The Rhythm Drill
This is an excerpt from Baseball Drill Book by American Baseball Coaches Association.
Focus To stress proper fielding technique for ground balls hit directly at the fielder, to his glove, and to his backhand side.
Setup This drill can be done indoors or outdoors. All infielders participate.
Procedure The drill begins with infielders standing in a straight line facing the coach, who is at a distance of about 25 feet. At the command of “Set,” the first fielder “keys up” and comes to ready position. The coach then hits short fungoes directly at the fielder, who fields the ball and throws to first base.
While the player at the front of the line is fielding the ball, the next infielder in line is directly behind him, shadowing his movements. This accomplishes two things. It gives the players more repetitions and allows them to focus on their movements without worrying about fielding the ball.
Continue the drill by hitting balls to the glove and backhand sides. The goal of the players is to move their feet so they field the ball in front of their body. Don’t allow them to field the ball off to the glove or backhand side. Again, rhythm is the primary focus. Fielding the ball and throwing to first should be achieved in a smooth, continuous motion.
Repeat the process until all infielders have fielded five ground balls directly at them, to their glove side, and to their backhand side.
In the next phase, hit fungoes to the infielders from home plate. Start with balls hit directly at the infielders, then to the glove side, and finally to the backhand side. Continue having the fielder next in line shadow the person in front of him.
Coaching Points While proper fielding techniques and footwork are essential, also focus on the fielder’s rhythm. His movements should be fluid and pressure-free; he should maintain balance from start to finish.
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