As an outfielder, technique is everything. Errors are often the most glaring when they happen in the outfield, and they almost always result in runners advancing or scoring. In an effort to combat this, we’ve designed a few drills that really hammer home some of the technical fundamentals, allowing us to reduce the frequency of those errors.
The No Glove Triangle Drill serves various functions: it emphasizes proper footwork on drop steps, puts tremendous focus on proper glovework by removing the glove and utilizing just the bare hand, and finally, it offers a little bit of conditioning, which is always useful.
Place cones in a diamond shape 10-15 yards between each point. The coach stands at the base of the diamond, and tosses high balls with a soft ball—smoosh ball, tennis ball, racquet ball, wiffle ball, etc. The player drop steps, incorporating bare handed glovework, and finishes with proper footwork for the throw.
The player will receive a total of 12 fly balls distributed evenly across the three points of the triangle, each requiring slightly different techniques.
Let’s say you’re coming off an intense weekend of practice or playing, but you still want to get some good drills in that really help develop technique. You can go through the motions without taxing the shoulder by actually throwing a ball, instead utilizing towels, and listening for that tell-tale snap, which indicates proper release. Run all the different scenarios—fly balls, ground balls, etc—paying close attention to form.
Nick Aboussie is a former college player, All-Star Performance Instructor, and member of the coaching staff of the St. Louis Gamers. Additional educational resources for players, coaches and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.