Baseball Drills for Youth Coaches

Looking for some fun drills to do with your players, but don’t have the time or desire to go online, log-in to websites, watch streaming videos and download practice plans? We’ve got what you need. CoachDeck is a handy deck of 52 drills broken into four color-coded categories, designed so that youth coaches with little or no experience can still run professional practices on the fly. You and your players will be glad you got it!

52 Drills in a Deck of Cards

Tired of trying to pull up coaching drills on your phone or at work when you remember you have practice starting in a half hour? Nothing is more convenient than having a handy deck of cards with 52 drills broken into four color-coded categories. Volunteer baseball, softball, soccer, football and basketball coaches all over North America have been relying on our fun and easy-to-use product for years. You can too!

January OnDeck Newsletter one week out

Can you believe we’re beginning our eleventh year of our OnDeck Newsletter? Our January edition is going to be a blockbuster. It goes out a week from today and you can subscribe here to have it delivered to your inbox, free!

How to use CoachDeck

CoachDeck was designed to be used in a variety of ways. If you are a coach that likes to plan your practices ahead, take some time to go through each card and think about the drills and how they fit your team. You can group cards together to form practice plans far in advance. Or if it is everything you can do to just get to practice on time, it’s perfect for that. While players are arriving, getting their arms loose, it takes less than a minute to crack open the deck, pull out three or four cards and “stack the deck” so you’re ready to go. Some coaches also like to reward a player by shuffling the deck and letting him choose the next drill.

Be sure to utilize the “Make it a Game TM” feature on every card because kids find drills to be boring, but love playing games and competing. Plus, turning each drill into an exciting competition prepares them for the real games coming up.

The cards are broken into four, color-coded categories, (hitting, infield, outfield and base running). Ideally, for a 90-minute practice, you could choose one card of each color and spend 20 minutes per drill. Another great feature of the deck-of-cards format is that you can use the cards to break the team into smaller groups and rotate through stations. Give an assistant an outfield card and have him take a group to the outfield. Give another assistant an infield card while you work on hitting with your own small group, etc. Be creative and have fun. There should never be a coach who has a CoachDeck who stands on the mound and just throws BP to one kid while the rest of the team wilts out in the field. The bottom line is that kids want to have fun. If they get into the car and their mom says, “How was practice?” and they say, “It was boring,” there is a good chance that kid won’t come back to play next season. If they say, “It was so fun!” that player will be back for the next practice and the next season. And above all else, your job as a coach, is to make sure every kid comes back to play again next year. Regardless of wins and losses, regardless of how many “fundamentals” you taught, if every player shows up at registration next year, you were a success. That is the thought process behind CoachDeck.

0-2 Drill

If you want a great baseball and softball hitting drill that is a tremendously fun game your team will love to play every practice, then roll out the 0-2 drill. It combines hitting, fielding and even a little base running into a terrific exercise in pitch selection. This and 51 other great, fun drills that can be made into games are found within CoachDeck, the coaching resource used by more coaches than any other in North America.

Ten Years – What We’ve Learned

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

The release of today’s issue of OnDeck marks the anniversary, almost to the day, of our CoachDeck launch ten years ago. When that very first, small batch of decks came from the manufacturer we didn’t know if we’d still be sitting here ten years later looking at them in our warehouse. But then we started sending them out to youth leagues around the country and right away we knew we were on to something.

The feedback we received was 100% positive, overwhelmingly so. We immediately got to work on our soccer title, followed by basketball, softball and football. Now, as we head toward a milestone of over four thousand youth leagues using our products we look back on some of the things we’ve learned and changes we’ve seen.

First, the reported demise of youth sports is exaggerated. Not only do statistics show a rebound in participation numbers virtually across the board, all one has to do is take a walk around city park fields on a spring day to see that organizations catering to recreational sports are still alive and well. As long as there are active young children, there are going to be games played among them on weekends.

It is true that the landscape has changed. Travel or competitive sports have seen explosive growth in the past ten years. More and more players, or perhaps their parents, are opting for this avenue of athletic participation. There is much debate about the effect travel sports are having on the kids they are gobbling up, as well as their families. Regardless of the pros and cons, travel sports are not going away anytime soon and it will be interesting to see what the next ten years brings on this front.

We’ve learned that, by and large, volunteer coaches and league administrators are really good people. The comments we’ve received from articles we’ve written through the years, the conversations we’ve had with league board members, shows us again and again that there are a lot of wonderful, self-sacrificing folks who share our core mission which is to see to it that children have a safe and fun environment in which to play the sports they love. We can’t show our appreciation to each individual who has touched us with their passion, kindness and good intentions over the years. So we would like to say a collective “thank-you” to everyone we’ve gotten to know and to those we haven’t, who do their unpaid jobs quietly without the expectation of any reward other than the knowledge that they made a difference.

And we know that these coaches love our product. Since our inception we’ve seen coaching books, manuals and DVD’s that were supposed to be the “next big thing” to help coaches. Online services promising to help parent-volunteers run professional practices with the click of a mouse or a swipe of your screen are now voluminous. So why, through all this, has CoachDeck continually grown and become the number one resource for coaching drills in North America? We believe there are many reasons. First, a deck of cards is fun. Leagues tell us they love to hand them out at preseason meetings. Coaches love cracking the seal and fanning out the cards, looking at the illustrations, imagining themselves recreating them on the field.

Next, less is more. Using our product couldn’t be any easier. If a league tells their coaches to go to a website for drills and practice plans, it is the rare volunteer who gets excited about this prospect. They spend all day on the computer for work. When they finally remember they even have practice today it’s time to get in the car and head to the field. At this point there is only one tool that will allow them to get all the information they need to run a fun and effective practice in a matter of minutes. And unlike other resources, they won’t forget about CoachDeck because it is tangible and always with them.

We’ve had a great time over the past decade and we know, based on the feedback we get and the number of organizations who re-order our product year after year, that we’ve done a lot of good in community youth sports. When those humble first baseball decks came off the truck all those years ago we couldn’t have imagined what this would become, the friends we would make, the stories we’d hear. So here’s to the next ten years and beyond. We’re grateful and proud you’ve trusted us to help your players and parents, and we hope to always be that little coach in your pocket. Happy New Year!

Brian Gotta is a former youth baseball coach and volunteer Little League board member. He is the President of CoachDeck and also author of four youth sports novels and a baseball coaching book which can be found at He can be reached at

Not too late to order your CoachDeck for Christmas

Any orders placed online today or tomorrow should still arrive before Christmas. If you have a baseball, softball, soccer, basketball or football coach on your list, nothing makes a better stocking-stuffer!

Perfect gift for the coach in your life

What could be a better stocking-stuffer than a cool deck of cards with 52 fundamental drills that will help the volunteer coach run a fun and exciting practice? Each drill contains a unique, Make It a Game TM feature that turns an ordinary drill into a fun and exciting competition kids love! Available for Baseball, Soccer, Softball, Basketball and Football. Happy coaching!

Plan your coaches meetings

Baseball and softball league administrators, it is not too early to begin planning your preseason coaches meetings. And if you want to add excitement, hand every coach a CoachDeck. Our handy deck of 52 good drills that can be made into fun games will make your meeting!

CoachDeck in North America

Did you know folks are using CoachDeck in all fifty states and every province in Canada? Here is a partial list of who is using CoachDeck. We have become the most trusted resource for volunteer coaches in North America, and we’d like to thank you!