How to get your baseball players active and warmed up before gamesSep 27, 2022
Warm up is crucial to a great game. Coach Duke Baxter and Steve Nikorak play different games with the players before the game begins. They play games with smush balls where the kids are tossing in a circle working on hand-eye coordination. But ultimately, it is just working on the little things the players can do prior to just grabbing a baseball and playing catch.
Preparation and timing is key. Instead of having the players warm up as they arrive, the players have an opportunity to do a mini warmup before the official warmup. If they each bring a smush (soft) ball in their bag, each player can have their own warmup. In doing this, when the coaches arrive practice can start immediately on the field and players can start productively.
Coach Steve touches on how expectations for practice before the game are important. The players need to know that official warm up does not start until all the players are there. Because of this, the smush balls allow them to dedicate their own time to warming up while still implementing team warm up.
When it comes to team warmup, Steve nominates a leader/captain of the day to lead the stretches and increase team cohesion. By doing this, it gets players talking who might not be as close and gives someone a leadership opportunity. If players do show up late, especially at the younger ages, it is out of your control as a coach and they will just jump in wherever they can. However, trying your best to have everyone warm up together can really set the tone for the day.
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