To help players learn to stop a ground ball and keep the ball in front of them.
- Create a “goal” with two cones spaced out about 10 feet apart (can increase of decrease size of goal based on player ability).
- One player serves as “goalie” and stands between the cones with a glove on.
- One player stands behind the goalie serving as backup.
- Coach stands in front of goalie with bucket of balls.
- Coach throws grounders toward the goal.
- Goalie must stop the ball with their glove before it gets behind them, just like a hockey goalie sweeps away the puck.
- Goalie gets a point for every ball that is stopped.
- Each goalie should try to stop 3 balls before moving to the back of the line, at which point the backup becomes new goalie.
- This drill teaches players to STOP a ball and keep it in front of them. Many balls are hit too hard to catch, but this drill helps players realize that stopping the ball and keeping it front of them are a second best option.
- Make it easier: Move the cones closer to create a smaller goal. Throw only forehand ground balls to start. Then only backhands. Then mix it up.
- Make it harder: Move the cones farther apart to test the fielder’s range. Throw ground balls that force the fielder to make a diving play.