Youth Baseball Drills: 8U, 10U, and 12U

Youth Baseball Drills: 8U, 10U, and 12U


Gearing up for baseball tryouts? Looking to incorporate mid-season assessments? Want to make your practices more engaging? Whether it’s about evaluations or engagement, youth baseball drills are critical for evaluating players’ competencies and techniques.

We break down youth baseball drills for 8U, 10U, and 12U players. Drills that will keep each age group motivated while helping coaches analyze players across the core areas of baseball, such as: hitting, throwing, bunting, fielding, and catching.

8U Baseball Drills

Kneeling catch fielding drill

  • Pair up players 15-feet apart.
  • One player will kneel down on one foot with a glove on (without sitting on their heels), and the other player will remain standing up.
  • The standing player will roll a ground ball, directing it to their partner’s glove.
  • The kneeling player will position their glove so that the fingertips of their glove are touching the ground, while the palm of their hand faces towards their partner.
  • After fielding the ground ball, the player will return it without shifting from the kneeling position.

Tee & bucket hitting drill

  • Place a batting tee on the ground. The height of the tee should be just above belt level; however, minor adjustments can be made.
  • Additionally, place a medium to large sized bucket directly against the outside of the hitter’s back foot.
  • Line players up and fill a bucket with 10 baseballs.
  • The first player in line will hit the baseball from the tee while ensuring their back foot remains stationary, avoiding contact with the bucket to prevent it from toppling over.
  • Each player will repeatedly replace the baseball on the tee after each swing.

Note: When the back foot remains planted on the ground through a swing, this creates a stable base, allowing the hitter to generate power more efficiently.

Baseball relay race

  • Pair players on groups of 4, with one group participating at a time in the drill.
  • Have the 1st group start, with those 4 players lined up in a single file line.
  • On your whistle, Player 1 will run (with a baseball in hand) around all of the bases.
  • Once Player 1 gets back to home base, they will pass the baseball off to Player 2 etc.. until all 4 players have had a turn.
  • Next up, have the 2nd group take position, running through the drill until all groups are accounted for.

Note: Make it clear to players that the fastest way to get around the bases is to step on the inside corner of the base, not the middle of the base. Time each group and announce the winner at the end of the relay race.

Connection ball batting drill

  • Line up players and set up a batting tee. The height of the tee should be just above belt level; however, minor adjustments can be made.
  • In the batting stance, players will put a soccer ball or basketball between their forearm and bicep of their back arm. This is known as the “connection ball.”
  • Players will continue in their natural batting swing, trying not to drop the ball for as long as possible.
  • Each player will go through a set of 10-15 baseballs before the next player in line steps up to take their turn.

Tip: A connection ball encourages players to keep their arms close to their body, decreasing the risk of overextension in the upper body.

See the connection ball batting drill in action

Four corners throwing drill

  • Pair players in groups of 4, with one group participating at a time in the drill.
  • Have one player stand on home base, first base, second base, and third base.
  • Players will take turns catching and throwing the ball to one another in a counter clockwise circle around the baseball diamond.
  • The player on home base will start by throwing to the player on first base, making sure they pivot and step while throwing the ball.

Note: The player receiving the ball will position themselves to face the player throwing the ball. Once they receive the ball, they will pivot and step before passing the ball to the player on second base.

Youth baseball throwing drills

10U Baseball Drills

Pivot & bunt drill

  • Line players up in a single file line, each with a bat.
  • On your call, throw the baseball to the first player in line.
  • The player will bunt the ball without lifting their feet off the ground. Instead, they will pivot on the front of their feet until both toes are facing forward.
  • Run through this drill so each player has 5-7 turns.

Note: Practicing bunting with a pivot will help players improve their balance & stability while bunting. Incorporating a pivot also ensures players are distributing their weight evenly between both feet, ultimately improving the direction of the bunt.

Ground ball shufflers drill

  • Pair up players, having each pair stand 15-feet from one another.
  • One player will roll a ground ball and the other player will field the ball.
  • Player 1 will roll a ground ball to one side of player 2.
  • Player 2 will then have to shuffle laterally to get in front of the ground ball and then assume throwing position as quickly as possible.
  • After player 2 fields the ball to player 1, player 2 will get back into starting position

Note: Ideal starting position is knees slightly bent, weight evenly balanced on both feet, and a slight forward lean with both hands resting on the tops of their thighs.

Backhand fielding drill

  • Line 6 players about 2 feet apart from each other on the field.
  • Players will assume a kneeling position, ensuring their back leg (bent leg) is perpendicular to their front leg while their back is slightly leaning forward.
  • Players will position their glove in front of their front leg. *Ensure glove is open. The thumb of the glove should be pointing to the ground, while the rest of their glove should be making direct contact with the ground.
  • On your call, roll a ground balls to the player farthest to the left and have them practice sweeping up the ball and throwing the ball back.
  • Take turns rolling ground balls to players from left to right.

Note: Although fielders want to catch as many balls from their glove side, this drill teaches players to make a backhand catch when needed.

See the backhand fielding drill in action

Eye-on-the-ball hitting drill

  • Line up players and set up a batting tee. The height of the tee should be just above belt level; however, minor adjustments can be made.
  • Players will hit the baseball off the tee in a regular swing motion; however, they will maintain eye contact with the tee the entire time, keeping their chin down.
  • Players will repeat this drill 8-10 times before the next player in lines takes their turn.

Note: As players have the tendency to “follow the ball” with their eyes after taking a swing, this drill enforces players to keep their eyes on the target. By removing the visual distraction of following the ball, players can now focus on their timing to make proper contact.

Pop-up catch drill

  • Fielders will start in a deep squat position facing forward. *Hips should sink down lower than their knees while the back remains slightly arched.
  • Their gloved hand will be facing forward ready to catch.
  • On your call, a baseball will be thrown at the player.
  • As soon as the player catches the ball, they will “pop-up” to face the right side. *In the pop-up stance, players knees will be slightly bent and back will be completely straight.
Youth baseball practice

12U Baseball Drills

One-knee throwing drill

  • Pair players up, about 20 feet apart from each other.
  • One player will remain standing up while the other player will be down on one knee with the baseball in their hand.
  • The kneeling player’s throwing hand (on the side with the back leg) will start by going to their thigh before they bring their elbow up and face the ball out.
  • Once in the correct form, players execute the throw, ensuring that their arm extends straight ahead with a forward snap of the wrist.
  • The standing player will catch the ball and toss it back to the player in kneeling position.
  • Run this drill for 5-7 minutes.

Note: This drill helps players concentrate on using upper body to generate power in their throw (as they can’t use their feet in this drill).

45-degree hitting drill

  • Line up players in a single file line.
  • The first player will focus on hitting the ball to the opposite side of the field. I.e., A right-handed hitter will hit the ball to right field and vice-versa for left-handed hitters.
  • In this drill, players will hit the ball at a 45-degree angle (with a 45-degree angle, the ball should be aimed more towards the pitcher). The bottom hand should be “palm up” while the top hand should be “palm down.”

Note: This drill helps hitters adjust their swing mechanics, making contact with pitches that aren’t directly over the plate.

Infield line drill

  • Line up baseballs on the field three steps away from each other and line up players in a single file line.
  • The first player in line will start by shuffling to the right of the line. They will then shuffle back to a center position (where their feet are straddling the line) and drop down to quickly touch the ball with their glove. 
  • Players will continue to shuffle to the right of the line and back to center position, quickly dropping down to touch each ball in line.

Note: This drill teaches players to step out when ball is thrown, and then step back in to field the ball once it reaches the ground.

See the infield line drill in action

One-knee bunting drill

  • Line up 3-4 players about 3 feet apart from each other.
  • Players will start down on one knee, with their back leg perpendicular to their front knee and back slightly arched.
  • *Make sure players have their back knee placed firmly on the ground and front leg bent for balance.
  • Throw the ball to the first player “in line” on the left-hand side.
  • As the ball is thrown, the player will execute a bunt while remaining in a kneeling position.
  • Take turns throwing balls to players from left to right

Tip: Although legs aren’t being used in this drill, players can still generate power. To do so, players will push off their back foot slightly as they make contact with the ball.

Bounce ball batting drill

  • Select a few players to line up in a single file line while sending everyone else to the field.
  • The coach will stand between home plate and the bound with a bucket of baseballs.
  • The first player in line will assume a normal batting stance.
  • On your call, a baseball will be pitched that bounces on the ground (about 2 feet from home base) before the ball rises.
  • Players will swing as the ball rises to hip level before running to first base.

Note: Bouncing the ball helps players with hand-eye coordination and pitch recognition (allowing players to distinguish between different pitches and adjust their swing accordingly).

Wrapping Up

While younger athletes might still be mastering fundamental baseball skills such as coordination and balance, your older youth athletes might be advancing to focus on throwing accuracy and batting swing path. Therefore, when athletes perform youth baseball drills that align with their physical capabilities and cognitive development, their skill set has the potential to thrive.

Looking to ditch the pen-and-paper forms and evaluate your youth softball players easily and conveniently? SkillShark’s baseballl evaluation app enables you to create customized templates, score players on your mobile device, and gain valuable player insights upon evaluations with pre-generated reports.

Baseball bat and ball on field

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FAQ — Youth Baseball Drills

With age comes differences in cognitive development, engagement, and physical capabilities. Therefore, when planning youth baseball drills for your upcoming tryouts or practices, it is essential to tailor drills according to the players’ ages.

To get a comprehensive assessment of players’ capabilities, make a list of baseball skills that are most important to measure. I.e., Hitting, fielding, pitching, and base running. Choose 3-4 drills under each skill.

Kneeling catch fielding drill
Tee & bucket hitting drill
Baseball relay race
Connection ball batting drill
Four corners throwing drill

Pivot & bunt drill
Ground ball shufflers drill
Backhand fielding drill
Eye-on-the-ball hitting drill
Pop-up catch drill

One-knee throwing drill
45-degree hitting drill
Shuffle line fielding drill
One-knee bunting drill
Bounce ball batting drill

SkillShark’s baseball evaluation appenables you to create customized templates, score players on your mobile device, and gain valuable player insights upon evaluations with pre-generated reports.

Danielle Stringer

Danielle is a dynamic content marketer with a unique blend of creativity and analytical expertise. She is driven by her passion for helping companies scale through lead generation, always finding distinctive ways to connect with her audience. Drawing from her extensive background in B2B SaaS, she is thrilled to apply her skills and knowledge in her current role at SkillShark Software Inc.