The third drill in DC’s How-to-Coach Ground Balls series, the purpose of this drill is to introduce and drill “centering the baseball.” Execution involves lateral movement to get in front of the ball, in combination with a solid review of the fielding triangle and POP! footwork.
EXECUTION – How-to-Coach GB’s #3 starts at individual cones for group instruction, and then moves to the Cone Triangle for repetitions. First things first, DC’s success in coaching ground ball fundamentals is in the structure of How-to-Coach execution. Read through and understand the structure of this drill before focusing on ground ball technique.
Individual Cones – Start with each athlete at their own an individual cone for group walk through.
- Review and walk through: Fielding Triangle / Exit Footwork
- Break down and review Exit Footwork: Right / Left / Shuffle / Throw
- Right / Left become POP!. Conduct several more group reps using an athletic POP! movement: POP! / Shuffle / Throw
- ADD LATERAL MOVEMENT: Work to center the baseball between the feet and start the application of fundamentals to true ground ball instruction.
Cone Triangle for Reps – Move to the Cone Triangle for ground balls. Place two cones, 5 yards apart, in the shortstop area. A third cone is placed 2 yards behind the middle of the front two cones to complete the triangle. One ‘Live’ athlete will start in between the two cones, one athlete will make a ball pile at each cone, and the short line will wait behind the back cone. Involve a catch net for throws and points competition.
Roll sets of four ground balls to each athlete, then rotate. Move on to the next step only when athletes have all had ample reps to execute correctly:
- Side shuffle & POP! – Slow pace with no throws
- Side shuffle & POP! – Increase pace, throw on last GB only
- Side shuffle & POP! – Full speed, throws on all GB’s
- Game time – Competition and fun finish
Athlete rotation: Ball pile –> Live –> Ball pile –> Line
- Center the baseball – Start reps with a slow pace so athlete can move laterally to center the baseball AND execute proper exit footwork.
- Side Shuffle = No crossover while moving side-to-side. This helps athlete to center the baseball and also works agility.
- Push Up Police = Ball gets past is 5 push ups. But only do pushups when back at line (avoids delays). Be sure that pushups are viewed positive!!
- GROUP, THEN REPS @ CONE TRIANGLE
- RIGHT / LEFT become POP
- SLOW NO THROW
- FASTER, THROW ON LAST GB
- FULL SPEED, THROWS ON ALL
- GAME TIME
- CENTER THE BASEBALL
- USE SIDE SHUFFLE
- POSITIVE PUSH UP POLICE
- Baseball Buckets2