FIELDING: 1,2,3 DRILL
One of my favorite fielding drill is what
I call the: (1, 2, 3 drill). This drill is great for both infielders as well as outfielders.
This is a line drive and
pop up fielding drill which teaches players to catch three types of flyballs.
- a line drive right
- a line drive that they must stretch for
- and last a flyball that they must sprint to catch. This is
how the drill works
Line your players up in a single file line, players should start on the fair line just behind
first base at the edge of the outfield grass. The coach will be in right-center field with a bucket of balls. The players
will be running in a straight line about 50 to 60 feet away from the coach. (Running from first towards second.) One player
at a time and they need their gloves.
The coach starts by throwing a line drive right at the players, the player catches
it and will still running the coach throws the second ball in front of the player making her reach to catch it, while the
player is still running the coach throws the third ball, which is a high pop fly out away from the player that she must track
down and catch it. After player one has been she returns to the back of the line and it is time for the next player.
Keys importance to this drill:
- Once the players starts running (she never stops nor hesitates) she sprints all
the way, catching all the balls on the run.
- Once the players catches a ball she quickly throws it down and looks for
the next ball.
- After the player has finish she retreats and picks up the three balls and gets in the back of the line.
(balls on the ground may cause a twisted ankle)
- The coach needs to be quick and accurate with his/her throws. A line
drive right at them starts it off, then the second throw must be where they reach out for, and the last throw is a fly ball
out away from the player which they must hustle down and catch.
- This drill really works on catches you may encounter
during a game.
- There is a big difference between running and sprinting we like our players to sprint while doing this
at the end of our practices we initiate the 5 x 5 drill. The drill is for infielders and outfielders including pitchers and
catchers... Each infielders will get 5 grounders to play at their specific position..field a bunt or slap, field a grounder and
turn two, field 3 grounders hit to inside and outside their position, (watch their feet, do they shuffle or cross over) make
the throws to 1st base.
Now heres the kicker, if they drop or juggle the ball they start over, if its a bad throw, they start over. If the
ball is throw wild, start over. They soon find out what is expected of them. Outfielders will get fly balls on the run from
leftfield running to centerfield to rightfield, with a proper throw to 3rd, 2nd and 1st (watch how they set their feet).
Catchers in full gear in their ready position, balls are rolled from behind make plays at
1st, 2nd, 3rd. We have the pitchers field bunts, turn and pivot to make plays at 1st, 2nd, 3rd. As I stated before, if there
is juggle or dropped ball that specific player starts their 5 over again.... hope you can use the drill
AROUND THE HORN GAME
I call this
drill BAT AROUND THE HORN. It works on every aspect of the game--Hitting, Fielding, Throwing, Base Running and requires two
teams of 5 players. (It can be played with 6 players or more but each player scores for herself.)
One team takes the
field at 1b,2b,ss,3b, and c. The other team is at bat. The batter hits a ground ball (from a tee, soft toss, or just toss
the ball up and hit it). Fly balls are outs. An infielder catches the ball and throws to 1b. 1b then throws to one of the
other infielders. That fielder throws back to 1b. 1b then throws to the other infielder (who hasn't touched the ball) who
throws back to 1b. The ball then goes around the horn (1b to ss to 2b to 3b) and then to the catcher.
Each fielder must
touch her base before throwing except for around the horn and home. If the batter-runner can run all the way home before the
ball gets home, 1 run scores. If the ball gets home first, one putout is made. Fielders rotate one position clockwise and
next batter hits. Each Fielder has caught 3 ball and made 3 throws. Every catch and throw must be accurate or a run scores.
Bat until 3 outs are made and change sides. Batters need to wear helmets. Play 3-7 innings. With more than 10 players - Fielders
can rotate in at 3b.
Here's an example in case my explanation was not clear:
- Ball hit to 3rd.
catches batted ball, steps on 3rd, throws to 1b
- 1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to ss
catches ball, steps on 2nd, throws to 1b
- 1b catches ball, steps on 1st, throws to 2b
throws to 1b (now around the horn)
- 1b throws to ss
- ss throws to 2b
throws to 3b
- 3b throws to c and c steps on home plate
COLORED NUMBERS DRILL
This drill is to help the kids keep an eye on the ball. I write numbers on the balls in different colors 1-5. The
girls have to field the ball and call out the color the number is written in. When they get the hang
of that have them call out the number written. I use permant marker and depending on the age I will determine what size to
make the numbers.
GLOVES OFF GAME
We use this drill to teach agressive baserunning, hitting, and fielding.
The drill uses a whiffle ball and a plastic bat. First set the bases at about 40 feet apart. Divide your team in two. One
half fields and the other bats. Fielders do not use their gloves. We want to teach them that the hands are the real tools
in catching the ball.
The ball is pitched from about 20 feet away. The batter has only three chances to hit the ball.
(There are no balls or walks in this drill.) Once the ball is hit, the batter must run the bases until she reaches home plate
or is tagged out. The fielders must always try to tag the runner out at first. You bat the entire line up. Then you change
sides. We usually do this drill twice a week for about 20 minutes at a very fast pace.
GROUNDER FLYBALL GROUNDER GAME
all of your players up at third base. Hit a hard grounder to the first person in line. As soon as they throw it in to the
coach throw a high fly to first. Make the player hustle to get it. as soon as they throw it in hit another grounder to third,
thus making them run back across to get it.
This drill is good for footspeed, fielding and personal effort. Speed it
up as players advance.
The girls have created their own names for this drill - guts, kill your teammate, the grounder
game. Simply divide the girls into two teams. Have the teams form two lines about 40 to 60 feet apart, with players shoulder
to shoulder three feet apart. Place something two feet from each girl at either end of both lines. These are the goal posts.
The goal posts can be buckets, cones, balls, or the parents. Hand a ball to one of the players. To play the game, the girls
take turns trying to throw grounders through the opposing line. They can throw as hard as they want (make sure they're spaced
far enough apart).
The rules are fairly simple: The player who fails to prevent the ball from going past the imaginary
line between goal post is out of the game. The team who loses all its players first loses. The ball must bounce in front of
the players to count. If a player's ball is caught on the fly without bouncing she is out - if it is dropped, she stays in.
If a ball goes through the line without bouncing, it has no effect. Any throw outside the goal posts has no effect.
players are eliminated move the goal posts in until the last player has a goal roughly six feet wide. Hint: if the girls learn
to charge the ball, it gives one of their teammates an opportunity to back them up. If there is a question as to which girl
allowed the ball to get through the line, the opposing team decides.
You need 2 coaches (if girls are skilled
enough let them hit the grounders), 2 crates of balls (25 in ea.), & 2 empty crates to set at designated base.
drill goes as follows: Grounders to 3B who throws to First; other coach hits to 2B who throws to SS covering second. Then:
ss to 1B, 3B to 2b; 2B to 1B, SS to 3B; 1B to 3B, SS to 2B.
There are variations we mix in also with catcher throwing
Infielder's Shovel Toss
are many instances where the underhand shovel toss is the proper throw for an infielder.
The first baseman shovels the ball to the pitcher covering first base. The middle infielders use the underhand toss for plays around second base. As the fielder
fields the ball he doesn't stand straight up but keeps his knees bent. His palm is up and his wrist is firm with his elbow
in. His glove hand is by his side so as not to "hide" the ball from the player who will catch it. He "shows"
the ball to his partner to give him time to track the ball.
He steps with his left foot and releases the ball with a firm throw at the teammate's chest.
He keeps his knees bent as he releases the ball and "walks behind" the ball to insure accuracy. He should not stand
up because the ball will have a tendency to sail.
this play by lining up the infielders at shortstop and hitting sharp ground balls to them and they shovel toss the ball to
a player at second base. For first basemen this is also a part of Pitchers Fielding Practice. If this play is ignored, the
tendency is for the players to stand up as they underhand the ball. Drill it several times in the off season.
OUTFIELD FLY DRILL
There is a drill I have been using for
the past 3 years for outfielders. Place half the team in left field and the rest in center. The coaches hit a flyball in between
the first two outfielders.
They both go for the ball with one catching it and the other properly backing up the fielder.
If the ball happens to get by both fielders then they will use a relay throw to get the ball back to the coach.
drill has helped greatly in backing up on all balls, and easy to do before games.
Good base running is just for fast girls,
right? Wrong. You do not have to possess great speed to be a good base runner. Good base running comes under the category of paying
attention to details. Many games are won and lost on the base paths. Let's look at some base running responsibilities, those
little things. Speed is nice but not a mandatory talent for effective base running. A good base runner should know her limitations
and should be aggressive within those limits, but she should exercise good judgement. Base runners should know the game situation
and what their run represents. They should not be satisfied with one base and should always THINK a base ahead.
A base runner should
be aware while she is on base, of game-related details:
- How many outs?
- Is there a runner ahead of me?
- Where are the outfielders?
- Where are the infielders?
- What is the score?
the infield dirt hard or soft?
- Does this team use special or trick defensive plays?
- Does their fielder have a good arm and is she accurate?
your sliding, rounding bases, taking the extra base, pop ups and diving back to bases. Don't underestimate the importance
of good base running.
HITTING: BASKETBALL DRILL
is a great drill for teaching follow-through. Get a couple of old basketballs and take most of the air out of them. Place
them on one of those orange cones you see at construction sites. Have the batter take her normal swing and follow-through
right through the basketball. HAVE THEM WEAR HELMETS!!! Use regular sized bats for this drill.
The drill involves a cone, a ball,a 36 inch piece
of thick rope (taped at both ends to stop fraying) and a lot of concentration. Place a ball on top of the cone and attempt
to take a proper swing with the rope and hit the ball solidly. You will want to tell the girls to release their top hand to
prevent hitting themselves in the back with the rope. If this is the perfect drill to practice as it will aid in concentration,
stride and hand positioning.