ABCA Clinic Recaps - Steve Trimper

08
Feb

Liam Carroll

Drills That Won’t Freeze…
Skills and Drills for Infielders and Pitchers when Hampered by Weather or Facilities

Steve Trimper – Head Coach, University of Maine

Clinic Topics

1. Utilise your assets
2. Two types of practices
3. Infield: use their athletic ability
4. Drills
5. Uses of the pitching machine
6. Pitchers drills: make it game speed
7. Team Drills
8. Rundowns
9. Base Running Circuit

Considering that we spend so much time practicing indoors this was one of the clinics that I definitely wanted to see, and Coach Trimper presented a ton of ideas to maximise time and resources.  He opened with some general points about his approach to practice:

• Great practices revolve around energy, organisation and a Vision.
• Be a leader and find a leader – try to recognise a player every day to delegate some leadership responsibilities to.
• Practice like you want your team to play.
• Deal with adversity…good teams “peak” because they learn, adapt and grow.

Speaking about utilising your assets, Coach Trimper challenged coaches to be creative, saying that players will appreciate the effort you put in.  He also talked about empowering your assistant coaches in order to maximise the space and time you have and to enhance their own development.  Coach Trimper includes two main types of practice: skills and drills work, where it is important to plan transitions in order to avoid boredom, and game speed/simulation practice.

Coach Trimper makes great use of time by including Strength & Conditioning activities into his practices, for example by combining agility Ladders into Double Play turns for Middle Infielders and Tags and Picks for 1st Basemen.  An interesting idea that he talked about was including Pitchers in Infield drills, which gives them opportunities to develop their fielding skills in addition to PFPs.

Competition is an important element of Coach Trimper’s practices.  He keeps records for drills like Quick Catch which creates more commitment to common, relatively straightforward drills.  This is an easy concept to steal for your own team, for example by finishing your throwing programme with 30 seconds of Quick Catch, so players compete against their teammates for the highest number of catches.  As well as getting your players to compete it’s a great way to raise the level of energy before you transition into the next activity.

Many of the activities that Coach Trimper presented involve the entire team and the use of a stopwatch to make them game-speed (or even faster).  He recognises that his players need to spend a lot of time developing their individual skills but that ultimately they need to be able to perform them within a team context.  Unless you are practicing tags, relays, cuts, double plays (with communication), you shouldn’t expect your players to perform them in games.  Our players simply don’t get enough game or game-like reps so there’s a lot to be said for using your practice time to simulate situations.  Coach Trimper spoke of playing three inning games with adaptations to make them suitable for an indoor space.  The Black Bears will play T-Ball and start with one out or runners on 1st and 2nd base in order to maximise the impact of the game.

Talking about Team Drills, Coach Trimper’s players will practice multiple plays within the same situation.  For example, rather than practicing the same Double Play over and over, they’ll practice a sequence of DPs over and over:
• 5-4-3
• 1-6-3
• 6-4-3
• 3-6-1
• 4-6-3
• 1-2-3
This is a high tempo drill that can be especially effective if you have two coaches who can hit fungos and are two-deep at each position.   Be creative and come up with your own sequences.

My Most Important Thing

Concentration, competition and game-like speeds are very important to Coach Trimper’s practices.  During a game, especially when the competition gets better and/or when mistakes are made, the best players are able to “slow the game down” rather than feeling like it’s speeding up.  If you can make your practices faster than the game is then you’ll help your players be able to “slow the game down.”  As long as you are creative in finding ways to keep your players engaged, you can still have game-like practices inside.

Last Up: Bob Keyes, Jerry Haugen, Gary Pullins

On Deck: Dan Hartleb

LC

tagged under: baseball, coaching, softball, practice, indoor

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About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

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