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PlayingTips


FIELDING DRILLS

Quick Release
This is a great drill for players in Rookie and Minor A for developing good hands and a quick release.

  1. Have players line up across from a partner about 20 feet apart, either standing up or on one knee.
  2. Have them make good throws back and forth as many times an they can while the coach counts down from 30 to zero.
  3. The player who does not have the ball at zero wins.
  4. Kids will need to catch and release the ball quickly.
     




 


Glove Extension
Proper fielding calls for the glove to be extended out in front of the player. Younger players often hold the glove directly below them when awaiting a ground ball. This drill helps promote the required glove extension.
 

  1. Lay a bat on the ground perpendicular to a line of 4-5 players.
  2. The first player in line is 6 feet from the bat in a ready position.
  3. The coach is 10 feet from the players.
  4. The coach calls 'ready' and rolls a ball toward the bat.
  5. The first player in line runs up and gets in a proper fielding position directly behind the bat without touching it. To prevent the ball from rolling into the bat, the player must have his glove extended in front of the bat toward the coach.
  6. When the player fields the ball, he sprints to the coach and places it at the feet of the coach and takes his place at the end of the line.
     

Lateral Movement
Use this drill to improve lateral movement for handling ground balls and line drives. The drill station group competes to see who can keep the most balls from hitting a fence behind them.
 

  1. Find a fence about 20 feet wide and 6 feet high.
  2. One at a time, fielders stand in front of the fence while a batter stands about 40 feet away. The batter can be a coach or other player.
  3. The batter hits 10 balls to different spots within the fence area (grounders, line drives).
  4. The fielder must stop the balls from hitting the fence.
  5. Each fielder is hit 10 balls and the fielder who stops the most wins.

Quick Throws
A great fielding drill is to time players fielding a ground ball and throwing to first base. Have the players start at a specified position on the infield (a good spot is the edge of the outfield grass or near shortstop position) The coach is positioned near the pitcher's mound and rolls a ball directly at the fielder. The fielder charges the ball, fields it and throws to first base. As the coach releases the ball, he starts a stopwatch. The coach stops the stopwatch when the throw is caught by the first baseman.

There is no time announced if the first baseman can't catch the ball. It is very obvious that not charging, fielding the ball in front, using alligator hands, etc. add a lot of time. The players will compete with each other, but they will also compete against themselves to get a better time. The ball is rolled, so it is easy to field, and players that are not the best fielders are usually not discouraged.

 

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