Middle infielders practice turning a double play on a ball hit to the shortstop (SS).
Lines of players at SS, 2B, and 1B positions.
Coach with fungo bat to the left of home plate.
- Fungo 1 hits a ground ball to SS.
- SS flips to 2B, 2B throws to 1B for a 6-4-3 double play.
- 1B returns the ball back to Fungo 1.
- Rotate and repeat.
Coaching Tips for Double Plays:
Approaching the Bag:
- Circle in and get there quickly.
- Shorten up and be under control. Knees bent; hands up, yell “2, 2, 2”.
- Catch the ball in the middle of the body. Anticipate a bad throw.
- Stay low; don’t stand up to throw. Throw the ball uphill.
- The closer to the bag, the more you hang your flips.
- Follow your flips.
- Flip with a stiff wrist, never higher than the chest.
- Backhand flip used when even with the bag or on the edge of the infield grass for the second baseman, and for the shortstop when behind the bag.
Making the Pivot:
- Receive the ball on the throwing leg.
- Let the ball dictate what you do with your feet.
- Drive the ball to first base with the right leg.
Tips for Younger Athletes:
- Focus on developing a strong, accurate arm by practicing throws from various distances. This helps in building the confidence required for quick and effective double plays.
- Teach the importance of communication during the play. Young players should learn to call out loudly who is covering the bag and who is receiving the ball to avoid confusion.
- Encourage them to practice quick footwork, emphasizing the need to pivot efficiently and position their bodies correctly to make a swift and accurate throw.
Tips for Older Athletes:
- Work on refining the timing of the play. Older athletes should focus on synchronizing their movements with their teammates to ensure the play is smooth and fast.
- Stress the importance of situational awareness. They should practice reading the game and understanding when to attempt a double play versus securing a single out.
- Emphasize the need for consistent, repetitive practice of the double play in various game-like scenarios to build muscle memory and improve reaction times.