Introducing the Skills that Scale

Beneath is an excerpt from our upcoming e book: Youth Baseball Video games: Expertise that Scale

On its floor, making a apply plan appears fairly primary. Pick the issues that you simply need to work on, carve up the accessible time, then execute. 

Easy proper? 

Sure, and no.

Efficient youth baseball practices each have interaction the gamers within the exercise and drive growth of what are pretty advanced actions, all inside the constraint of a comparatively quick period of time.

Instructing the mandatory technical experience and elementary guidelines of the sport whereas nonetheless having enjoyable is not any small process. To realize this we need to keep some sort of steadiness in our coaching between technical understanding and athletic ability growth—which requires construction and consideration for a way we create our apply plans.

Youth athletes are much less coordinated than older athletes and infrequently wrestle to focus, which may make making a enjoyable and productive apply plan appear overwhelming. Additional, hitting, pitching and fielding completely different positions all carry distinctive units of expectations, roles and tasks, so the full variety of abilities and skills that have to be developed should not small in quantity.

In an ideal world, we’d have the ability to develop competent athletes who’ve each the talents and the understanding to be useful baseball gamers. We don’t want perfection, nevertheless. Gamers are going to make errors and it’s our job as coaches to seek out instances to push them past their consolation zone in apply. We will help and cheer them on after they succeed and assist them be taught from their errors after they fail.

Introduce success, then introduce a problem. 

This e book goals that will help you do each by figuring out the important thing abilities that may profit gamers in the long term and growing video games to coach these abilities.

Alongside the way in which please simply make certain to maintain it enjoyable. Youngsters like enjoyable. And enjoyable is sweet.

Develop the Expertise that Scale

1. The abilities you employ extra incessantly are extra vital than the talents you employ much less incessantly;

2. Placing a majority of our focus into the event of those abilities will compound their worth over time.

We name them Expertise that Scale as a result of they’re the elemental talents that ought to assist a participant transition from the small 60’ baseball area to the large 90’ area. That transition is extra daunting if gamers should not coaching in a means that prepares them for this huge change, as a result of the large area calls for vital ability and motor output.

We additionally need to think about the organic and psychological actuality of working with younger youngsters. Youth gamers are merely not small adults—however on a baseball area they’re typically handled as such.

All too typically our expectations of what youngsters needs to be able to understanding and executing, along with the emotional local weather we create for them to carry out in, are considerably out of step with something that will be tolerated of their classroom or different studying surroundings. 

These out of step expectations can take the type of extreme stress and penalties, however they may also be present in how we anticipate youngsters to bodily carry out. One of many issues that usually differentiates youngsters from adults, and one youngster from one other, is their ranges of coordination and motor management, along with sheer energy and the flexibility to use that energy inside the context of a sport particular process.

Hitting a spherical ball with a spherical bat is tough. So is throwing a ball from 46’+ toes away to a plate that’s 17” extensive.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that baseball is certainly one of, if not essentially the most, tough and sophisticated sports activities that youngsters take part in—and that’s solely contemplating the first ability duties, earlier than you even get into the mechanics of truly enjoying the sport.

Our response to this analysis of the youth baseball panorama is to prioritize the event of the first instruments for achievement within the sport—hitting and throwing—relative to their significance, which suggests making their growth a major coaching focus. Definitely it’s true that there are different pathways to growing younger gamers for future success, however primarily based on a first-principles analysis of what issues most for younger gamers, we select to focus totally on the event of hitting and throwing, as these are merely the issues that gamers do essentially the most on a baseball area, now and later.

Having this focus doesn’t imply that we ignore different elements of participant growth or that we in any other case neglect educating gamers the sport of baseball. A finest case situation implementation of Expertise that Scale doesn’t deal with baseball like a carnival sport. As an alternative it merely means you allocate apply time to the issues that may take advantage of influence on a participant’s capacity to compete within the sport at the moment, tomorrow and all the times that comply with.

Youth baseball needs to be enjoyable, and enjoyable is sweet, so our want is for coaches who learn this e book to grasp that in growing these Expertise that Scale your gamers ought to have enjoyable practices, doing the funnest issues on a baseball area, which interprets to enjoyable in competitors. 

The Expertise that Scale

At Driveline we orient our coaching round ‘The Massive 3’ of each hitting and pitching. 

These are:

The Massive 3 of Hitting

  • Bat velocity—how briskly you possibly can swing the bat
  • Contact high quality—how typically and good you might be at making arduous contact
  • Swing selections—how good you might be at swinging at hitters’ pitches

The Massive 3 of Pitching

  • Stuff—how arduous you throw and the motion of your pitches
  • Command—your capacity to throw the ball the place you need
  • Sturdiness – how lengthy and incessantly are you able to carry out

To maintain issues even easier, we filter these all the way down to what we name the Expertise that Scale for youth gamers in each hitting and throwing:


Bat velocity—how arduous you possibly can swing the bat

Exit velocity—are you able to swing arduous and make sq. contact to generate arduous hit balls

Most of our coaching is oriented round bat velocity and exit velocity for the next causes: youth pitchers aren’t good at throwing strikes and in case you concentrate on ‘constructing the engine’ of bat velocity and exit velocity, gamers will begin to determine what pitches they hit the toughest and which they don’t, not directly engaged on swing selections.


Throwing velocity—how arduous you possibly can throw
Hitting a goal (Command)—throwing the ball over the plate and throwing it to your teammate within the area

We consider that almost all youth gamers have to work on throwing more durable to a goal with out worrying a lot about offspeed pitches. Gamers ought to play a number of positions, so that they don’t get burnt out on the mound of pigeonholed in a single place.

The most effective youth gamers will showcase all 4 of those talents. Hitters that swing quick and hit the ball sq., leading to a excessive exit velocity, will carry out the most effective. Pitchers and fielders who can throw arduous at a goal will pitch essentially the most and be put in defensive positions the place they’re extra more likely to make performs.

Learn how to Make Youth Baseball Follow Enjoyable

Coaches can create extra participating practices by studying into gamification of items of apply.


We need to make apply and ability growth extra participating by introducing guidelines, level methods and competitors across the Expertise that Scale. This allows coaches to create engaged and motivated athletes in apply.

We’re going to take the Expertise that Scale and create video games with scoring methods so we are able to introduce competitors amongst our gamers—not solely with teammates but additionally with themselves over time.

Progress over Good + Check & Retest

If we are able to flip vital abilities into video games, we are able to observe outcomes and measure progress over time. Making an attempt to resolve for ‘good’ for a complete workforce of gamers—on the leisure journey/choose stage—is probably going out of attain. What we are able to remedy for is progress over a selected time frame.

The important thing piece to grasp is that attempting to enhance at baseball, or anything in life, can by no means be placed on cruise management. 

A elementary piece of Driveline’s coaching is to trace as a lot info as we are able to in order that we are able to see how abilities are growing. This is applicable to youth baseball as a result of you possibly can evaluate gamers’ talents over an extended time-frame, and we are able to preserve them engaged within the exercise alongside the way in which as they see their progress enhance.

Whereas all of our video games can simply be performed as soon as, coaches also can ‘retest’ a participant’s ability growth by replaying a sport just a few weeks after the primary time to see how a ability has developed (or not).

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with methods to observe these video games, it’s okay. Lots of them may be performed in apply with out scoring as coaches and gamers get snug with them. This e book isn’t meant to create one other set of jobs for coaches, however to determine a strategy to preserve youngsters engaged so that they preserve coming again. As youngsters play, they be taught what abilities get factors. They then naturally need to know who ‘gained’ the sport, making a extra productive surroundings to attain and observe.

So, whereas we encourage coaches to strive a wide range of video games on this e book, be happy to make use of your workforce as suggestions and produce again among the extra participating video games just a few weeks after introducing them. You’ll have the ability to see progress that some athletes have made and/or reaffirm areas that also have to be improved

Youth Follow Video games: Expertise that Scale

47 video games using abilities we’ve recognized to assist youth baseball gamers enhance.


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