Ground Ball Put Outs brings into play the novel concept of recording OUTS! At some point, athletes need to be taught how to execute force plays and tag plays. This should be accompanied by established expectations for playing catch in the infield. Throwing strikes and playing catch happens in the mind first – and while the athletes will struggle, try to focus on successful plays made and improvements shown. These will be few and far between at the younger ages. However, stay with this drill and it will pay off!
Programming Note: If athletes are younger than 10 years old, DC recommends running Tag Plays prior to GB Put Outs. Along that logic, it would be helpful for all athletes to take throws as first-baseman as well.
EXECUTION – With a team broken into two teams, this drill will be run with 5-6 athletes. Distribute players around the diamond = 3B / SS / 2B / 1B / Back Up Bucket (by 1st base dugout / fence).
- Round #1 = Force Plays to 1st Base – Coach hits each position a ground ball and teaches the force play. Teach the 1B receiver: Throwing side foot to bag, late stride to ball.
- Round #2 = Tag Plays to 2nd Base – Coach hits each position a ground ball and teaches the tag play at 2nd base: Straddle, swipe, and show
- Players Rotate After Each Set of GB’s (4) – 3B goes to SS, SS-2B, 2B-1B, 1B-Bucket, Bucket-Rotate to 3B
- Switch from Force Plays to Tag Plays – After each athlete has played every position, change the drill and make throws to 2nd base. Keep in mind that you’ll have to coach infield responsibilities surrounding who takes the throw at 2nd base.
- Teach – Take some time to explain force plays vs. tag plays first. Then, be consistent throughout the drill. Slap tag fundamentals, 1B stretch fundamentals, infield responsibilities.
- Patience – You may not get a lot of clean put-outs. But be patient, it’s worth it.
- Safety – Be careful of who throws to who? Is there a coach/parent to help step in at first base when necessary. And pay special attention to the back up bucket dude!
- Tag Plays First – Run the drill Tag Plays prior to attempting GB Put Outs, and coach the fundamentals of the tag play: Straddle, slap tag, show. Trust us, you won’t want to try and teach slap tag fundamentals in the middle of this drill!
- FORCE PLAYS TO 1ST
- TAG PLAYS TO 2ND
- ROTATE AFTER EACH ROUND OF GB’S (4)
- HAVE PATIENCE (LOTS)
- SAFETY - THROWS
- RUN 'TAG PLAYS' FIRST
- Baseball Buckets1