Purpose:

The drill is designed to enhance the pitcher’s ability to initiate a rapid double play in collaboration with the catcher and first baseman (1B). It focuses on improving reflexes, coordination, and accuracy in high-pressure defensive situations, particularly when a quick turnaround is essential to prevent runs.

Setup:

  • Lines of players at Pitcher, Catcher, and Short 1B.
  • Coach with fungo bat to left of home plate.

Execution:

  • The pitcher starts by delivering a simulated pitch towards home plate.
  • Simultaneously, a coach, positioned to the left of home plate with a fungo bat (Fungo 2), hits a ground ball back to the pitcher, mimicking a ‘comebacker’.
  • The pitcher then fields the ball and quickly throws it to the catcher.
  • The catcher catches the throw and immediately pivots to make a swift and precise throw to the first baseman (Short 1B), positioned for the double play.
  • After completing the double play, the first baseman returns the ball to the pitcher.
  • Participants rotate their positions to ensure that each player gets practice in each role and repeat the drill for multiple rounds.

For Younger Athletes:

  • Emphasize the importance of quick and accurate throws. Practice drills to improve their throwing speed and accuracy.
  • Teach the basics of fielding a ground ball efficiently, focusing on body positioning and glove work.
  • Encourage communication between the pitcher, catcher, and first baseman. Effective communication is key in successfully executing a double play.

For Older Athletes:

  • Focus on improving the speed of the entire play, from fielding to throwing. Time the plays to encourage quicker execution.
  • Practice different scenarios where a double play might be necessary, and work on decision-making skills to choose the best play.
  • Emphasize the importance of mental preparedness and situational awareness. Older players should be able to read the game and anticipate plays.