Wednesday Web Gems
Necessity of Fielding Drill Coordination
Good baseball coaches leave “no stone unturned,” as they say and assume nothing when it comes to baseball fundamental development with youth ballplayers. Here is another example and a fielding drill necessary for that development.
Baseball coaches know the importance of quick hands and quick feet for baseball fielding success. However, most coaches fail to have kids practice or do not know how to coach kids to practice those properly.
The quickest hands in the world are not that useful without quick feet and more importantly, without coordinating the quick feet with quick hands. All fielding drills are dependent on this coordination, so it is important that youth baseball coaches begin with the basics of catching a ball before proceeding to more advanced fielding drills. This may seem elementary, but except for the advanced players, most youth-baseball players need a lot of practice to get their footwork coordinated with their glove work. Without the correct catching technique along with the necessary quickness, good fielding habits suffer.
Many coaches know the quick hands warm-up catch drill, when coaches give players a certain amount of time to see how many catches and throws two players can make in the allotted time. However, before going to that drill, players must learn to coordinate their hands and feet for the best results.
Fielding Drill Technique that Lead to Quickness
- Player begins in an athletic stance with feet shoulder width apart and square to the coach.
- Coaches get a short distance from players and flip balls to chest level and right at them. Right before catching the ball with two hands, players hop to their throwing side foot with a ninety-degree turn of that foot, and have their other foot dangle in the air. Players transfer the ball as quick as they can to bare hand and hold the ball in throwing position.
* The key to this fielding drill is getting players to have their throwing side foot land exactly as the ball hits their glove, with the ninety degree turn of that foot, while catching the ball in the center of their body.
- After players get the timing and coordination of this short distance flip, coaches back up in distance as players practice the same thing.
- As players get more efficient, coaches have players complete the throw back to coaches.
- Once players get the feel for this timing and hand/feet coordination, they flip balls to players right and left, as they try to square the ball in the middle of their body before performing the same things, as initially.
- For balls they cannot square up and catch with two hands, players catch with their glove only and shift their fee accordingly to get rid of ball as quickly as possible,
- Once all players are proficient with this fielding drill, coaches have players move into the same actions with ground balls.
Learning this correct fielding drill technique is a slow, tedious process for many players, but a necessary one for player development.