Offered during the Olympics practice, the infield station involves an around-the-world competition. Although the Olympics are designed to bring a fun break to the grind of preseason practices, the theme to this drill is performance under pressure. Baseball requires accurate throws and ground ball execution under pressure.
EXECUTION – The Olympics – Infield Drill begins at second base and works around the infield (from second base, to shortstop, to third base). At each position, work through the line four times – thus hitting four ground balls to each athlete. With three positions, and four ground balls at each position… that’s 12 chances for points. Following is the routine for the groundball competition:
- @ them – GB directly at the athlete.
- Right – GB to athlete moving right.
- Left – GB to athlete moving left.
- Slow Roller – Finish each round with a slow roller / great play.
Award points on a clean field and accurate throw to a catch net set up at first base. To keep a running total for each athlete, have the athlete yell out the score after each play.
- Move Quickly – As many as 6 kids, 4 GB’s each, @ 3 positions = 72 ground balls. Gotta work quickly to get through 72 ground balls in 15 minutes.
- Encourage Points – To provide opportunities for success, roll (rather than hit) groundballs. Also, coach can shorten the distance to the target net. A final idea DC has used is to multiply the value of a score by 10. 120 points sounds like so much more than 12 ;).
- Be Vocal / Everyone! – Athletes are to shout out tallying score as they continue to make throws. You are to lead by example and get your shout on!
CLOSING – Make a play in five seconds or less! Use the example of the time it takes a baserunner to run from home to first. The reality of infield play is that the ground ball must be fielded cleanly and an accurate throw made in less than five seconds. Although you can’t use a stopwatch because of the pace of this drill, you can keep the pressure up so that making the play requires quick execution.
- 3 POSITIONS - 4 GB'S EACH
- @ / R / L / SLOW ROLLER
- COUNT POINTS, CUMULATE TOTAL
- MOVE QUICKLY
- ENCOURAGE POINTS
- BE VOCAL - PLAYERS & COACH!
- Baseball Buckets2
- Catch Net1