In the quest to be a "great" coach, sometimes we can lose focus on one of the main reasons kids are here, which is to have fun. While drills are an important part of every practice for teaching fundamental skills, finding ways to play games and have less structured activity in practice keeps things fun and exciting and keeps even the most dedicated daisy picker engaged. This lesson was reinforced for me recently as my daughter, playing her first season in softball, complained that practice was a little boring. I decided to pull out some of the games I play with the coach pitch kids and was surprised to learn that teenage girls have just as much fun (if not more) trying to knock over a bucket with a throw as do 6 & 7 year olds.
Below is an article I read recently that provides more insight into the idea of "organized free play" and some excellent ideas for how to incorporate this into your practices. ABC and relay races are two of my favorites and I can't wait to try out ultimate baseball at my next practice. Read and enjoy. If you have any ideas for fun games to play in practice that also reinforce core skills, let me know and I'll get it posted into the Coaches Corner for everyone to use.