While [tag]coaching youth baseball[/tag] I feel it is imperative to teach fundamentals to the players. That is how the “Pancake Drill”, as named by the players, was born.
I made three 8” training pads from ½” plywood , ½” foam and light brown cloth (pancake color) with elastic hand holds.
The drill is as follows:
Players are lined three across wearing the pancake mitt. Ground balls are hit to them. The object is to cleanly field the [tag]baseball[/tag]s using “alligator hands” and rise to proper throwing position. Players who don’t field the ball cleanly are eliminated until a winner is determined with a maximum amount of 10 ground balls. The winner is then awarded with some prize such as not having to run the final lap or batting first at the next BP. We also utilize the mitt with a soft toss contest where players are eliminated by dropping the ball.
By the end of the season all of the players regardless of their initial skill level were demonstrating proper fielding and catching technique and many parents had asked that I make them a “pancake” mitt of their own.