Fielding Drills to Develop Quick Hands
These rapid-fire baseball fielding drills are great for providing numerous repetitions in a short amount of time, while teaching the mechanics of fielding. These drills teach players when to use two hands and when to use the glove only, as well as practicing quick, soft hands, a quick transfer of the ball from glove to the hand, crossover steps, and the difficult backhand play. This first drill is with no step as the player goes in sequence from left, middle, and right, using one hand on balls to the sides and two hands for balls at them. After a while, coaches can mix up the direction of balls, without letting players know where it is to be thrown, for an even bigger challenge.
With 12-year-old Leo here, I am working on having him stay low, as he has a tendency, like many young ballplayers, to bend at the waist and not with the knees. Without bending the knees, fielders sit too high, causing their hands to be stiff and their feet to be slow.
This second of the baseball fielding drills adds crossover steps to the left and right. It is mandatory that players begin with their feet the optimum distance apart, so there are no wasted steps before crossing over. The crossover is with their knees bent and glove low.
Rapid Fire Fielding Drills that Help Consistency
As mentioned, the backhand ground ball is one of the toughest for fielders to perfect. Fielders begin this process on their knee, which helps them get the idea of staying low, and with having the glove slightly out front of their foot. After players get a feel for the giving action of the glove back to their throwing hand, players do the same thing while off the knee. The key to the backhand play is a relaxed glove side elbow, which allows a pendulum type action, as the ball is to enter the glove. This relaxed elbow is only possible by staying low. This pendulum action helps keep the ball from jumping out of the glove, for adjusting to tough hops and for getting the ball to the throwing hand as quickly as possible. As noticed, coaches can add a little bounce to the balls for more advanced players.
As seen in this last backhand drill, throwing footwork can also be added to the above drills, especially when players become efficient at catching the ball. Many different variations of these drills can be done and I will show you more of those in future videos. These rapid-fire fielding drill gives players hundreds of ground balls in a short amount of time, is challenging and a great warm-up drill for players of all ages.