Pre-Season Checklist: Team Offense
By: Austin Alexander
As every spring rolls around, coaches across the country ready their teams for the upcoming season, optimistic about what is right around the corner!
Pre-season practice usually begins with endless fungos hit, countless hours inside the cage and fly balls lifted to our outfielders as the pitchers gear up in the bullpen. As players begin to cross that line from rusty to ready, and opening day sits two weeks away, any coach worth his salt now begins to ponder, âWhat else do I need to do to make sure my team is ready when that first bell rings.â
We stress fundamentals and repetition, we preach âone day at a timeâ and âremain focused on our goalsâ but our report card, our win-loss record, will ultimately prove whether our team was prepared to play.
Weâve all been there as that first game of the year closes in; we rack our brain over and again, âWhat else do I need to do to make sure my team is ready when that first bell rings.â
Allow me to provide you with valuable information I received years ago, youâve got to start with a checklist. Without a listing of coaching points, you will scramble at the eleventh hour to ensure youâve covering everything.
We continue to work our way around the diamond and provide you with a list that will put your mind at ease when the first pitch is made.
Our tour moves to the team-oriented section of our preparation for opening day, team offense.
A few things to consider:
- Baserunning (Leads at each base, stealing bases, stealing/relaying signs)
- Bunts (sacrifice, push, drag, slash, squeeze play and safety squeeze)
- Hitting, batting practice
- Hitting, see live pitching
- Have a plan at the plate
- Situational hitting
- 1st and 3rd situations
- Dirt ball reads
- Gather scouting reports on early opponents if possible
Hopefully this quick refresher ensures that when your team has the opportunity to score, your kids are well-schooled in how to reach base and then make two left turns. While you can never fully simulate every situation that may arise during a ballgame, the more scenarios you can familiarize them with, the more comfortable you and your team will be.
This segment concludes our teamâs preparation for the upcoming season, itâs now here, hope your guyâs are ready! Good luck in 2006.