There are only two times when the fence comes into play, it either goes deep enough, or wide enough. Having players that can calmly and coolly venture into foul territory to get that extra out is a huge bonus for your defense, but oftentimes leaving the field of play will have your players distracted and wary of the fence along the edge of the field, missing what would be an easy catch anywhere else.
There is one simple trick, and once your players know it, it’s just about getting in enough reps that they become comfortable – and this is the perfect drill for just that!
Foul Fly Ball Drill
I believe it’s a good idea through the various stages of youth softball to encourage players to try out for and keep developing skills for other positions – you don’t want to lock a 10 year old into being a right outfielder their whole life!
That’s why for this drill your going to make sure all your players get practice on both 3rd and 1st bases. The techniques are similar, but simply the inverse of the other. Once the ball is hit up into foul territory, the infielder will stay under the ball, keeping their eyes on it and their glove hand raised. As they get closer to the fence, have them extend the arm closest to the fence out so that they can feel it and know where they are in relation – using your hands as your eyes, like when you bumble around the house in the middle of the night feeling the walls.
Your right handed players will most likely find it slightly easier on the 3rd base than 1st, as they can stretch out with their off hand, keeping their glove raised the entire time. On 1st, they’ll need to reach out with their glove hand, touch the fence with it, and then pull it back up and off to make the catch.
That’s it for today. If your looking for some more great tips for your infield, make sure to click the link! And don’t forget to leave comments or questions below!