This is a drill to teach the right-handed pick off move. It can be run as a group drill during Station Instruction, or one-on-one with an athlete. Pick Offs – 1B teaches the fundamental steps to a successful pick off move.
EXECUTION – If operating drill with a group, place a single cone down for each athlete to use as a pitching rubber. Set up a catch net 30-40 feet away from the cones to catch throws. Ideally, place the catch net 15-20 feet in front of a fence to stop roller baseballs.
Part I / Pick Off Fundamentals – Slow motion, step-by-step repetitions to teach and feel pick off fundamentals. Conduct 3-4 repetitions where the athletes move together as a group, holding each movement to truly feel the positions.
- Right – Right foot moves first, turning so that the inside of the ankle points to 1B (catch net).
- Left – Left foot moves second, landing in a straight line between right foot and catch net.
- Throw – Arms have already moved up into the throwing position, then a quick and aggressive throw is let go.
Part II / Repetitions – Gradually speed up the pace of the pick with your verbals and energy. As speed increases and the movement becomes more of a jumping-action, remind the athletes that the right foot MUST move first. This is both to avoid a balk but also to build power, momentum, and direction towards first base.
PART III / Assignments – Allow each athlete to lead the group, using verbals to lead each step of the mound progression steps (see drill Mound Progression).
Straddle –> Step On –> Look In –> Come Set
From this point, athletes are to hold for a specific number of seconds before executing a pick off move at full speed. Allow each athlete to lead the group and assign a different hold time (seconds holding the baseball).
- Slow First – Force the athletes to physically feel what they may already do athletically. Accountability 101.
- Verbals – I don’t care how fast you go… gotta be right, left, throw. “Wings up,” is another good one for the arms.
- Short Arm Path – Pick offs involve a short throwing motion. Typically, speeding up the feet will automatically shorten the arm path (from glove to cocked, throwing position). However, it is always good to remind athletes that a pick off throw is quick and short – thrown from the ear.
CLOSING – Hold times and options. Once the athletes have been taught proper pick off fundamentals, use any extra time to introduce the variables to holding runners:
- Hold Times – The amount of time measured from coming set… to making a movement.
- Options – Once set, there are only three allowed movements: 1) Pitch home; 2) Step off; and, 3. Pick off
- Assignments – Practice these!
- FUNDAMENTALS - SLOW REPS
- REPETITIONS - INCREASING PACE
- SLOW FIRST
- SHORT ARM PATH
- Catch Net1