Best Drills for 8 Year Olds:
Before we dive in, check out our favorite training ball that is great for kids and using at practice The Kore Baseball
Proper throwing technique is key to develop at an early age. Focus on these throwing skills:
Two Hand Transfers
Have players exchange the ball back and forth using two hands to grab and throw. Do 5-10 easy tosses focusing on smooth transfers.
Give each player 5 balls and see who can throw them most accurately into a bucket or garbage can from 30 feet away.
Sprint N’ Toss
Have players sprint 10-15 feet, come to a quick stop, then make 5-10 throws into the backstop working on arm strength.
- Athletic stance facing target
- Point glove hand toward target
- Step towards target with opposite foot on throw
- Firm front side and hip rotation
Use verbal cues like "Step and Throw" and demo each point. Keep drills and coaching simple at this age.
Hitting drills should focus on contact skills and swing mechanics. Try these hitting activities:
Throw your hands
Get players up against the fence and have them put there bat on their stomach against the fence. Then have them practice swinging from that same spot without hitting then fence. This teaches them to throw their hands which is very important in baseball.
Coach kneels 10 feet away and gives players 5-10 easy underhand tosses to hit into the fence using correct form.
Bottom Hand Only Swings
Have players remove their top hand and take 5 one-handed swings focusing on the lower body driving the swing.
Hitting off a tee is crucial for every baseball player. This helps them focus on mechanics and make solid contact every time.
Player gets in ready stance and coach faces them and lightly tosses balls for them to hit line drives back. Start close then move back.
- Relaxed ready stance
- Balance on back toe when swinging
- Firm front side, rotate back hip
- Swing down through the ball
- Follow through towards pitcher
Use demo and role play to coach proper swing form. Avoid too many verbal cues at once for 8 year olds.
Quick feet and soft hands make great fielders. Ingrain these fielding fundamentals:
Coach rolls grounders to each player from 10 feet away. Field ball with two hands out in front with knees bent.
Flipping The Ball
Have players quickly transfer the ball from glove to hand and flip to the coach. Do 10 reps then switch hands.
Coach hits sharp grounders rapidly to each position, testing reflexes and introducing double plays.
Players start bent knees, butt down, hands out front. Check form and provide feedback.
Keep drills simple but active to hold interest. Let each player try all positions to learn skills.
Base Running Drills
Running the bases swiftly and intelligently wins games. Practice base running with these activities:
Tag Up Tickle Tag
One pair starts on bases, another on offense. When ball is hit, offense runs bases and defense tries to tag them out before they return to that base. Rotate positions.
Stop and Go's
Set up cones at each base. Players sprint from base to base, practicing quick stops and sharp turns. Call out random bases to run to.
Split players into teams on first and third base. On "Go!" they race around bases back to original base. First team to finish wins.
Demonstrate proper footwork and angles for going from first to third base and second to home. Have players practice and provide feedback.
Keep base running drills fast paced and fun. Praise speed and effort.
Reinforce key team concepts like communication, positioning, and awareness:
Set up game situations like runners on base and have players talk through proper positioning. Reinforce with demo.
Roll grounder into the outfield and have players practice calling each other off and communicating who will handle the ball.
Backing Each Other Up
Designate player positions then hit a grounder and see if anyone is out of place. Emphasize always being ready to back up teammates.
Hustling On/Off The Field
Practice properly running on and off the field as a team. Discuss why hustling everywhere matters.
Instill pride in playing smart, hustling baseball. Keep messages upbeat and empowering.
Make Practices Fun!
Keep 8 year olds engaged by blending skill-building and games:
- King of the Ring throwing accuracy contest
- Home Run Derby hitting challenges
- Tag ups and tosses team relay races
- Base running obstacle courses
- Pitcher reaction drills with whiffle balls
- Team trivia quizzes
- Cool down stretches led by the players
Focus on proper skills and technique, but always mix in games or friendly contests to keep energy high. End each practice on a positive note that makes them want to come back. Building excitement for baseball is as key as any drill at this age.
With thoughtful training tailored to their developing abilities, 8 year olds can rapidly improve their baseball skills and knowledge. Focus on simple concepts, repeat proper technique frequently, and keep drills active and fun. A great coach can make a lifelong impact on a child through sports. Teaching the right way provides the foundation to excel as they grow.