And of course, there’s also the difficulty of deciding which drills to use. If you’re a baseball coach for these young kids, then you’re aware that at this age they still need to master the fundamentals.
At the same time, you can also introduce them to some of the necessities of team play. It’s not all about improving individual skills. It’s also about helping them play better as a team.
Warm Up Baseball Drills For 8 Year Olds
This is simple enough: they play catch. As they play catch, you can monitor their throwing motions so that they can master the proper mechanics.
You may also want to start by having pairs close together, and they can gradually move the distance apart until you reach their maximum throwing distance.
After playing catch, you may want do some long tosses. You can start with pairs 20 feet apart, and then after a time they can take a few steps back.
You can then over the course of several weeks extend this range to at least 60 feet, although it’s always fun to aim for 10 feet.
Then you can use the whole baseball field for the long line toss drill. Here, you divide the team into two long lines of players.
The ball starts from one of the line while and the players pass the ball along the line until it reaches the other end.
If it’s possible you can also initiate the classic around the horn. Here you get the 3rd baseman, short stop, 2nd baseman, and 1st baseman throwing the ball around.
The ball can go from first to shortstop to second to third baseman, who then throws back to the first.
Or you can include the catcher and pitcher, as you can see here this baseball drills for 8 year olds video below.
You can start with rollers. The players positing themselves in front of the ball, and then they scoop the ball with the glove while the other hand secures the ball from the top.
You can also practice fielding balls on the forehand and backhand sides.
One situational baseball drill for 8 year olds is to have two fielders about 40 feet apart, and then you toss a ball high up between them. They need to learn to communicate so that the one of them catches the ball.
You can also mix both fielding and throwing in a single drill. Have your team line up at third base, and then get them to take turns fielding grounders and throwing to first base.
It’s always fun to do batting drills, since kids really find it satisfying to whack a ball as hard as they can.
You can start a simple drill by having a player get into position while you kneel off to the side.
You can then lob a ball underhand in the strike zone as the player whacks it to the field. A dozen or so balls per player can start the practice rolling.
Then you can perhaps start a hitting distance competition among the children. You may want to get a group of 3 batters while the rest of the team act as outfielders.
Again you throw underhanded while you’re kneeling by the batter, and when the batter hits the ball it is measured and left on the outfield.
Then the next batter tries to outdistance the currently farthest ball. After the 3 batters are done they can rotate out to the outfield as another group comes in.
You can also use a tee for batting drills. A batter can hit some balls off the tee with their in the middle of the plate. Then without changing the batter’s location, the tee can then be placed to another area of the plate.
You can move the tee to the inside or the outside part of the plate.
The other players can also practice their fielding while the batter does drills with the tee.
Then for the final batting drill each player hits a ball you throw underhand and then let them run to first base. The players can try to make an out at first.
This drill simulates game conditions so that the players can become familiar with this common game situation.
The Ripken Family Demonstrates Soft Toss
At this age, the players should already know to run through 1st base instead of slowing down and stopping on the base.
Once you’re sure about this, you can then do practice drills for 8 year old baseball that involve other aspects of baserunning such as sliding.
The first drill you probably want to do is practice rounding first. You get your players to line up behind home plate, and each one simulates swinging a bat and rounding first.
Then the next drill is about listening to the base coach. The base coach can tell the player to hold up, and that means doing a “J” turn at first base.
Or the base coach can tell the player to go to 2nd base, which means they need to round first properly.
How To Slide Properly In Baseball
Final Thoughts on These Baseball Drills For 8 Year Olds
There are many other baseball drills for 8 year olds you can try, but at this age you need to keep it simple while you also make it fun.
The best baseball drills for 8 year olds don’t just improve skills. They also encourage the kids to love the game.
I’ve personally tried these drills with one of my kids at this age and it’s gone exceptionally well. We don’t spend hours a day on it.
It takes maybe 30 minutes and that’s plenty for this age group.