Double Play Feeds – 2B is an infield drill is designed to introduce and teach the double play feeds from the 2B position. The two primary feeds are the underhand flip and the overhand dart. Begin the drill with underhand flips, first by explaining the fundamentals of the feed, and following that with ground ball repetitions. Do this for both feeds from the second base position and finish the drill with some fun reps using an either/or athletic challenge.
EXECUTION – This drill is run at the second base area using a catch net and two cones. The line will form behind the back cone, while the ‘live’ athlete will step forward to a second cone. All feeds will be made to the catch net. Repetitions – With the athletes in a single line, roll ball to athlete’s right side. Instruct the players to field the baseball, separate the hands, and flip to throw net. They will follow their underhand toss and jog around the catch net before returning to the line at the back cone.
- Teaching the Underhand Flips – Rule: Ball to second baseman’s right = underhand flip ( moving CLOSER to bag ). Field the ground ball, crossover with the left foot, and step into the flip – a right-handed underhand toss. To expand, breaking from the fielding triangle, athletes are to use a stiff wrist, follow through with the hand high above the head, and attempt to toss a knuckleball. Using a stiff wrist and a high follow through “softens” the feed and helps to create an easy-to-handle feed. Work through the line slowly at first, and then increase pace to get each athlete 5-7 reps. Have each athlete jog around the catch net after each feed to work on creating momentum towards 2B and smooth, predictably movements.
- Teaching the Overhand Dart – Roll ball to athlete’s left side and have them field baseball, pivot feet, and deliver a strike to catch net at the 2nd base bag. Rule: Ball to 2B left = overhand dart ( moving AWAY from bag ). The feet athletically replace themselves in a jumping motion called a Reverse Pivot. Instruct the athletes to get the feet turned all the way around into a throwing position towards 2nd base. With this move, the athlete executes a fielding triangle to receive the ground ball, separates the hands, and “Pops!” the feet). Work through the line slowly at first, predictably rolling the ground ball so that the athlete moves AWAY from the bag.
- Backhand Flip (*advanced*) – If appropriate, challenge the athletes to use a backhand flip feed. Keeping the thumb underneath the baseball, the hand forms a “C” shape. Step towards the shortstop with the right foot while attempting to toss a knuckleball. Follow through with a high hand.
- Either / Or Repetitions – Coach’s verbal = “BE AN ATHLETE” Explain that infielders must be “athletes” when a ground ball is hit right at them. This type of ground ball presents a decision on which feed to use (overhand vs. underhand). Variables to consider are the pace of groundball and the defenders proximity to bag. Can the athlete create an underhand feed by surrounding the baseball and working towards the bag? In the end, infielders must play the game and get a feel for which feed is appropriate.
- Easy Ground Balls – Roll rather than hit ground balls to allow athletes to focus on the skill of feeds. If needed, pick up pace of drill, not necessarily the pace of the ground ball.
- Toss a Knuckleball – Use a stiff wrist, open the hand at release, and follow through high to ‘soften’ throw and eliminate an active wrist.
- Follow your Toss – Athletes are to continue around the net to encourage body movement on feed.
- Great Plays – When appropriate (at the end of drill), have fun with tosses. No crossover step feed (open underhand feed), backhand flip (toss the C), jump pivots, etc. Kids LOVE this!!
- UNDERHAND FLIPS
- OVERHAND DART
- BE AN ATHLETE
- ROLL, RATHER THAN HIT, GROUND BALLS
- TOSS A KNUCKLEBALL
- FOLLOW YOUR TOSS
- FINISH WITH GREAT PLAYS
- Baseball Buckets1
- Catch Net1