Purpose:

Teaches the fielder to use two hands when receiving the ground ball.

Setup:

Players line up approximately 15 feet apart from each other on the infield. Players get on their knees. They have a paddle on their glove hand.

Players roll the ball back and forth.

Instructions:

  • Players take turns rolling a tennis ball to each other.
  • The person receiving the ball catches it with two hands.

Coaching Tips:

  • Players should receive the ball out front with the bare hand coming down on the paddle hand.
  • To increase difficulty, throw short hops instead of rolling the ball.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Encourage them to keep their eyes on the ball throughout the drill, enhancing their focus and improving hand-eye coordination.
  • Teach them the proper positioning of the paddle hand – it should be flat and stable, ready to receive the ball.
  • Emphasize the importance of soft hands when catching the ball, which means absorbing the impact gently to prevent the ball from bouncing off.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Introduce variations in the speed and direction of the roll or throw, helping them adapt to different types of ground balls they might encounter in a game.
  • Encourage them to work on their wrist flexibility and strength, allowing for quicker and more secure catches, especially on tough short hops.
  • Practice transitioning from the catch to a standing position quickly and efficiently, simulating real game situations where rapid response is essential.