I went through this at the end of last year. It is the most frustrating aspect of volunteering.
Can you split your team in two and hold separate practice times? For example, 6-7 pm with one group and 7-8 with another?
Do you have any other teams in your association that will scrimmage with you?
Do you have any other adults in your association that might help?
A few things my 11-12 year olds were able to do on their own last year.
I set up a wood target 30 to 40 feet away. 3 points for hitting the main target, 1 point for hitting outside the main target. I had 2 to 4 boys alternate with 10-20 throws each. Best score wins some candy. Self-administered with a goal.
Set up a tee and hav the boys see who could hit the farthest. 10 balls each, measure the longest hit. Once again, they can do this without supervision. Competition and multiple boys helps provide a built judging system.
4 or 5 boys can play pepper.
4 boys can play pickle / monkey in the middle.
I have thought about this as a way of dealing with my own situation; basically have a real practice for the into it kids and a practice where the not into it kids play indian ball or whatever.
Originally Posted by JCincy
I'm in the exact same boat as you are. One thing is to always be out there when they are warming up and playing catch. They have a partner so they are always doing something worthy. Here, you can work on numerous things. For pitchers, you can work on pickoff moves (1st,2nd, inside move), changeup grips, pitchouts, just their basic stretch. Probably at that age everyone is considered a potential pitcher. You can work on relay throwing and divide them in to 2 or 3 groups and have contests. Rundown drills are excellent also: good eye hand and good exercise. don't need a runner. All of this is generally short distance throwing and doesn't have to be done with a lot of velocity.
Originally Posted by jbolt_2000
There's stuff like in this every category. Figure out what you definitely want to accomplish before practice. i don't advise stations for safety reasons plus unsupervised they may actually get worse at something. You can do a lot of fungo hitting and use buckets so kids can drop balls in buckets rather than throw them back to the fungo hitter. Then you can hit fungos to 2 or 3 areas efficiently.
Hitting presents a problem but thats true even if you have more coaches. I believe in pepper; make groups only with 3 kids. Teach them how to play the right way. You can do a lot of bunting efficiently as well as long as you keep rotating them. Throw under hand and have kids rotate from bunter (run it out some of the way) to fielder to fielder to bunter.
You can also work on one or two specific aspects of the game. Don't worry too much about kids standing around if you accomplish your goal.