When your focus turns to the regular season, managing effective, engaging practices between games can become a challenge. By the time the season is under way, your team has settled into the skills and drills routine and a fun alternative to the typical infield-outfield-batting practice workout is the idea of an intrasquad scrimmage.
A game of 4-on-4-on-4, is as an example of an intrasquad practice that keeps your Little Leaguers® moving and learning, regardless of the division or ages of the players.
For more information reference the 4x4x4 Drill located on Page 70 of the Little League Coach Pitch program.
As a coach, this drill provides you with a great tool that can be used many ways. The night before practice, split your team of 12 into three teams, if you have more players on the roster, simply adjust the numbers (i.e. – 5-on-4-on-4; or 4-on-4-on-3).
An intrasquad scrimmage is a perfect tool to develop and understanding of game strategy in your players. For example, it allows you to see who you should put at shortstop when your starting shortstop is pitching, or who your backup first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, and catcher may be.
To manage expectations, and maximize the learning for both your coaching staff and players, position Little Leaguers defensively with a coach doing the pitching, keep score for each of the teams, so that the batters have to make each at-bat count.
You should quickly begin to witness and assess how your team performs in the field against live hitting in simulated-game situations. At the same time, your batters are see experience game-like pitching and related game-like conditions on offense.
Using an intrasquad approach during in-season practices keeps the team competing and also serves as a team-building exercise. It is a great transition from practice to the season and it is also a good way to stay in game condition without it only being a practice.