Fence Drill to Improve Ground Ball Defense

Nothing eats up eager infielders like a nasty ground ball. Here is a drill to help young fielders approach the ball with confidence--and provide consistent defense to their team.

What the Drill Does

This drill is designed to quicken reaction time to grounders and line drives using lateral movement. We've been doing the following for several years with our summer 12-year-old traveling squad.

What You'll Need

A fence that can withstandsome baseballs; a fungo hitter; a couple of fielders.

How the Drill Works

WhatAt the end of each practice the entire team competes in a contest to see which player can keep the most out of ten balls from hitting a chain link fence at his back.

The fungo hitter stands only thirty-five or so feet from the fielder. The fielder has 20 feet of fence to cover. The fence is 6 feet tall.

We hit to the left and the right, up and down. The pace between fungos quickens.

Keeping Score

A clean catch is not necessary to score. The player need only keep the ball from hitting the fence to his rear. By the end of the summer, players need from between 8 to 10 out of ten to win.

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Bob McEwen played collegiate baseball for Florida State University and coaches under-12 baseball in the state of Florida.

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