Quickness isn't just about baserunning, it's also a vital part of good defensive play.
Here's a fun drill for building quick hands and feet in your players, as well as help your squad make accurate throws during a game.
What the Machine Gun Drill Does
This is an adaptation of an old basketball drill called, " machine gun passing."
We put pitchers, catchers, and all position players through this drill. It can be run during preseason indoors ( in Minnesota we spend a good share of our early season inside ) or during the season outdoors.
Setting Up the Drill
Equipment Needed : Two baseballs and eight players with gloves.
Drill Set Up: Put seven players in a straight line approximately 3-4 feet apart with the player at the far right holding a baseball.
Put one player facing the line of seven, approximately 15 feet away from the center player in the line of seven. The player facing the line of seven also has a baseball.
Running the Drill
Coach will say, "Go." Player 1 throws his ball to player 3. At the same time player 2 throws his ball to player 1.
As soon as player 3 catches the ball he throws it back to player 1. As soon as player 1 catches the ball from player 2 he throws it to player 4, and so on down the line.
Player 1 works his way down the line to player 8 and then back up the line to player 2. At this point player 1 flips his ball to player 3, player 2 replaces player 1 ( player 1 then goes to the end of the line ) and everyone rotates up one spot and the drill starts over again.
How the Drill Helps Players
We believe this is an excellent drill for developing quick hands and quick feet. It forces the players to catch the ball with two hands.
If he catches it with one hand he can't get rid of it in time before the next ball is coming at him. It also teaches our players the importance of stepping at your target because you have to shift your feet in a different direction before throwing to the next person in line.
A player who is lax or sloppy with his glove or feet is easily spotted in this drill.Find a Baseball league or clinic to improve your game.
Rod Schwarz is the head baseball coach at Winona High School in Minnesota.