How to Coach: Ground Balls #2
The second drill in Dugout Captain’s How-to-Coach series for Ground Ball instruction, the purpose of this drill is to review the different pieces of the ground ball process, so you can drill, and involve, into future practices and instruction. The drill should start with all athletes at individual cones and a walk-through review of the four steps to fielding a ground ball: (1) Ready Position, (2) Approach, (3) Fielding Triangle, (4) Exit Footwork. After Group discussion, move forward to the Cone Triangle for ground ball repetitions. Today, the Right – Left of Exit Footwork… will become POP! Footwork.
EXECUTION – DC recommends operating this drill at a cone triangle with a catch net for points competition. The cone triangle is formed by placing two cones, five yards apart, at the shortstop area. The ‘live’ athlete will start in between these two cones. A third cone is centered, two yards behind the first two. Here’s where the line will form. Use the following progression review and drill ground ball fundamentals. Start with ball in hand, and use a step-by-step approach. As appropriate, speed up pace and intensity as repetitions increase:
- From Fielding Triangle (ball in hand) – Right Foot / Left Foot / Shuffle / Throw (2-3 times through line)
- Field & Freeze (coach roll GB) – Athlete is to move to the baseball, field it and FREEZE at the Fielding Triangle. Continue with block movements out of the fielding triangle: Right / Left / Shuffle /Throw (2-3 GB)
- POP! & Freeze – Field the baseball and POP! (right foot and left foot become POP) to the loaded / power position. Freeze there and hold before shuffling out of it and delivering a throw to the catch net (2-3 GB)
- Full Go! – Pop / Shuffle / Throw in one smooth movement (5 GB). Move side to side, involve throws, and add competition as appropriate.
- Move! – Review ground ball mechanics quickly as a group before moving to the cone-triangle for repetitions. Review responsibly (both in discussion and during early reps) but work hard to get to new and fun material quickly.
- Emphasize clean footwork – Best to use block movements to ensure all athletes execute footwork correctly. Do this before speeding up pace and allowing for no freezes or holds.
- Involve Throws – Start with no throw… then throw ONLY on the final ground ball… then throw on all ground balls.
- Add Competition – Involve points for throws to the net and run a competition for first to reach X# of points.
- FROM FIELDING TRIANGLE
- FIELD & FREEZE (COACH ROLL GB)
- POP! AND FREEZE
- FULL GO!
- MOVE! REVIEW AS GROUP, GET TO WORK
- EMPHASIZE CLEAN FOOTWORK
- INVOLVE THROWS
- ADD COMPETITION
- Catch Net1
- Baseball Buckets1