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baseball drills for 9 year olds

Baseball Drills for 9-Year-Olds: Developing Fundamental Skills

Training young baseball players requires a balance of fun and instruction to keep them engaged while building essential skills. The following drills are designed specifically for 9-year-olds, focusing on hitting, fielding, throwing, and base running. These drills emphasize fundamental techniques and create a positive learning environment.

Warm-Up Drills

1. Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Objective: Increase blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • How to Do It:
    • High Knees: Jog with knees lifting high.
    • Butt Kicks: Jog while kicking heels toward the glutes.
    • Arm Circles: Rotate arms in small and large circles.
    • Lunges: Perform forward and side lunges.
    • Spend about 5-10 minutes on these exercises.

Throwing Drills

2. Partner Throwing

  • Objective: Develop basic throwing and catching skills.
  • How to Do It:
    • Pair up players standing 10-15 feet apart.
    • Practice throwing and catching the ball back and forth.
    • Focus on proper mechanics: step forward with the opposite foot, aim with the glove, and follow through.
    • Gradually increase the distance as players improve.

3. Accuracy Throw

  • Objective: Improve throwing accuracy.
  • How to Do It:
    • Set up targets (cones, buckets) at different distances.
    • Players take turns throwing the ball to hit the targets.
    • Start with larger targets and progress to smaller ones for increased difficulty.

Fielding Drills

4. Ground Ball Practice

  • Objective: Teach players how to field ground balls properly.
  • How to Do It:
    • Line up players and roll ground balls to them one at a time.
    • Emphasize the proper fielding position: knees bent, glove low to the ground, eyes on the ball.
    • Alternate between rolling balls directly at the player, to their forehand, and to their backhand.

5. Bucket Drill

  • Objective: Improve quickness and hand-eye coordination.
  • How to Do It:
    • Place a bucket about 10 feet away from the fielders.
    • Roll or hit ground balls to the players, who field the ball and then run to place it in the bucket.
    • This drill combines fielding with running, simulating real game situations.

Hitting Drills

6. Tee Hitting

  • Objective: Develop basic hitting skills and proper swing mechanics.
  • How to Do It:
    • Set up a batting tee and have players take turns hitting the ball.
    • Focus on proper stance, grip, and swing.
    • Encourage players to keep their eye on the ball and follow through after contact.
    • Use different targets to teach hitting to all parts of the field.

7. Soft Toss

  • Objective: Improve hand-eye coordination and swing consistency.
  • How to Do It:
    • A coach or partner kneels to the side and lightly tosses the ball into the hitting zone.
    • Players practice hitting the ball as it comes toward them.
    • Emphasize a smooth, level swing.
    • Vary the speed and angle of the tosses to simulate different pitch types.

Base Running Drills

8. Running the Bases

  • Objective: Teach the basics of base running.
  • How to Do It:
    • Set up bases in a diamond shape.
    • Have players practice running to first base, then progressing around the bases.
    • Teach them to touch the inside corner of the base and run through first base on a single.
    • Simulate game scenarios to practice decision-making.

9. Relay Races

  • Objective: Develop speed and teamwork.
  • How to Do It:
    • Divide players into two teams.
    • Set up a relay course with cones or bases.
    • Players race to complete the course and pass a ball or baton to the next teammate.
    • Focus on running mechanics and teamwork.

Fun Drills and Games

10. Catch the Coach

  • Objective: Enhance agility and add fun to practice.
  • How to Do It:
    • The coach runs around the field with a ball, and players try to tag them.
    • This drill helps players learn to move quickly and change direction.
    • Vary the speed and direction to keep it challenging.

11. Baseball Red Light, Green Light

  • Objective: Improve listening skills and running technique.
  • How to Do It:
    • Line up players at the starting line.
    • Call out “Green Light” for players to run and “Red Light” for them to stop.
    • Players must listen and react quickly to the commands.
    • Add variations like “Yellow Light” for slow jogging to keep it interesting.

Cool-Down Drills

12. Circle Time Review

  • Objective: Reflect on the practice and reinforce learning.
  • How to Do It:
    • Gather players in a circle and discuss what they learned.
    • Highlight positive behaviors and efforts.
    • Allow players to ask questions and share their favorite drills.

13. Gentle Stretching

  • Objective: Help muscles recover and prevent stiffness.
  • How to Do It:
    • Lead players through gentle stretching exercises similar to the warm-up.
    • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, focusing on relaxation and deep breathing.
    • Include stretches for the arms, legs, and back.


These drills are designed to be engaging and instructional, helping 9-year-old players develop essential baseball skills while enjoying the game. Consistent practice with these drills will build a strong foundation, preparing them for more advanced levels of baseball in the future. Remember, the key to successful youth baseball practice is to maintain a positive, encouraging environment where players feel motivated to learn and improve.