Nick Beckmann is a high school coach, All-Star fielding & hitting instructor, and former college player. Additional educational resources for players, coaches and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.
Preseason Fielding Workout Week 4 From Nick Beckmann
During this past week, you’ve probably been working on the drills from the first two weeks of our Fielding Program. This week we’ll be putting an emphasis on footwork.
Two Knees, Hands Drill
One way we love to get our fielders focused on specific movements is to limit the non-essential components to performing that movement. For example, if you want to focus on the hands, take away the feet. The Two Knees Hand Drill does just that. We develop the same techniques as the Glove Hand Drill from Week 1, but this warmup allows the players to truly zero in on what is, and is not working. Make sure the knees are at the same width as the feet would be if this drill were performed standing.
Replace Feet Drill
The focus here is on getting the left leg, the leg associated with the glove hand, to explode through the ball towards the target. We achieve this by exaggerating the driving motion, instructing fielders to gain as much ground as possible in the two-step motion that precedes a throw, which we call replacing the feet. Make sure your fielders stay low, and balanced.
Still Ball Drill
Expanding upon the techniques employed by the Replace Feet Drill, have your fielder place a ball a few feet in front of him/her, and then attack the ball with a left foot jab, mimicking the same explosive foot replacement from the previous drill.
This drill is best suited for older players. Have the fielder attack a ground ball, and then perform an exaggerated foot replacement. Then move on to executing this drill at a 45 degree angle, and reduce the exaggerated foot replacement motion. The goal is to closely simulate fielding a ball in a game situation.