baseball drill for 10 year olds

8 Incredible Baseball Drills for 10 year olds

When a baseball player becomes 10 years of age, it’s time to start developing his throwing and swinging mechanics. Before this, kids learned the value of teamwork, keeping a positive attitude, and becoming familiar with the rules of the game. Now, it’s time for them to learn skills, and to that end, we have put together 8 baseball drills for 10 year olds, that are different than drills you would have younger players do.

By the time a child reaches the age of 10, he may have developed habits that were left unchecked and uncorrected. Now is the time to start fine tuning how a player throws, how he runs and how he swings the bat. At 10 years, a child will understand the rules of baseball and begin to personalize them, applying them to real game situations.

These drills are designed primarily to develop muscle memory. They still don’t have a desire to learn every facet of a proper swing, so coaches should focus on making sure they are hitting with the proper load, slide, and swing and follow through. Once they are hitting well, have them practice is as often as possible so their bodies develop muscle memory so they will sing the same way every time.

The fielding drills here are meant to help 10 year olds use their legs and feet, and develop their foot work. Again, the right movement towards a ground ball, if repeated enough times, will become part of a child’s good fielding habits as the movements are stored in his muscle memory.

Home Run Derby Drill – Batting Tee or Soft Toss

The first thing to do with a 10-year old for hitting is to let them hit the ball as far as they can using a whiffle ball and a batting tee. This is just a swinging drill prior to any discussion of swinging mechanics. Following this kind of open hitting, coaches and parents should begin to focus on the child’s stance, how he loads and strides into the ball, and the mechanics of a proper swing.

But first things first. Find an open space where balls can be hit for distance. Find a spot in your yard, or on a baseball field where the ball can be hit far. You can use whiffle balls or tennis balls for this drill.

The young player stands in area we will assume is home plate.  You can create a home plate (17 inches in width), using chalk or rope of even sticks.

  • Soft Toss: Parent has about a dozen whiffle balls or tennis balls. Toss these from a short distance in front of the hitter and slightly to his side. Simply allow him to swing through the ball, observing to see if he makes any unnecessary movement with his legs and feet to hit the baseball. Let him hit 5 to ten tennis balls or whiffle balls.
  • Batting Tee: Parents set up a batting tee and raise or lower it so that the ball is at the hitter’s belt line. Allow him to swing at about 5 to 10 whiffle or tennis balls, each time taking note of his swing to see if any movements he makes work against him hitting the ball as far as he can.

 First Batting Tee Drill

The only thing a 10 year sees when using a batting tee is the result of his swing. Often he doesn’t take into account how his movement affects the results he sees. Kids only see how far the ball goes when he swings.

Using a batting tee, hitting a ball into a net, serves to diminish the results, which is what coaches want in batting tee drills. Using a tee and a net, a child can focus on his swing mechanics, and later, apply them to real hitting situations either at team practice or in a game.

Another great advantage of a batting tee is that it can be moved so the hitter can practice at high and low pitches, as well as throws to the inside and outside of the plate.

One of the key components of developing great batting skills is repetition. When the coach places the batting tee on the inside of the plate, and the hitter assumes his batting stance in the right place in the batter’s box, he can take 100 swings with the ball on the inside.

A youth player should hit 100 baseballs into a net for inside, outside, high and low pitches. After his series of inside pitch hitting, move the tee to the outside, then high, and then low.

Kids will develop, through repetition, muscle memory that will be a part of him when he hits in a game. Even if he is uncertain of his stride and his swing, his body will follow through the motions it’s been trained to do.

It is the responsibility of the coach to use the batting tee so players can hit all kids of pitches. Give the kids something to work on, not just hitting the ball into the net over and over again. Change the position of the batting tee.

Designate one complete practice time for kids to hit the inside pitch, another for outside, yet another for low pitches and the following tee time exclusively for hitting high pitches.

The batting tee is also a great place to start to develop a hitter’s stance, and how he loads, strides and swings and follows through the ball.

Load to Launch Batting Tee Drill for 10 years olds

There is no right or wrong way for a batting stance. The best batting stance for each hitter is a stance where they feel most comfortable. What is of most importance is a batter’s swing mechanics.

The three parts of a batter’s swing are his batting stance, his stride (preparing himself, or “loading” for the pitch), his swing and finally, his follow through.

Setting Up 

The player stands outside the batter’s box, and takes about five practice swings in air. This allows the hitter to get his muscles moving before he takes any swings at a baseball, and cues his muscles to prepare to swing the bat.

It also prepares the batter to get into the proper mindset. Whatever else is happening in his mind, it will be removed and he’ll focus entirely on what he is going to do next. Hitting is all about muscle memory and mindset. Muscle memory is accomplished through drills and kids get the proper mindset when they’re given about 30 seconds to simply swing the bat through the air.

Approaching the Batting Tee

A hitter’s batting stance is an individual choice. What coaches want to accomplish at a batting tee is getting the player to improve his stride and his load.

At the first approach, there is not baseball on the batting tee. Instead, you explain to your player that loading is the process of gathering energy. The lower half of the body, hips, legs and feet, are what is most important in a good load. You want to teach players to load their legs on every pitch. Make him take 20 swings at the empty tee.

Load and Launch

Focusing on the lower part of the body for the load will limit unnecessary movement in the hitter’s shoulders. At this age, it is more important to get the player thinking about the lower part of the body when swinging, instead of getting it perfect.

A coach only needs to make sure their swing and follow through utilizes the lower body. As their hitting improves, their swing mechanics will fall into place, and muscle memory will take over.

Warm Up Batting Tee Drill

When a player reaches 10 years of age, he is ready to do more with a batting tee that just learning to connect the ball with the bat. Now he can begin to specialize, and practice hitting inside and outside pitches, pitches at the knees and up high at the letters. He can learn to hit for power as well.

This warm up drill is great before team practice or prior to the start of a game. It’s designed to help loosen up the feet, legs, hips, arms and shoulders.

  • Begin by taking about 15 smooth, easy swings. Here players are only in a warm up mode, so don’t try hammering the ball. Instead, kids should focus on the mechanics of their swing – their batting stance, load and stride and swing.  Set up in a comfortable batting stance and then step into the ball.
  • Next, they isolate the lower part of their body in the swing, – legs, knees and feet. Imagine the pitcher is 60 feet away. Align the feet to the batting tee the same way they align when getting into the regular batting stance facing the pitcher.
  • When swinging through the ball on the tee, imagine it’s coming from the pitcher’s mound.  Think of the half second of time it takes for the ball to reach the hitter from the pitcher’s hand.
  • Maintain a smooth, easy swing and swing to the imaginary pitched ball for another 10 repetitions.

Outside Pitch Batting Tee Drill

This drill focuses on how to swing at an outside pitch. When players swing correctly at an outside pitch, is will go to the opposite field.

Move the batting tee farther back on home plate and on the outside of the plate.  Back off far enough to the place players will stand to swing at an outside pitch. He should line up his batting stance so that the inside part of his foot lines up with home plate. This is about 4 inches ahead of the tee towards the pitcher’s mound.

Try making a strong swing. Players tend to make lazy swings on balls pitched to the outside, so make sure he swings as aggressively as he can. Swing the bat all the way around and make sure he swings through the ball.

Think of this drill as a hit and run drill as well. Stay on top of the ball and hit it in a downward angle to the opposite field.

  • He keeps his stride without striding to the outside pitch.
  • Make sure his bat head is behind his hands when making contact.
  • He will make contact with the ball before his bat completely crosses home plate. By “swinging early”, the ball will be hit to the opposite field.  If he is right handed, the ball goes to right field. If he is a lefty, the ball is hit to left field.
  • Make sure the player’s hips and back foot are positioned in the opposite direction of where the ball is hit. If he’s a right handed hitter, the player’s hips and feet face left field. Hips and feet face right field if left handed.
  • When swinging outside pitches, he needs to always keep his bat level. If he drops the bat head, then the ball’s direction of travel will be affected.

Batting Tee Drill for Hitting Inside Pitches 

Inside pitches should be hit for power. The ball should go to the players’ power alley. If a player is a right handed hitter, he’ll want to pull the ball to left field. Left handed batters want to pull the ball to right field. Even when they get jammed by the pitch on the inside and close to the body, they should try the best they can to get over the ball and pull it.

A lot of hitters, when they get jammed, tend to inside-out the ball, causing the hit to go weakly to the opposite field. If they pull the ball correctly, it will have a lot more punch and will travel farther.

Setup: Move closer to the tee and close enough to the ball so that when the player swings through, the ball contacts the widest part of the bat’s barrel. Players should place their front foot a little in front of the batting tee post.

Hitters into their stance and take a practice swing without making contact with the ball. The fat part of the barrel should line up perfectly with the ball on the tee.

If the bat barrel lines up too close to the hands, it will be foul tipped or be a weak grounder. If the barrel lines up too close to the end of the bat, he will foul tip the ball or hit it weakly to the opposite field.

  • Swing at the ball on the tee as an inside pitch. Keep hands close to the body. The ball will try to jam the hitter.
  • When the bat comes into contact with the ball, the bat head should be in front of the hitter’s hands.  When swinging, pull the ball to go down the power alley.
  • Hitters want to hit the ball on the widest part of the bat barrel (“Sweet spot’).
  • Try and swing a few balls in this inside pitch position. Always keep the body relaxed. If the body is tense, there won’t be an even swinging motion and they won’t pull the ball.
  • If the ball doesn’t pull or move off the bat fast and with power, adjust by moving farther away from the ball.
  • Keep making body position adjustments until the ball pulls and has a powerful punch.

  Footwork Fielding Drills – Ground Balls

This drill teaches youth players to use their legs when fielding a ground ball. 10 year olds focus more on using their arms and shoulders when approaching a ground ball with their glove. This drill changes the focus to their legs and feet.

All that’s needed for this drill is for a player to go out to the infield dirt without a glove. The coach or another player will hit soft ground balls to him.

This drill is to get the player to move his body from side to side.

  • Hit or throw a slow roller to the player’s right.
  • Player shifts his body to the right far enough so that the ball will go through his legs.
  • Player does not field the ball.
  • Throw a ground ball to the player’s left.
  • Player shifts his legs in a sideways motion to the left far enough for the ball to go between his legs.
  • Either increase the speed of the ground balls to either side of the player hit or roll the ground balls harder to him so he shifts his body faster and gets to the ball in time for it to go between his legs.

This drill teaches the player to get in front of the baseball. This is another muscle memory drill. Their fielding improves dramatically after doing this drill. You can make it a team competition to make it more fun.

Traffic Cone Goalie Drill

For this drill, you’ll need two traffic cones placed about 5 to 6 yards apart on a dirt surface that is a lot like the infield dirt 10 year old players are accustomed to. This is a fun drill for young players. All drills at this age should be presented as more fun than work. They are all designed to build the muscle memory kids will need when they begin to play high school baseball.

Place two cones on either side of a player wearing a glove. His feet should be on line with the traffic cones. Tell the fielder to imagine he’s a hockey goalie and he can’t allow any ball to get behind him.

The coach either uses a fungo bat or he throws ground balls to the player between the cones.

  • The coach hits rapid fire ground balls to his player.
  • You will want to challenge them, so hit the ground ball as fast as possible.
  • Player is encouraged to catch the ball any way he can, ether glove in front or backhanded.
  • Mix up the hits. For example, hit two balls that require the player to catch forehand. The next hit forces him catch it backhanded.
  • Next, spread apart the traffic cones about 8 yards apart and repeat the drill.
  • Keep expanding the width of the cones until your player reaches a threshold where he can’t run fast enough to catch the ground ball in his glove.

You can make this a fun and exciting competition by getting the whole team involved. Line up your players and let them watch the first fielder. Record the number of balls he was able to get into his glove. The winner is the player with the most balls fielded.

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