So what are we really doing with all these drills.  We are trying to build muscle memory.  When you pick up a ball and its in aplay you don’t thing, “Step 1, pick up ball to do that I have to bend my knees, reach down, grasp ball, open fingers, close fingers….”  You just DO IT.   So we are trying to build muscle memory.

So lets say we go to a regular baseball practice once a week and we do 10-20 swings and we throw maybe 50-100 balls (if we have LOT of stations) we can probably get there and we catch 50-100 balls.  Some practices are a LOT less.   Well how many reps does it take to build muscle memory.

Wikipedia’s view on this:  “When first learning a motor task, movement is often slow, stiff and easily disrupted without attention. With practice, execution of motor task becomes smoother, there is a decrease in limb stiffness, and muscle activity necessary to the task is performed without conscious effort.”

I have heard 900 so lets go with that – its from a coach who I have always respected so he must be right.

Yes, that’s right, they have studied this and its always AT LEAST 900. Keep that number in your head and when you make a practice that gets kids 10 swings ask yourself how in heaven’s name that kid is going to have success in a game.   A game is crazy.  The kid is at home plate with the whole world watching and gets 3 strikes.  It’s a lOT of pressure and not a LOT of chances ot succeed.  Practice is critical to ensuring success.  You’ll know when you are there – when that kid comes up to the plate and you are coaching third and you look at the runners and say BE READY TO RUN cause you know the ball is about to get driven into the outfield.

So lets say you do 100 and go home.

Now lets say you come to the field a week later and start over and don’t really remember anything.

The next 100 are good, but do they really count toward the 900.

I don’t know.

Now lets say you do 100 a day for 9 days.

Will that work?


So when a kid doesn’t do something in a game that they haven’t practiced to where its muscle memory don’t get upset.  I see parents all the time saying “OH OH OH WHY OH WHY WHY DID MY KID NOT MAKE THAT PLAY.’  ALL he had to was touch third with runners on at first and second but he threw across the diamond and the ball when into right and the right fielder was picking daisies and now THREE RUNS SCORED.”

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