Infield Drills


Josh Ackerman fields a ball at third base in 2012

• Ready position (100% circle)- draw a circle in the dirt, walk behind the circle before the pitch and as the pitch is being thrown they walk into the circle and are in their ready position before its hit. Step out and re-do the process every pitch.
-Want your feet to be squared
-Be on your inside cleats
• Corner infielders want to be lower then middle infielders because middle infielders have to have more range.
• Getting to the ball (V-technique)- V-cut instead of banana route. Always keep the ball on your glove hand side. When v-cutting its right foot then left foot. The only time you get in front of the baseball is right before you’re going to catch it.
Drill for this ^ is draw the circle as pitch is being thrown they step into the circle with their ready position, you place a ball off to their right and that will be the ball they V-cut off of and as they V cut you roll them another ball with right foot then left and they field and throw to 1st base. You use the first ball for them to cut off of (or around).
Catching the ball– keep the feet squared and equal to your shoulders. The more you bend your knees the more your glove will be out front. And you want your back flat. Always try to field the ball off to your left eye side and with your throwing hand over the top of the glove to make sure if the ball pops up it will snatch it back into the glove.
Chest to the baseball– when fielding the ball take your chest through the ball to where you’re trying to throw too.
Block step– when throwing to first (or whatever base your trying to throw too) once you field the ball you step through with your right foot first and then your left. An infielder is always right foot first then left foot in everything they do. When fielding you take your hands to the chest (chest to the ball) because then it’s a continuous motion in your throwing motion.
Drill for this ^ slow grounder to have them fielding with step right left in the circle, v-cut, fielding the ball bringing the chest to the ball and while fielding they step with their right foot first and then left foot as they move to their target. Bring the right foot across and threw first and then left foot throw.

Key Ground Balls:

• 5 key ground balls (or 5 different angles)
1. Footwork ball– ball hit to the throwing hand side. Working on v-cut and getting the ball to the left eye (hand) side. Before hitting balls you can just place a ball a couple feet to the fielders right hand side, they do their complete circle ready position (right then left) then they v-cut to get around the ball (right then left foot) and field the ball bring the ball to the chest and throwing to first.
-You can put all your right-handed players at shortstop for this drill
2. Glove side angle– ball hit or ball still on the glove side. Field the ball outside your knee just with your glove (not both hands). Place a ball on the glove side of the player, to start they do their 100% ready circle and then their first motion to the ball its chopping their feet and then its right left and field. When hitting the ball to them they chop their feet and as the ball gets close they then do their right left step and field the ball outside their glove hand knee.
-Stay behind this ball
3. Glove side retreat– ball you have to go back on. Open up with your glove side foot (left foot) retreat and then when fielding the bad hop of the ball you still can go right left throw. Drill for this is having them open up and retreat and then throw a bad hop with them fielding the hop with right left throw to first. You want to field the bad hop on your left foot because then you go right into your right left throw without wasting extra steps.
4. Backhand side– backhand ball is any ball hit to our throwing arm side. There are 4 types of back hands:
a. Ball you can get behind and get in a good fielding position
-Roll a ball about 2-4 feet to the right (throwing hand side) to work on right foot and left foot fielding the ball in front (chest up).
b. Running back hand
-Take a sharp angle to the ball. Drill for this is place two balls about 2-3 apart from each other about 4-5 feet to the throwing hand side. The player will then take a sharp angle between the two balls (split the middle of the two balls) and working on back handing the first ball with right foot then left foot taking your chest to the ball and pulling the glove through. You want to field the ball out in front (or even with front foot) instead of back behind your front foot. When fielding to throwing you’re still bringing your right foot thru first and then left foot.
c. True back hand
-Ball that is hit to hard to get behind
-Place a ball to the throw side about 5 feet away even with the fielder. The fielder will then take a flat angle straight to the ball back handing the ball with his feet at a 45 degree angle towards first (or the base he is throwing too). When backhanding you want to get the thumb underneath the ball and then through the ball. Pull the glove thru the baseball
d. Running V-Cut
-This is a ball that is a medium hit ball to our throwing hand side
-Place a ball (or hit a ball) in front and away from the throwing hand side (about 3-5 feet). Want to work on “turning the corner” to get on the third base side and run towards the ball with our feet and body angled towards first.
-Getting around the baseball so we’re lined up with first. We want to run through the ball (kind of field it like an outfielder does off to the side) and we want to keep running towards first as we throw. DO NOT STOP YOUR FEET.
-Aim your throw high and left and throw off your left foot
5. Slow Roller– this is similar to the running V-cut. Field the ball on your left foot with your right foot staying further back. So as you field it your on your left foot and you can go right left throw like you’re suppose too. Fielding the ball outside or right over the top of your left foot.
-Drill for this ^ just place a ball about 6 feet in front of them working on running thru the ball while fielding the ball on their left foot and when fielding bringing their right foot thru and then throwing off their left foot. You want to throw the ball to first high and to the left
-Also can hit slow rollers to them too for this

• Position fundamental time in practice
Slow roller drill– players just throwing about 45 feet to save their arms. Just like the slow roller mechanics above. Coach rolls a ball or hits a slow roller to a player as he runs thru the ball fielding on his left foot and on his outside of his foot. Stepping through with his right and throwing off his left.
Short hop drills– coach on his knees throwing the ball like an option in football (don’t throw over the top the ball will just hop right up to them and wont challenge the player).
1. Two hands short hop- (checking for good fielding position) coach down on one knee about 5-6 feet away just option throwing the ball creating a short hop and players field it. Make sure the player’s feet are lined up correctly and they have their hands out and are bent over correctly.
2. Two hand, two step release same thing you did in the two hands short up drill above but adding the throwing component to it also. Make sure the players are bringing their right foot thru first and throwing off their left foot. Have someone catch the ball about 45 feet away. Remember to take CHEST TO THE BASEBALL.
3. One-handed short hops- same as the two hands short hop but just fielding short hops with the glove. When doing this you want to snatch your glove and forearm to the sky so the ball doesn’t pop out.
4. One hand, two-step release– same as drill #2 except with just one hand. Make sure players are stepping through with right foot and throwing off the left.
5. Glove side short hop– ball outside the glove side knee. Turn body towards first for the drill (45 degree angle) open towards first. You can use this for tag drills, when a ball bounces in to second or throw to tag a runner.
6. Glove side, two-step release- ^ same as above drill just now throwing. Make sure were pulling right foot thru first and then throwing off left foot
7. Backhand short hops- 45-degree angle with body (just like glove side drills but opposite so its back hand). Snatch the glove thru the ball and take the thumb under the ball. Keep your eyes low to the ground.
8. Backhand, two step release- same positioning of the body and their feet (45-degree angle). Same as backhand short hops but now throwing to 1st. Remember right foot thru first and throwing off left foot.
9. Bail Out- ball taking a tough hop right at the end. You want to snatch the ball right as you field it and step through and throw to 1st. Players lined straight up with you and you toss the ball (in between hop) as you toss the ball to them they step to you (towards the ball) and as they field its step thru w/ right and throw off the left foot.
10. No Panic drill- toss a short hop and the player misses the ball out front and work on bare handing the ball and throwing to first just like they would in a game if they make an error (kick a ground ball). Can use this with fungo too
11. Pick drill- throw a mini pop fly so the ball lands right in front of the fielder and he picks the ball as it bounces on the ground. One handed drill just snatching the ball with glove hand. You can do this front side, back hand, and glove side as it bounces and pick it off the ground.
Diving drill- working on knocking the ball down and getting up fast (under control) and throwing the runner out. Fielder on his knees (not on his feet) toss a ball on ground or in the air (mix it up) defender falls on his chest on the ground and working on getting up fast and throwing the runner out at first. Go both back hand and glove side with this drill.
Knee drill- just using the glove with one hand. Line up all the players in a line across (each player about 3-4 feet apart) all players on their knees and just hit ground balls to them nice and easy working on fielding the ball with just their glove (not both hands). Go down the line player by player and then you can mix it up and so they don’t know who’s getting the ball hit to them. You can work on in front ground balls, backhand and glove side ground balls on this.
Hot shots drill- use two hats to create a boundary (hats about 10 feet apart of each other). They have to stay inside the hats (balls hit inside the hats). Works on diving for balls, backhand, forehand, etc. If player makes error he turns his hat eventually when a persons hat goes all the way through (4 times) they’re out of the drill. Rotate after each ground ball (only take 1 in a row). This is an up-tempo drill.
Easy balls drill- basically just hitting balls to work on all the different mechanics not hit very hard just working on the footwork and mechanics throwing to first. Right at them, glove side balls, backhands, one handed and two handed fielding, etc.
Fungo drill- coach hits fungos about 20-30 feet away on his knee and players just work on mechanics depending on where the ball is hit and throwing to first. The coach hits off his knee so he isn’t chopping the ball into the ground. Work on straight up grounders, different kind of backhands, forehand side, etc.
One hand fungo- fielding the ball with just one hand, with the coach hitting the fungos creating some balls with a little bit of bad hops in them.
Walk up drill– player walks towards the coach right before he hits the fungo (let the player walk about 5 feet before hitting). This drill helps players who sit back on balls.
Follow thru drill- just works on when fielding your going towards the bag you want to throw the ball too.
Soft toss or tee fungo- set up a tee or soft toss drill at home plate letting a player work hitting and this gives players (defense) a live like situation while working with a hitter while he hits soft toss or tee. Soft toss is the best way to do this. Place defenders at all positions in the infield. They get live like ground balls (the hitter uses his own bat).