6U Practice Plan– Submitted Anonymously. Thank you Coach for the submission.
General comments: Praise everything they do right. If they miss the ball but it hits their glove, say good job getting your glove in the right location. Remember everything is new for them, expect nothing.
Start each practice with parents playing catch with players. Parents should be throwing to position 1 (basket catch) and as the season progresses alternate to position 2(glove side catch) and 3(glove pointing up).
● coaches and parents can alternate between players if there aren’t enough adults to go around. Shift the girls from one parent/coach to another every few throws.
Coach can use this time to set up nets and gather equipment from the shed. Also, this is a good time to talk to the girls asking them about their week. We are trying to give them about 50 catches for the girls that show up on time.
Next is a good time to do some exercises and a snake run. Try to get each girl to lead an exercise (5 or 10 of each at the most). The snake run is a chance for one of the coaches to run switching directions to have a little fun. All the girls start to work as a team to chase the coach down.
Break for a drink of water
Next is the time when you should split the team up in smaller groups
● Throwing (1-3 players)
Each girl has a bucket with 12 tennis balls, set up cones at different distances for the girls to hit. Have the girls throw the entire bucket 4 times to get 48 throws in. Work with them to throw with a good fluid motion. Have them hold their right foot (if they are right-handed) in front of the bucket with their left foot in front. The player should pick up a ball and raise behind the head and throw. A way to ensure good technique is hold your hand above her head so when she high fives you her elbow passes by her nose. Use cones to mark distance and be targets to throw at.
● Fielding (1-3 players)
Set up a parent at first base and then put 3 girls at different spots. If you’re performing this on a field put first & second girl spaced between 1st and 2nd base and then 1 short. (6U girls are unable to make the throw from 3rd base) Show the girls the technique to do the alligator catch and then the plant step and throw to first base. Rotate the girls after 5 throws.
● Hitting (1-4 players)
Use wiffle balls and circle 3 girls around you at a fair distance. Every girl has a bat and helmet.
You pitch to the girls taking turns. Explain a good hit is a line drive that hits the coach. They love that.
● Hitting (1 girl at a time, it may take a few practices to work with every girl on the team)
– A coach should set up a tee and net (or backstop) and spend time with each girl hitting 20 balls. Make sure of her feet setup relative to the tee. Explain a method to set herself up at the tee. Teach her to put the bat on her shoulder and then slightly lift it off when ready. Check her knuckles and line them up correctly. Teach her to swing by standing in front and moving her bat through the motion. Have her hit off the tee and praise each thing she does right and then move her bat to correct any issues. During the games make sure the batting coach makes each player setup the same way they do during this practice.
– The 2nd time you do this with a hitter, try to get her to shift her weight from back foot to front foot, but don’t let her lean forward. She can take a step or not take a step, it really doesn’t matter. The front knee should lock/stiffen.
● Hitting (1 girl at a time)
– Have the girl stand at the plate and softly pitch . Before pitching have her take a practice swing and note where to place your pitch. At the beginning of the season you may find yourself trying to hit her bat, while by the end she will be hitting your pitch.
Bring the team back together after they have rotated through the stations. Let them get their water and then talk through what they learned.
● Mock Scrimmage
Spend the last part of the practice with the entire team doing a mock scrimmage.
● put a player at pitcher, 1st, 2nd, ss,3rd
● If you have 10 on a team then put the rest in as hitter/runners. Feel free to place runners wherever you want. If you want the girls to practice hitting then go ahead, but most hit back to the pitcher when you’re practicing on grass. Consider rolling the ball and having the girls with helmets run. Do one play and then ask questions. Ask the runner what happens if they tag first while holding the ball before the runner?
What happens if they tag the runner? When should you throw to second?
I like to end each practice with a race around the bases. Split the team into two groups.
Have one group run from 2nd around the bases and the other from home. (I don’t like having 6u girls run the wrong way around the bases). Do a relay race where they have to touch the player’s hand and must touch every base. Have the winners do 1 jumping jack and the loser do 2 push-ups or something like that. Keep it fun.You’ll find they will love this game and beg to keep doing it as their parents drag them away. I like to always end on a positive note.