SS Darts is a great drill to run during Quick Defense. Before using an overhand dart during drills, give the athletes a chance to learn and train that specific movement. Later practices will involve ground ball work and double-play feeds, THIS is the chance for focused practice on the feed without any distractions. Keep in mind, there may be sidearm variations later… so start with a pivot-only and overhand dart movement.
EXECUTION – Each coach needs four (or eight) baseballs. Live athlete starts with all baseballs in front of them, grabs first ball into glove. With coach (receiver) over left shoulder, athlete fires a dart… then retrieves the next baseball. Four overhand tosses, and live athlete jogs to coach to grab baseballs.
- Alligator Mouth – Athlete closes top hand on top of baseball (already in glove) mimicking the “alligator mouth.”
- Pivot – Back foot turns and pivots to square chest to coach / receiver (no step).
- “Dart” = Short-arm toss from ear. Teach close-range touch (which is not easy).
- 8 Baseballs – 2 x 4 – Use two sets of four baseballs. After an athlete finishes his four throws, he is to collect baseballs from you and place “on deck”
- No Step – Limit the feet to focus on learning how to toss a ‘dart’
- Sidearm – Likely need to introduce with feet starting open
- Involve Receiver (advanced) – Involve a receiver who mimics making a DP turn. Rotate from feeds, to receiver… then replace baseballs
Dugout Captain has a GREAT drill that is very popular called Five-Feeds Drill. During that drill, coaches feedback has told us it’s hard to teach all the feeds during amidst all the action of the drill. THIS is the reason to incorporate feeds into Quick Defense. Consider a “feeds week” where all Quick Defense drills work various types of feeds.
- ALLIGATOR MOUTH
- PIVOT ON BACK FOOT
- TOSS DART (SHORT-RANGE WITH TOUCH)
- 8 BASEBALLS - 2 SETS OF 4
- NO STEP
- SIDEARM LATER