Two Infield Hands Drills:
Ever hear a coach say a player has soft hands? What he means by this is the player has excellent eye to hand coordination which allows him to field ground balls with apparent ease and consistency.
Of course, with few exceptions, there’s nothing easy about fielding ground balls. They will skip, bounce, spin, curve and just about anything else you can imagine as they approach you.
No, there’s nothing easy about fielding grounders, but practicing fielding drills will increase your ability and confidence. Sometimes, it’s not a bad idea to take fielding motions and break them down into specific segments. Then take these segments and practice finely tuning the individual action.
Here’s two easy, yet very effective drills for increasing hand to eye coordination, thus enhancing your fielding abilities.
Infield Hands Drill One:
In this drill we are not going to use a glove to field grounders. The glove should feel like a natural extension of the hand, not the sole apparatus for fielding the ball. We must build complete confidence and a second nature feeling that we are fielding bare handed. The glove is just a plus.
It’s important the player strives to perform every part of the fielding exercise to perfection. The only thing different is he’s not wearing a glove and the balls will be either tennis or rubber.
The infielder assumes his normal fielding position, say second base. The Coach positions himself at the side of the pitching mound from where he hits ground balls to the fielder.
The fielder is to maintain proper fielding posture, attack the ball and field it with his bare hand(s). Since the drill is intended to increase fielding ability and sure hands, it’s not necessary for the player to make a throw to base.
It’s OK should you set it up like that, but not a must.
Infield Hands Drill Two:
Now that we have confidence in our ability to field a ball bare handed, we will incorporate the glove back into the equation. This drill will take our newly acquired skill of having sure hands and increase the speed in which our hands move.
This time we are going to eliminate our legs and feet. That is, we’re not going to worry about moving to the ball in order to field it.
Assuming the second base position again, the player is to kneel on both knees. Except for a possible quick dive for a ball to his left or right side, the infielder does not move.
Infield Hands - Glove Is Part Of The Arm
The Coach again assumes his position at the side of the pitching
mound. Hit relatively hard ground balls directly at the fielder. Vary
the type of hit, some bouncing, skidding, hugging the ground.
The entire intent of this drill is to teach eye to glove coordination while increasing hand speed. Practiced correctly the fielder also develops the glove coordination of fielding and bringing the glove upwards where the ball can be gripped by the throwing hand.
Using these two drills will drastically improve your infielders’ fielding ability.
Infield Hands to Baseball Skill Drills
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