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Viewing 1 - 8 of 8 posts
  • DougBernier

    Member
    January 11, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    I like to start on my knees (so 100% focus is on glove).  Barehand with tennis ball.  I like starting with tennis ball because it puts emphasis on relaxed glove hand when fielding.  If hand is too stiff, the tennis ball will ricochet out of the hand.  Partner throw short hops with infielder using 1 hand, fingers down and working through ball.  Next, do backhand (barehand w/ tennis ball).  focus on catching ball between the thumb and pointer finger, have glove elbow facing ball.  Biggest backhand issue is glove not open to ball and glove working around body.  Open hand to ball and work through and along the path of the groundball.  Next, go to forehand.  This should be the easiest, get eyes down and work through ball.  Partners should not flip ball to infielders until glove hand is on the ground.  We need to get used to working underneath and through the ball.  

    Next progression is on feet with glove.  Work routine, backhand, and forehand again.  Same emphasis, work under and through ball.  

    From here I like to add basic footwork.  Balance on the right foot, and place left foot just before the ball hits the glove.  If left foot gets down too early, the body stiffens up along with the glove, if left foot gets down too late, you lack balance and are fielding on one foot.  Have kids understand the importance of left foot timing along with placement.  Left foot behind right foot (for right handed throwers) allows for more glove adjustability and if you are on the toe of the left foot, you are in a good position after you secure the ground ball to explode into a good throwing position.  

    Emphasize glove open to ball showing maximum surface area and present glove early to ball.  Have the glove beat the ball to a spot rather than meet the ball at a spot.  

    This is a basic infield progression I do with my young infielders and something I would do 6 days a week during the off-seasons by myself.  I would use a bounce back net and throw a baseball.  It is nice to have a partner to get better, but there are plenty of things you can do by yourself to improve your fielding. 

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 4, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    I’m reading “Practice Perfect” right now, its really good.  I just finished “Shaken” by Tim Tebow, I really liked that too. 

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 8, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Awesome!!! 8 years old is a fun age for baseball development.  

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 8, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I always look to see if hitters are looking at the pitcher with both eyes.  When I am throwing batting practice this is one thing I always look for and sticks out with a surprisingly high number of hitters.  When I was hitting, I would look at the pitcher, close my lead eye and make sure I had a good look with my back eye.  Depth perception is effected greatly if one eye is focused on the pitcher.  

    Have you ever tried to catch a ball with one eye open, its very difficult.  Get both eyes locked in on the pitcher, this is a small fix, but can be beneficial very quickly.     

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 8, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    That is outstanding

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 4, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    I totally agree with both of you.  Just to add on…. When you are constantly chasing the latest swing fad, there comes a point where you stop competing in the box and begin thinking mechanically during an at bat.  Once you start thinking mechanically during the game, you have no chance.  Compete, battle, and use your athleticism in the box.  

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 1, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Welcome David.  Let us know if you have any specific questions.  

  • DougBernier

    Member
    December 1, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Hey Greg, welcome. 15 is a great age to work with.  At that age, body control and focus are improving rapidly.  I’ve seen a lot of quick improvement with kids around that age.  

Viewing 1 - 8 of 8 posts