Purpose:

Practice ground balls to 1B with pitcher covering first.

Setup:

  • Coach with fungo bat to right of home plate.
  • Lines of players at Pitcher and 1B positions.

Execution:

  • 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.