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Fielding and Throwing Skills and Drills Clinic

Clinic Goals

  • Provide skill foundation for the player to continue to develop fundamentals of the game

  • Develop skills that are often overlooked or hard to cover in a normal practice setting

  • Provide teaching that can be applied that week in a game

  • Provide follow up materials through instruction guides and video that can be used by the player and parents to continue development at home

Introduction

The majors and minors teams shall be broken up into groups of around 10 and paired up with group leaders.  The group leaders will lead the group in the warm up and move the team from station to station participating in the instruction.  Each station will last 15 minutes.


 

Part 1: Learning Fielding Triangle Positioning

This won’t involve any actual fielding, but teaches each player the fundamental positioning for fielding grounders.  This skill shall then be built upon in in the practice stations in Part 2.

Goals

  • Proper Fielding Technique

Video

Location

  • Group Warm-up Location

Equipment/Players

  • Player with glove

  • Set up 3 Baseballs to represent contact points for each player

Procedure

  1. Line up players 3 or so in a row.  Place baseballs as markers for the position of their feet, and 1 baseball where their eye and glove should line up.

  2. Teach players proper positioning of body to the ball to field grounders and review checkpoints listed below.

  3. Line up players and start in athletic position.  Step by step walk them through the positioning and checkpoints.

  4. For the players that are watching, have them evaluate the players performing drill as to whether each of the checkpoints are properly met.

Checkpoints

  1. Width of the Feet - Should be a wide stance greater than shoulder width apart

  2. Chest on Thighs - Think about touching chest to thighs

  3. Flat Back - Back should be flat, no hump in their back

  4. Hands out in front - Hands should be right in front of the bill of their cap

  5. Proper eye alignment with the ball - Ball should align to left eye for right handers, and right eye for left handers

  6. Tip of glove should be touching the ground

 

Player Rotation

  • Move players to the station locations

Part 2: Practice Stations

Rotate Players every 15 min.  Players need to bring their gear with them to each station.  It is critical that rotation to next station happen in 30s to 1m, so hustle to next station is critical.


Station 1: Fielding Baseballs Applying Checkpoints from Triangle Positioning

This drill allows the player to apply the triangle positioning to fielding balls that are rolled to the player straight ahead.  

Video

Goals

  • Apply Triangle Positioning Technique to actually field a ball

Location

  • Third Base

Equipment/Players

  • 2 Coaches

  • Fielders with their gloves

Procedure

  1. Players will line up in 2 rows

  2. Players should start in athletic position

  3. Coach rolls the ball to the player pretty much right at them so no movement is required

  4. Player fields the ball

  5. After collecting the ball in the glove, hand closes over the ball from the side and throws it back to the coach

  6. As players advance in skill, roll ball harder

  7. Coach repeats 3 or 4 times then rotates in the next player

Player Rotation

  • Rotate players within the station.  Try to get 2 or more coaches to help to maximize reps.

Checkpoints

  • Proper positioning as identified in Station 1

  • Tip of the glove should touch ground

  • Hands above the glove, but not blocking it


Station 2: Fielding Baseballs from Backhand

This drill allows the player to apply the triangle positioning to fielding balls coming to their backhand

Video

Goals

  • Learn proper technique for fielding balls to backhand side

Location

  • Shortstop Position

Equipment/Players

  • 2 Coaches

  • Fielders with their gloves

Procedure

  1. Players will line up in 1 or 2 rows

  2. Players should start in athletic position

  3. Coach rolls the ball to the player’s backhand side pretty much right at their leading foot so that minimal movement is required.

  4. Player fields the ball (example for right-handed thrower, reverse for left-handed thrower)

    1. Player extends right leg toward ball

    2. Glove is out in front of right foot

    3. Tip of the Glove is touching the ground

  5. After collecting the ball in the glove, hand closes over the ball from the side and throws it back to the coach

  6. As players advance in skill, roll ball harder

  7. Coach repeats 3 or 4 times then rotates in the next player

Player Rotation

  • Rotate players within the station.  Try to get 2 or more coaches to help to maximize reps.

Checkpoints

  • Player starts with a wide base

  • Glove is straight out in front of leading leg

  • Tip of the glove should touch ground

  • Hands above the glove, but not blocking it


Station 3: Throwing to a Base, “Shuffle, Throw, Follow”

Video

Goals

  • Teach infielders to move their feet toward the target, throw the ball and continue moving toward the target.

  • Build power and accuracy in throws to bases

Location

  • Second base

Equipment/Players

  • 2 Coaches

  • Fielders with their gloves

  • Setup 3 cones in a line down the second baseline

    • The first to mark the ground ball receiving location

    • The second to mark the end of the side shuffle movement

    • The third to mark the follow-through distance

Procedure

  1. Player starts in ready position around second base position

  2. Coach rolls a ball to the player from around the pitcher’s mound

  3. Player fields the ball (hopefully applying techniques from stations 1 and 2

  4. Shuffle

    1. Player stays low with his butt still down (he doesn’t come straight up)

      1. See comments in video at 3:15

    2. Player shuffles sideways 1 step ending around cone 2

  5. Throw - Player throws the ball to the coach (or player) at first base

  6. Follow - Player follows his momentum toward first out to cone 3

Player Rotation

  • Rotate a new player in after each ground ball, rinse and repeat

Checkpoints

  • Player shuffles sideways with shoulders and feet aligned toward target

  • Player follows his throw.  It is common for players to throw the ball without moving forward.


Station 4: Throwing Fundamentals

Video

Goals

  • Develop basic throwing technique

  • Learn 4 seam grip

  • Learn 4 basic positions involved in throws:

    • Ready Athletic Position

    • Hand Break

    • Load

    • Throw

Location

  • Right Field Baseline

Equipment/Players

  • Coach

Procedure

  • Line up the players on the baseline and review the throwing procedure below.  Practice at first without a ball to get the players comfortable with the motion.  Once the players are comfortable, move them 15-20 feet apart and have them slowly practice moving their bodies through this motion releasing the ball toward their targets.

  • Throwing Procedure:

  1. Starting Ready Position

    1. Glove in comfortable position between belly button and shoulders

    2. Weight is balanced between the 2 feet

    3. Weight is on the balls of feet in an athletic position

    4. Players are gripping the ball with a four seam grip

  2. Hand Break

    1. Thumbs are pointed down

    2. Hands are in a position like you are playing the piano or typing on a computer keyboard

  3. Load (High Cock Position)

    1. Weight shifts to back foot

    2. Ball is facing backwards, player cannot see their palm and are looking at the knuckles when they turn around

    3. Arms are straight and are level

    4. Throwing arm has a slight bend at the elbow

  4. Step and Throw

    1. Player steps with his front foot toward his target

    2. Player rotates their body after the foot lands

    3. Player releases the finishing low over their opposite knee

Checkpoints

  • Thumbs pointed down on hand break

  • Palms are facing away from their head in load position

  • Shoulders to elbows are level and align with feet straight toward target

  • Player steps straight toward target


Station 5: Catching Fly Balls From Different Positions

Video

Goals

  • Reading/judging the ball location

  • Proper technical catching technique

Location

  • Left Field

Equipment/Players

  • Players with their gloves

  • 1 - 2 coaches

Procedure

  • Initial Setup

    1. Set up 3 cones set up in a triangle 20-30 feet apart with the the tip of the triangle pointing forward away from where the players will stand

    2. Coach standing in front of the triangle tip of the triangle pointing toward him

    3. Players in a line behind the triangle aligned to the middle of the triangle

  • Drill Execution

    1. The first player in the line steps up

    2. Player will receive 4 pop flies as follows:

      1. Moving Forward

        1. Coach throws the ball to the middle of the triangle forcing the player to run forward to catch the ball

        2. Player catches the ball then throws the ball back to coach or cutoff man

      2. Moving to right side

        1. Player moves to his left point in the triangle

        2. Coach throws ball to center of the triangle

        3. Player catches the ball then throws the ball back to coach or cutoff man

      3. Moving backwards

        1. Player moves to his front point in the triangle

        2. Coach throws ball to center of the triangle

        3. Player moves backwards to catch the ball then throws the ball back to coach or cutoff man

      4. Moving to left side

        1. Player moves to his right point in the triangle

        2. Coach throws ball to center of the triangle

        3. Player moves to his left to catch the ball then throws the ball back to coach or cutoff man

Player Rotation

  • After the player fields his 4 balls he moves to the back of the line the next player is up

Checkpoints

  • Player starts in a ready/athletic position

  • Player splits the fields with his eyes and always moves right or left as soon as the ball is in the air

  • Player gets under the ball

  • The ball is caught on the glove side of the body

  • The player catches the ball with glove foot forward

  • The ball is secured in the glove with other hand

  • When running toward the ball, don’t run with glove out, run to the ball then raise glove