“7 Point Drill”
A little history on the drill. We were having trouble getting our base-runners to take challenging lead-offs at first base. I wanted them to find their own lead-off limits. We had tried doing drills with base-runners only, base-runners and pitchers only, and etc. It still wasn’t getting better. So, I thought, let’s make it as close to a game situation as possible. In the end, there is ZERO DOWN TIME for any player, which is what I think makes a good drill. The greatest part about drills like these is that there will always be a player that succeeds & a player that fails. It happens on every rep. Therefore, the chances for coaches to teach and also reward with praise become unlimited.
- Base-runners (BR) – Working on straight steal, delay steal, & etc.; reading picks
- Extra BR- Working on reading picks & yelling “BACK!!!” on a pick to first
- SS- Covering 2nd or backing up a throw on a steal; p
- 2B- Covering 2nd or backing up a throw on a steal
- Catcher(s)- Throws to 2nd base, pitch outs
- Pitchers- picks to 1stbase, slide steps to home, pitch outs
- 1B- Holding runners, tags, communicating “Runner!!!” on a steal, getting in fielding position after a hold
You can include CF & RF for backing up throws. It really depends on the size of your roster. Also, eliminate one of the points if need be. For example, if you’re looking to give your catchers’ arms a rest, modify the drill. Also, I recommend using cones as starting landmarks for the SS an 2B. The middle infielders will have a tendency to cheat if you don’t.
The extra base-runners need to be LOUD. For me, that’s the only punitive aspect in the drill. It doesn’t take much physical effort to use your mouth, but I do expect a big mental effort while they are waiting to be the runner. A few push-ups will usually cure that scenario. I want the same mental effort in the dugout during the game.
This drill can be done with one coach if the team is disciplined correctly, but I usually don’t place it in my practice plan if I don’t have at least 2 other coaches that day. The 1st time it will take 30-40 minutes to set up and run. As the season progresses and expectations of the drill are clear, 20 minutes will be sufficient.
- 1B- Covering snap throws from C
- Base-runners- getting a good secondary lead from 1st & 2nd base, variety of steal options
- OF- should always be included
- C- snaps to 1st or 2nd