"The 59 Minute Baseball Practice" has been described as "the bible" of baseball instructional tools.
This superb instructional DVD by Coach Marty Schupak contains over 30 easy to follow drills, which cover hitting, pitching, first and third strategies, base running drills, how to run a practice when no field is available, bunting strategies and more! Some leagues require their coaches to view this video before each season.
According to Coach Schupak, parents and coaches usually have the best intentions, but most do not know how to run the most efficient practice. Most young athletes are eager to learn but tend to bore easily. The big question revolves around how to keep players active and interested over a long period of time. After 25 years of coaching and of watching teams from little league to college, Schupak has the solution: organize workouts that are under an hour and provide a variety of five to ten minute drills.
"A guarantee that most youth baseball teams will see improvement over the course of a season with this excellent DVD."
-BOBBY WOODS,FORMER PRO BASEBALL PLAYER & COACH
"An excellent DVD for Little League coaches and parents."
-HAL SCHWEITZER,BASEBALL COACH & LEAGUE COMMISSIONER
"Those looking for a high quality video on coaching baseball should buy this title."
This is a great video if you are experienced in setting up and running practices-not as good if you are a novice at coaching.
The drills are excellent overall. They will work well with most ages, though a few will be too sophisticated for very young players. The number of drills is also well spaced between requisite skills--such as hitting, base running, fielding in the infield and outfield, etc. The clips are quick--both in terms of length and the speed of sequencing on the tape--plan on viewing the tape at least twice to get it all. On the other hand, the tape's only about 30 minutes long, so viewing twice is no great burden.
-David J. Gannon
Schupak's 59 Minute Baseball Practice is first rate. The video contains of a lot of drills appropriate for any level of baseball. Each drill is described, then it is demonstrated using Little Leaguers. This video was very helpful to me in organizing fast moving, more interesting, and quicker practice sessions. Although the coaching points for each drill are mentioned (for example, "turn to the glove side when making a relay"), they are not discussed in any depth. A novice coach will need additional resources to teach the fundamentals to younger players. If you are short of practice space, Schupak's rag ball drills are the solution. If your baseball practice runs two hours -- an hour of batting practice and an hour of situations, get this video, and change your practice. Your players' skills will improve, and they will be more willing to practice hard.
-D. L. Cochrane
I'd never coached, and my wife told me to forget it because I have no patience with little kids. I bought the DVD, I made a cheat sheet with 10 drills on it and headed to the field. Ran the kids to warm them up, and in 75 minutes had a great practice with time for the kids to get to know each other at the end. Drilled the kids twice a week using the drills in the video; we finished 14-2 and lost to the eventual league champ by a couple of runs. Marty gets the credit, because he made me look smarter than I am, he showed me how to keep kids busy and he helped me gain the respect of my assistants and the kids. And the parents; when they stayed for practice and saw three drills being run at once they thought I knew what was going on. You know what, I DID!
All of Marty Schupak's videos are available free at Amazon Prime Video.
Keyword: Schupak Sports
The below article will give a history of Marty Schupak's philosophy on practices and the impetus for producing "The 59 Minute Baseball Practice."
Baseball Practices Don't Have To Be Long To Be Good
By Marty Schupak
Back in the late 70's an old college professor of mine was fond of saying, "Don't confuse activity with accomplishment." Jump forward about eight years and imagine me observing a coach running practice for his Little League team. At the start of practice most of the 10, 11, and 12 year olds are very enthusiastic. As the practice progresses I notice only two forms of activity taking place. One has the head coach throwing batting practice, with each hitter getting 10 to 15 swings while each pitcher takes a turn throwing to the assistant coach as the others stand and watch. I, too, stand and watch and I don't know who is more bored-the players or me. When I saw a member of the board of directors, I commented on how poorly I thought the practice had been run. The board member responded, "If you think you can do a better job, then volunteer to coach." (Me and my big mouth!) But I did just that. And my first practice, though planned differently, ended up being two tedious hours of batting practice and pitchers throwing on the sidelines. Exactly what I had been so critical of myself! After that first practice I told my wife that there must be a better way. Even though I had a master's degree in Phys. Ed from Arizona State University, baseball was the major sport I was least knowledgeable about.
So, I decided to research alternative practice methods. I observed a variety of teams during practice ranging from seven year olds to college level players. I noticed that the best practices were not necessarily the longest and that the most organized coaches wasted little time. On most of the drills every player was involved. It was amazing the way some coaches integrated fun and learning and how creative some of the drills and games were. I began to use some of these techniques with my team. After a little trial and error I was actually able to run a more effective practice in half the time.
To run a practice like this does take preparation, mostly at the beginning of the season. But coaches need not look at this as a chore. It can be as much fun for you as it is for the players. The youth baseball coach, whether it's Babe Ruth League, Little League, or local Park and Recreation Dept., should make a list of drills at the beginning of the year that they are interested in trying. The idea is to be creative. When my oldest son was eight, I began a practice with a simple relay race, consisting of two lines of six players each. To put a baseball theme into the race, I had each player wear their glove and hold two baseballs in it. The learning benefit of this relay race was to teach kids the importance of squeezing the glove. Another year I was teaching players how to bunt. When the team took batting practice, I put one cone 10 feet directly in front of home plate and another cone 10 feet to the left of the plate. Each player gets two bunts before his regular swings. For each bunt that goes between the cones, the player earns two extra swings. This motivated the players to focus when they bunted. And, it worked!
If a coach plans five to seven drills of ten to twelve minutes in length for each practice, the players will be more attentive and less bored. Don't worry about players not liking certain drills. About a third through the season they will let you know which ones to weed out.
The youth baseball season is unlike any other season. Fathers sneak out of work early, families rarely eat dinner before 8:30 at night and the laundry room is active day and night. As parents and coaches, we should make practices more interesting and fun because during a typical youth baseball season, players spend as much or more time practicing than in actual games. Be creative and have a great baseball season!