Purpose:

Middle infielders practice turning a 4-6-3 double play.

Setup:

  • Coach with fungo bat to left of home plate
  • Lines of players at SS, 2B, and 1B positions

Execution:

  • Fungo 1 hits ground ball to 2B.
  • 2B flips to SS, who throws to 1B for 4-6-3 double play.
  • 1B returns ball to Fungo 1.
  • Rotate and repeat.

Coaching Tips:

If the infield is at double-play depth, they are positioned not at the back of the infield but cheating in a little so that they can cut down the distance the ball will travel on the ground. This positioning will give the infielders more time to make the double play. In the double-play situation, you are trying to get the sure out at second base, which will also be the lead out if there is only a runner at first when the ball is hit. The sure out will not be the lead out if runners are at both first and second when the ball is hit. In this case, you will almost always try to get the sure out at second and then have an opportunity to get the out at first by completing the double play.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Teach the basics of footwork: Focus on the fundamentals of moving quickly to the ball and setting feet properly for the throw.
  • Stress the importance of catching and securing the ball before making the throw, emphasizing the ‘catch first, throw second’ principle.
  • Practice smooth hand transitions: Work on the skill of transferring the ball from glove to throwing hand quickly and efficiently.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Enhance quick decision-making: Train them to quickly assess whether to go for a double play or secure a sure out.
  • Focus on precise and strong throws: Emphasize the importance of accuracy and power in their throws to complete the double play effectively.
  • Introduce advanced positioning: Teach them about optimal positioning and angles for turning double plays based on different game situations.