videos- We give you the key movements to focus on, common miscues and errors, and most importantly, the movements that define a Standout player.  You can sort and filter by drills that can be done at home, or drills that are advanced, in order to focus on the best movements to improve your game. 

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Virtual Assessment to review your swing or fielding form!

And don’t forget, we offer virtual assessments to provide 1-1 feedback on your player’s specific movements and skills.  Click here to learn more and get started! 

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

Join Us

Sign up for our newsletter below, or you can contact us anytime at

New to Youth Baseball Coaching? 5 Hacks for Beginner Coaches to Run A Great Practice

It doesn't take baseball experience to be a great coach, just a little planning and effort.

Coaching youth baseball can be one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have. When you see see the look on your player’s face when they drive in a run or make a great play, you’ll want to be a coach forever. 

If you’re a parent or a new coach (or both), don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be present for your players and willing to learn. Standout Baseball is here to help.  Here are 5 tips that will get you on your way to being a successful, memorable coach.

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1- Define your personal goals and success

I tell parents at the beginning of every youth baseball season that I have two goals. The first is that the kids have fun. The second is that the kids will beg their parents at the end of the season to sign them up again next year. 

Playing baseball should first and foremost be fun for the kids, especially at the younger ages. You know what, though? Most kids have fun getting better at a skill. As a new baseball coach, we suggest you should prioritize positive feedback and making practice and games challenging, yet fun.

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2- Have your plan and follow it

It is really hard to be effective at anything when we don’t have a plan. Running a good practice is no different. A good practice plan enables youth baseball coaches to stay focused and allocate time wisely. I like to print mine out and include the baseball drills and the timeframe to do them so we can stay on point.  A great way to start is to break the practice up into 3-4 sessions that focus on different baseball drills.

Most importantly, that plan needs to…

3- Keep your players engaged

Nothing is worse than seeing kids standing around on the field during baseball practice. Younger players start playing in the dirt. Older players start thinking about the girl in their science class. A general rule of thumb for our baseball practice plans is to work in small groups of 4-5 for a majority of the practice time. 

This allows you to move around and guide groups of baseball players, groups manage themselves, and young leaders on your team have their chance to shine. Your players get far more repetition and far less standing around. Not to mention the fact that parents love it because it wears their kids out!

4- Treat your child as you would any other kid on the team

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Up until the teenage years, most youth baseball coaches have a child on their team. The single worst thing you can do as a coach is to single out your child above, or below, the rest of their teammates. 

This topic will be an entire blog post soon, but in summary, every single person watching from the stands or participating in a baseball practice or game is paying attention to this. This is the easiest way to create animosity between teammates, parents, and coaches. Most importantly, it can create problems for the parent(coach)/child(player) relationship that can carry well beyond the ballpark.

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5- Use your available resources

If you are just getting started with youth baseball coaching and don’t know where to begin, the Standout Coaches Corner is a great place to start. Our content organizes great drills to incorporate into practice based on age/skill levels and movements.

Don’t be afraid to ask other parents for help, too! You may be surrounded by parents that have some knowledge of the game and would like to be involved in some way. Some of my best practices included 4 parents on the field helping coordinate the kids. You don’t need to be on an island, take advantage of the resources around you.

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Standout as a baseball coach!

Standout Baseball believes baseball  coaches have the opportunity to significantly improve the confidence of young athletes that they can carry into every part of their lives. Our goal is to arm coaches with great practice plans and drills that will create a fun, dynamic practice that helps players get better at baseball. 

Our Coaches Corner and Training Library can help you be a confident coach and improve player engagement and skills. Most importantly, these resources will make practice fun for the kids! Let’s get started!

Welcome to Standout Baseball

We are excited to see you here! Read this to learn more about how we help players STAND OUT!

Do Your Best and Forget the Rest!

We’re glad you’re here. Standout Baseball is your premium online resource for baseball training and coaching resources. Our mission is to transform youth baseball players into confident leaders in their game and empower coaches with the tools they need to run a fun, dynamic practice.

We have a passion for developing young athletes of character and determination – and we believe that for many, organized sports is the bridge to a full life on and off the field.  

Answering the Call

Standout began in Las Vegas more than a decade ago, with Kevin Batista personally leading players from t-ball to the pros. Kevin rapidly developed a premium regimen of drills and movements, always focused on the core fundamentals (or the “fundies” as you’ll hear us say) that deliver stronger numbers, leadership, and excellence in baseball. 

For years, Kevin’s players raved about what they learned and parents always asked how more budding baseball athletes could benefit from his training. How do you reach more players? Put it online! Fast forward to today, and you’ll find a tested and proven online catalog of resources that:

  • Develops strong young athletes
  • Empowers coaches
  • Builds competitive, exciting leagues
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Standout Training Library is your #1 resource to learning and mastering the fundies of baseball. With our Standout Training Library and instructional videos, you can easily understand proper mechanics and identify how to correct poor movements that are keeping you or your athlete from becoming a Standout player. 

In nearly every case, you want to laser focus on the mechanics of hitting, fielding, throwing/pitching, and catching. We put those fundies in the palm of your hand. And to make it even better, you can practice most drills at home in the garage or backyard.

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Standout Coaches Corner

We haven’t left you out, coaches. The Standout Coaches Corner helps everyone from first-timers to seasoned vets maximize practice time with their teams. Active, dynamic practices keep players engaged and make it easier for them to learn the fundies, which in turn will produce better results for a team. We don’t just help individual coaches though – our league and association partners use our resources to create a universal curriculum across age groups and retain more players year after year.

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Standout Virtual Assessments

In addition to our training pages, you can upload player videos in our easy-to-use Standout Virtual Assessment portal. We provide expert assessments that review and give feedback on your player’s mechanics across all facets of their game. 

  • Want your swing analyzed? We got it. 
  • How about the form on fielding a ground ball? Hit us up. 

In fact, you can code ‘blastoff’ on our Single Video Assessment right now to get one free!  

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We hope you join us on this baseball journey and enjoy reading The Dugout Blog! Whether during a game or practice, The Dugout is where we share stories, new lessons learned, and the funny things that happen on the field with you. Our aim is to provide unique, entertaining, and informative content that our Standout members can learn from and use, and sometimes even laugh at! 

As Coach Kevin says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”


Coach Josh

Standout Baseball

Our mission is to enable youth players to achieve success in baseball and life by gaining confidence in what they do on the ballfield. Baseball ends for all of us, but what we learn from the game carries on for the rest of our lives.

Join Us

Sign up for our newsletter below, or you can contact us anytime at Follow our social media by clicking one of the links below!