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The AA division typically has players aged 7-9 with varying skill levels.  This division will build on the foundational principles that were taught at the coach pitch level and start to challenge players more defensively. Practices will normally run between ninety-minutes to two hours. Coaches should continue to give information in small amounts and consider adopting the accordion style teaching method. Bring players in for a short talk about the drill you are about to do and then send them out to do it. Bring them back for another short talk during the same defensive or offensive station and send them out again. This helps players digest small amounts of information at a time and then go work on the specific drill that was discussed. 
On offense the hitters should begin limiting their movements at home plate, so their head and shoulders stay still. This will keep their eyes on a level plane which will help them see the ball better and make more consistent contact. Every player will have a different swing, there is not one correct way to swing a bat. Bats need to be off the shoulder and the concept of loading as the pitcher/machine is delivering the ball to the plate. This division is where players first see live pitching in the spring season, and some tend to step out or bail out entirely due to fear of being hit by the pitch.  Extra time, patience, and practice will need to be provided to help the players move past fears.  Players need to be instructed to engage and use their hips properly. Teach them that their hips take their hands to the baseball. 
On the bases players need to be encouraged to be aggressive and always think about taking the extra base. Work on running through first base, teach secondary leads, how to hit the inside corner of the base so they can be in a more direct line to the base they are running toward. Players also need to learn to pick up their third base coach before and after they hit second base. Most importantly, teach players that they cannot leave the base until the pitched ball crosses home plate.  Concepts of freeze on a line drive, run on a ground ball, and start talking to players about recognizing and reacting to situations. 
Defensively we want to challenge an infielder’s range more by teaching them how to field balls to their backhand and glove side. Field positions are not set, players need to be introduced and instructed how to play infield and outfield positions.  Players need to understand when they should be covering a base and to stay out of the runner’s path. Outfielders learn about communicating with teammates on fly balls and taking proper angles to the ball. Catchers are focusing more on receiving and their footwork for both throwing to bases and blocking. Start to teach some basic blocking drills from their knees with tennis balls at this level.  
Some players at this age will have played baseball for at least one year and have some understanding of the game. For others, it will be their first exposure so patience and focus on repeating fundamental drills is important. Coaches should review drills that were done at the tee ball level early in the season to see each individual player’s talent and comprehension level. Remember, the players are still young and will lose focus, be patient and focus on development.

The primary goal in AA is skill development while keeping it interesting and fun.  Winning is a byproduct of playing like a team, not the focus.

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