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Infield Grounder Drills For Baseball And Softball Players

Jul 22, 2008
It's true, practice does make perfect. However, sometime practice gets dull, and predictable. Even coaches get board doing the same thing over and over. My suggestion, look for new drills to do, or coaches, get creative and make up your own. If you are not the creative type, then I have two drills that might help your infield out, and save you the time of trying to come up with something new.

The first drill is to help players improve in tracking and fielding ground balls hit directly at them, to their backhand side, to their glove side, and on short hops. The infielders should work as partners with one ball per pair. Have the players face each other three to five yards apart, on the infield dirt or outfield grass.

While facing each other, both infielders should get into good fielding position, knees bent, butt down, and hands out in front of the body. Fielders roll ground balls to each other. In round 1, they roll ground balls right at each other. In round 2, they roll ground balls to the back hand side. In round 4, they roll short hops. Each round should have ten rolls. Fielders should not move their feet but should stay in good fielding position, tracking the ball with their glove, work to get the glove under the ball when fielding it, and catch the ball in the web of the glove. Every third ball and infielder fields , he or she should flip back to his or her partner straight from his or her glove. This way the fielder learns to feel the ball in the web of the glove.

When you are coaching your players you should focus on fielders fielding balls out in front of their body, tracking the ball into their glove, and catching the ball in the web of their glove. Don't let your players get sloppy with their fielding position. Remind fielders to work hard to stay under the ball with their gloves and to field the ball from the ground up. If you want to change it up a bit, have the fielders increase their distance to 7 to 10 yards apart. This allows them to roll the ball a little harder and makes the drill more game like.

Another great drill similar to this one centers around just the short-hop ground ball. Again, have the infielders partner up and face each other about three yards apart with a ball. Fielders should get into a good fielding position, knees bent, butt down and hands out in front of the middle of their body. One fielder tosses a short hop in front of his or her partner, about 6 to 12 inches in front of his or her glove. The partner fields the ball on the short hop, working on fielding it from the bottom up or getting under the ball with his glove. Have the fielders do 10 to 12 short hops each.

Coaches should focus on reminding their players to catch the ball out in front of their bodies with arms slightly extended and wrists flexed down. They are to field the ball from the bottom up, working on keeping their glove under the ball and keeping their head down.

If players have trouble throwing each other short hops, you might want to line up your fielders in a single-file line and give them short hops one at a time. This allows you to give fielders a proper short hop and correct them as needed. You can also slow the drill down for players who are struggling.
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