Complete Wastes of Time Compendium

We all know that practice time is valuable and limited. Every time (and yes I mean every single time) I’m waiting for my cage time to begin I see coaches and parents wasting their money working drills that don’t do jacksh*t to help their kids improve at anything game related. They get very proficient at the drills, but they have no bearing upon game performance.

I have re-evaluated every drill I use, every side session I break into, and asked what game activity will this improve? If there isn’t any benefit–it’s gone.

I’m starting this thread to see if there is anything that any of you have seen done often that is a waste of time, or any pervasive thing that you used to do, but have dropped because there was no return on investment. I think this could blossom into an interesting discussion.

I’ll go first :smiley:

Just last week, I saw a coach run his entire team through batting practice with live pitching (from him) about 30 feet away. No worries yet, right? But add the fact that the reaction time he was giving them was sub .3 secs. He was firing the equivalent of +100 mph to them. Keep in mind these kids were in the 15-17 y/o range. Maybe one of them will ever face 90+, never mind 100+ in their entire lives! He was getting on them for failing to get solid contact. He was also giving them about 10-15 swings each. By about the 7th pitch they had wiffed on, their swing mechanics started to break down and they were striding and swinging in one motion (I call this drifting). They were essentially guessing about speed and location just to get the bats through the zone in time. Some of them actually started making solid contact to the praise of the coach. I wanted to vomit. Did I mention that he drilled one of them in the back? Oh yeah. That kid had some really fast reflexes to turn away in time. This dude is also the Senior Ruth League Director! In my opinion, he wasted an entire hour of cage time and sent 15 kids’ swings down the path to destruction.

Does anyone see anything beneficial from the events describe above? I’m apparently missing the point of that drill. :roll:

Tee work is often unsupervised - rotate kids in and out of a tee station and let them take their hacks on their own. This usually results in the kids setting themselves up in the ideal position (relative to the tee) so they can crush the ball but no real thought is put into the drill as far as picking something specific to work on. Every drill must have a purpose!

Now, since this is a pitching site, I’ll also toss out the good ol’ balance point drill.

Reading this, I could not suppress a chuckle, because it reminded me of a story about Allie Reynolds when he was in college. One day the baseball coach asked him to pitch batting practice to the team. You know batting practice: lob in some medium-speed fastballs down the middle so the guys can take their turns spraying line drives all over the playing field. Well, Reynolds took the mound—and proceeded to throw serious high cheese, 95-100 miles an hour. The batters couldn’t even get a loud foul off him; they kept missing everything they swung at. The coach watched for a minute or so and then yelled at Reynolds, "Go get a uniform! You’re on the team!"
No waste of time there. :slight_smile:

I had become a back-up catcher and catchers didn’t have much focused practice time. We were basically human backstops for the pitchers’ bullpens. The starting catcher should catch as many bullpens as possible and catchers should have just as much position-specific training as pitchers, but I digress.

Being bored, I volunteered to throw BP and the coach began to pay attention when he was not hearing the customary aluminum pings every few seconds. He was probably thinking he would chastise me for not getting the ball over the plate, he observed thehitters offering and missing at my change-ups, sliders, curveballs and inside fastballs.

We started crushing the ball the rest of the season because the game was easier than the practice, and I became our team’s bullpen ace and a regular BP pitcher. I was certainly no longer bored.

Which brings up why I never let my pitchers throw batting practice. I think it wastes their time, arm and provides a great opportunity to pick up bad habits.

Game situation swings are of the greatest benefit. If you have pitchers throw BP, they need to be pitchers first and make it hard on the hitters. Nothing is served from lobbing balls in there to be crushed. I’ve never had a pitcher, in a game, tell me “Here comes a down-the-middle change-up.”

If the only game intensity pitches that your hitters see are in games, how do you expect to see improvement?

I didn’t say I don’t scrimmage, I said I don’t like or let my pitchers throw batting practice…which is allowing the batter to work on his swing and develop his eye…does my 1 no good except perhaps aerobically.
When my pitcher takes the bump his a$$ is there to win not “help my hitters”

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JD, I completely agree. Even at college, we throw BP. Rarely it is off of a mound aka a live bullpen. Other times we are often stuck at 30 ft away throwing it in there for the pleasure of the hitter, after 5 buckets each containing 40 pitches or so, my arm feels crappy and I accomplished little to nothing. It sucks.

Throwing from the knees or from one knee…throwing with your drag foot up on a chair or other throwing from a static cocked position. What does any of that really accomplish?

This was always a fundamental building block trying to get kids to disconnect so they could understand how the upper half is supposed to work…I never got leg on a chair drill either…

This was always a fundamental building block trying to get kids to disconnect so they could understand how the upper half is supposed to work…I never got leg on a chair drill either…[/quote]

I can’t tell you how many times I did that drill at age 8-9. I hated that one.

I dunno… I always personally enjoyed throwing BP. It gave me a chance to work out flaws I might have in my pitches against live batters. And yeah, I know there’s always been an unwritten that says you have to give them fat pitches to hit. But screw them. If they can’t hit a 35 mph knuckler from 30 feet out, they belong in another sport. Like X-Treme Hopscotch or something.