Practice ground balls to 1B with pitcher covering first.
- Coach with fungo bat to right of home plate.
- Lines of players at Pitcher and 1B positions.
- Fungo hits ground ball to 1B.
- 1B throws to Pitcher covering first.
- Pitcher returns to mound.
- Rotate and repeat.
Coaching Tips for Fielding Ground Balls:
- Creep as pitch is delivered (walk into it). Body in motion stays in motion. Body at rest stays at rest.
- Move in under control (Float like a butterfly).
- Toes out, butt down, thumb out, elbow in (opens glove), 45° angle with glove.
- Field the ball out in front of the body. Draw a line from chin to ground, and this is where glove should be. Think out to in, down to up.
- Right hand on top of glove. Helps secure catch and protects face. Put lid on jar.
- Funnel ball to bellybutton on hard-hit balls. Secure out in front on routine grounder and get to right shoulder. Be square to ball.
- Get low – show button on cap to coach.
Tips for Younger Athletes:
- Stress the importance of a balanced stance when preparing to field the ball. Teach them to keep their feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, providing stability and readiness for quick movements.
- Emphasize keeping eyes on the ball until it’s securely in the glove. This focus is essential for accurate fielding and helps develop concentration skills.
- Introduce basic footwork for moving towards the ball, encouraging small, quick steps instead of large leaps to maintain balance and control.
Tips for Older Athletes:
- Encourage players to anticipate the ball’s trajectory and position themselves accordingly by reading the bat’s angle and the ball’s speed, crucial for efficient fielding.
- Teach the importance of a swift transition from catching to throwing, focusing on techniques like quick ball transfer from glove to throwing hand while maintaining proper body alignment.
- Incorporate drills that enhance footwork and agility. Practice lateral movements, quick pivots, and smooth transitions to improve their ability to cover more ground and react swiftly to unpredictable grounders.