Coaching With Stations

One of the most effective ways to manage a baseball practice is through the use of stations. Coaches are able to have players work on key skill areas during an intensive period of time. Stations could include, hitting from the tee, throwing, fielding and hitting whiffle balls. Coaches group your players into three or four groups and move them at 10 – 15 minute intervals to keep the process moving.

We like to typically split practice up into two major phases with stations being one of the parts with situational hitting as the other. There are two key items for coaches to consider during station work, the first is variety the second is need. Players need variety to stay focused, so doing the same station at each practice could become boring for the younger player. The second is need. During a game, the coach can assess the need of the team and design

practice to enhance those areas. For example, if you team batting average is poor, focus on hitting stations, such as wiffle ball and tee work.

In chapter six of Dusty’s Hitting Handbook, several pictures explain some possible examples of how to leverage stations in practice.

How have you best used stations in practice?

Two Common Hitting Mistakes

As you or your players approach the plate, it is easy to think about getting a big hit and being the superstar. We encourage hitters to focus on the fundamentals and come to the plate prepared. As the hitter

prepares, it is important for coaches to be able to recognize hitting mistakes. In the Dusty’s Hitting Handbook, he covers 10 Common Hitting Mistakes.

The first hitting mistake is Stance And Stride. It is easy for the hitter to have his back foot angled out or for the hitter to take too large a stride during his or her at bat. It is important for the hitter to feel comfortable at the plate. We recommend that the hitters feet be shoulder width apart. Remember, we ask our coaches to give the hitter a small shove to see if the hitter can remain balanced at the plate, while in his stance.

The second common mistakes is what is called the Dead Stop Hitter. The Dead Stop Hitter is defined as a hitter that makes no backward movement toward the ball to propel himself toward the swing. The hitter’s first movement is forward without any type of momentum toward the ball.

The correction for the Dead Stop Hitter is to create an inward turn. An inward turn provides extra power and momentum. You can learn more about the Dead Stop Hitter and the corrections for this mistake in Dusty’s Hitting Handbook on page 85.

What other hitting mistakes have you noticed for young hitters?