Having a tough time getting your young players to field ground balls cleanly? Here is a simple drill, that requires nothing more than a rubber band and a ball, to reinforce the need to field a ball with two hands and boost your squad's defensive play.
It's All in the Catchphrase
As a tee-ball coach working with beginners we do our best to come up with catch phrases or anything that will help them remember how it feels to do it right. One of the ways I have found that helps the youngsters in remembering to field the ball with two hands is simply with two rubber bands.
How the Drill Works
Simply tie the rubber bands together forming a "figure eight" and put them around both wrists; you can have several sets of these so you can do this drill quicker. Each player takes 5-10 grounders, and as they field each ball, they obviously can not throw so you have them move their feet and body into a throwing position.
Benefits of the Rubber Band Drill
The rubber bands help make them keep their hands together by the resistance of the rubber bands. This will help in getting them to use both hands together to feild the ball.
After you have done this, take the rubber bands off, and have them do the drill again. This time, have the kids make their throw. It is amazing how well this drill works.
Another benefit of the two-hands drill is helping younger kids who can't quite "squeeze" the glove yet, or have a new glove not yet broken that makes it difficult to keep the ball from "popping out."
Note: Obviously you must be careful to properly supervise young kids with the potential for horseplay with rubber bands.