Double Play Feeds – SS is an infield drill designed to introduce and teach the double play feeds from the SS position. These 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 next for the overhand dart and then finish the drill with some fun “either/or” repetitions.
EXECUTION – This drill is run at the shortstop 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 a catch net placed by second base. Repetitions – With the athletes in a single line, roll ball to athlete’s left 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 shortstops left = underhand flip ( moving CLOSER to bag ). Field the ground ball, crossover with the right foot and step into the underhand flip. To expand, breaking from the fielding triangle, 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 toss and helps to create an easy-to-handle feed. Work through the line slowly at first, rolling ground balls CLOSER to the bag, and then increase pace to get each athlete 5-7 reps. Have the athletes jog around the catch net after each feed to work on creating momentum towards 2B with smooth and predictable movements.
- Teaching the Overhand Dart – Roll ball to a shortstops right side and have them field baseball, open up slightly, and deliver a strike to catch net at the 2nd base bag. “Dart” Rule: Ball to SS right = overhand dart ( moving AWAY from bag ). Work through the line slowly at first, predictably rolling the ground ball so that the athlete moves AWAY from the bag. Initially, keep all throws “over the top”, saving any sidearm and great plays for the end of the drill, and simply pivot the back foot. The left foot can up as appropriate.
- 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). Infielders must play the game and get a feel for which feed is appropriate, on which type of ground ball. A slowly hit ground ball presents the opportunity to create an approach moving towards the base. A rocket ground ball may put an athlete on his heels, which would make an overhand dart most appropriate.
- Shoulder Level (*advanced*) – Sidearm delivery may be most the efficient feed for a shortstop. Advanced middle infielders are taught to keep their shoulder-level consistent (same as the angle at fielding position).
- Easy Ground Balls – Roll, rather than hit, ground balls to allow athletes to focus on feeds without being consumed with the ground ball. 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 a full-body movement on feed
- Great Plays – When appropriate (at the end of drill), have fun with tosses. Side-arm darts, Derek Jeter jump-feeds in the hole, diving plays, glove-only feeds up the middle. Start with business, end with fun!
- UNDERHAND FLIP
- OVERHAND TOSS
- EITHER/OR REPS - “BE AN ATHLETE”
- ROLL GB, SLOW PACE EARLY
- TOSS A KNUCKLEBALL
- FOLLOW YOUR TOSS
- FINISH WITH GREAT PLAYS
- Catch Net1
- Baseball Buckets1