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It is one thing to catch a baseball while standing in a still position, and quite another to catch a ball while on the move. Here is a great warm up drill does just that. This how to catch a ball drill is similar to the line ground ball drill, but the goal of this drill is to "never," let the ball touch the ground.
One of the first goals of youth baseball coaches is teaching players how to catch a ball. Once players begin to handle the glove well, practicing how to catch a ball while on the move is the next step, as rarely do balls come directly to players. The following drill is not only beneficial for learning to catch on the run, but also works for gaining greater control of the glove and for attaining acute focus on the ball.
Coaches set four or five players one after another at one end and another four or five at the other end, beginning about fifteen feet apart. One ball is set in the glove of first player in line, who begins to move towards the opposite group of players, while flipping the ball out of the glove to the approaching player from the opposite line. As most players have the glove on their left hand (right handed throwers), players should begin with catching and flipping balls on their glove side.
The first player in line from the other group catches the ball in their glove and does the same thing of flipping the ball from their glove to the next approaching player from the other line. After flipping the ball, players head to the back of the opposite line. The goal of the drill is to use only the glove to catch the ball and never letting the ball hit the ground. As the drill continues, the lines tend to get closer and closer, forcing players to get rid of balls quicker before the opposite player passes by them.
This challenging, fun drill takes time for young players to perform without misses, but that is the reason for the drill, to gain better control of the glove, as they learn how to catch a ball and for catching balls on the run. Of course, it also helps players practice flipping balls from the glove, without transferring to the throwing hand, which may come in handy in games occasionally. This drill also forces players to react to off target balls and to anticipate non-perfect throws.
This is also an easy drill to turn into a contest to see how many complete catches occur without missing one. Finally, for advanced players, the same drill works from the backhand side, when players work on catching and flipping balls on the backhand side of them.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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