Wednesday Web Gems
Think It, Reenact It – The Thinking Man’s Defensive Baseball Drill
Good baseball coaches teach players to think ahead – before every pitched ball, players ask two questions, ‘Where do I go with the ball, if it’s hit to me?” and “What are my responsibilities, if the ball goes elsewhere?” Players have at least one option on every pitched ball and more than one option when runners are on base before the pitched ball.
These questions become ingrained in good ball players thought processes, as must the answers to those two questions. Of course, the answers take experience to learn, as does the ability to adjust to the various options as plays unfold. Much of that experience comes from game situation practice. Players must be able to “think” baseball along with executing the defensive plays.
Defensive Baseball Drill Part 1
Part 1 – With defensive players at each position and before setting base runners on base or hitting the ball, coaches announce the game situation and where the ball is hit. This gives players a few second to think of what they are to do. The coach then yells now – at that time, players move to where they believe they should go for the announced play.
In this manner, players have to think of what their responsibilities are in their head, by just “thinking” baseball, because there is no baseball hit and runners are invisible. Coaches watch to be sure players go to the right spots and coach accordingly. For example, the coach announces that there is a runner on first base and that the ball goes to the left center field fence. Players move to where they believe they should be.
Defensive Baseball Drill – Part 2
Now, coaches use runners and reenact the exact same play, with runners and with hitting a baseball to the location described in part 1. Once again, coaches coach accordingly and see if players move to the right spots and make the right decisions “on the fly,” with real action.
In no time, coaches will begin to see players thinking smarter baseball, which is the objective of the defensive baseball drill.