Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bunting

Youth Baseball Drills To Develop Bunting SkillsBunting is an important batting skill in baseball which can be improved through a series of youth baseball drills highlighting the skill. Of the two types of bunting, these drills focus on the stance and execution of the more popular sacrifice bunt, where one player sacrifices their at-bat to move a base runner up a base.
Introducing the Bunt One skill that baseball players need to know and develop through youth baseball drills is bunting. When bunting the player holds the bat horizontally in front of the plate, lightly tapping the ball instead of hitting it full on, which keeps the ball in-field and as far away from the fielders as possible. Sacrifice and Base-hit Bunts There are two main types of bunts: sacrifice bunts and base-hit bunts. When executing a sacrifice bunt, the goal is to advance the base runner in exchange for an out. Since the batter never really intends to make it to first base, a sacrifice bunt is not counted as an at-bat. It is generally reserved for weaker hitters in close, low-scoring games. Bunting for a base hit is pretty self-explanatory- the player bunts the ball and runs as fast as they can towards the base. Often players begin running as they are bunting the ball, which is known as a drag bunt. This play is more common with left-handed batters since they are standing to the right of the plate and don’t need to cut across home plate first on their journey towards first base. Since bunting requires both concentration and dexterity, the best way to increase chances of success is by running youth baseball drills that focus on bunting. In doing so, players will be able to gain knowledge of the fielders’ responses to the bunt as well as deduce what type of pitch best suits their bunting needs. Bunting Stance and Sacrifice Practice Use these youth baseball drills to improve sacrifice bunting skills. The first drill focuses on the mechanics and timing of the sacrifice bunt. To begin, players spread out approximately 20 feet in front of the coach. Each player has a bat and assumes their batting stance while the coach simulates a pitch. One by one, the players transition from batting stance to bunting stance. Coaches should be watching to see if the players appear balanced and if they are stepping where the plate would be. Also, this drill gives coaches an opportunity to watch many players as once to see if their bats are at the correct bunting angle at the top of the strike zone. Once players have successfully mastered their bunting stances, it’s time to practice hitting the bunt. Here’s a bunting drill for teams of three. To begin, place a throw down base which will act as home plate with two cones on the first base side and two cones on the third base side. These sets of cones will act as targets for the bunts. The first player stands at the throw down base as another player pitches to them. The batting players gets 10 pitches to try to bunt the ball between the cones. Each time a bunt goes through the cones, the bunter gets one point. After the 10 pitches, players rotate positions, and the player with the most points is the winner. One thing to watch for in this drill is that players are pitching fairly. Sometimes players complain if they feel they didn’t get good pitches to bunt. If possible, try assigning an adult volunteer as an umpire to watch over this drill to ensure each player gets a fair chance at bunting and to avoid any argumentsPhotobucket

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