I coach at a middle school and I’m unable to get to the field exactly when the players are ready so they do these every day to start. These drills work great for handwork, glove work, footwork, technique, and conditioning.
Warm Up Plan
Two players lead the stretching, normal types of stretches. Next they start on one knee and are about 10 yards apart. They throw about 10 each from this position.
Next they take 5 big steps back and stand for the next 10 throws each. They continue this one more time before they take the big 15 steps back for a nice easy 5 “long toss” each. This is our warm up.
Fielding Footwork Drill/Conditioning
Groups of 3, one in the middle and one on each side facing the player in the middle. They only need about 5 feet in between them.
The player on one side will roll a ball to the player in the middle and he/she reacts to it (concentrating on extending their gloves and staying low).
The player catches the ball using the correct techniques and underhands it back to the throwing player. The player on the other side does the same thing causing the middle player to move quickly and react to a ball that may not be exactly where they’d expect it.
The three players continue this drill until the middle player has done 20 to each player, this is a very fast paced drill.
VARIATION: Another way to do this drill or another variation would be for the middle player to shuffle back and forth in front of two other players still rolling the ball forward and the player using the proper technique and tossing it back to the throwing player.
These drills allow players to see other players closely and help correct any errors in their work. Also, make it a competition, two teams against each other or even a tournament! Great stuff!