I was introduced to the baseball bucket game a few years ago when I was, ironically, not coaching baseball. I was coaching 15U fastpitch softball and the girls on my team were always asking to play this “bucket game.” After finding out what it was, I tried it out at the end of a practice one day… To my surprise, it turned out to be a great drill for a few reasons:
- Was an opportunity to reinforce proper throwing mechanics with my team.
- We were able to build in the mechanics of fielding a ground ball with this drill.
- Most importantly, I learned a lot about the competitiveness (something I wasn’t regularly seeing) of my players because they wanted their team to win! That helped with my pre-game pep talks because I had seen their competitiveness.
After that day, I used the baseball bucket drill (softball in this case), weekly for the rest of the season.
BUCKET DRILL – HOW IT WORKS
Below are the basics of the bucket drill.
- One Baseball Bucket
- One Batting Helmets
- One Baseball
How It Works
- Split your players into two teams.
- Place the batting helmet on top of the bucket at home plate.
- One team is on the shortstop side of the pitchers mound and the other is on the 2nd base side. NOTE: Depending on the skill level and age of your group, you may have the players closer or further away to make it challenging.
- Draw a line in the sand that they kids must throw behind
- Alternate rolling or hitting ground balls to each team. They field the ball and make a throw trying to knock the helmet off of the bucket. They must stay behind the line.
Baseball Bucket Game Scoring
- Baseball hits bucket or helmet, but helmet does NOT fall off of bucket = 1 point
- Baseball hits bucket or helmet and helmet falls off of bucket = 2 points
- Baseball directly hits helmet and knocks it off the bucket cleanly = 3 points2
- First team to 10 points wins (or you can set your own goal).
BASEBALL BUCKET GAME TIPS
You will be amazed at how competitive your team will become with this game. Below are some other tips when using the bucket game:
Throw fly balls instead of ground balls – Teach kids to get behind a fly ball and make good strong throws to their cut-off man.
Add incentives – winning team gets Dairy Queen or some treat next practice, winning team only does half of conditioning, etc.
Basically, you will have fun watching your youth baseball players compete with this drill. You will learn what motivates them and possibly how to help them improve their game.