On of the hardest things to teach a young ball player is NOT back peddle for the ball that is hit over his head. Just like most I have tried many different drills with thrown balls, batted balls etc. Only the best of the best would seem to grasp the concept.
Try this drill to help improve your fielders' ability to make this difficult play--it sure did work for some of my players.
How the Drill Works
Bring a frisbee to your next practice. (Hint: Have a few of your better atheletes try it first to show the rest how to do it properly.) Stand 15-20 feet away from a ballplayer (no glove required) in a baseball ready position facing you.
Throw the frisbee past the player in a manner so it will "float" a bit. You can throw it directly over the head or to the left or right of the player.
You want to teach them to turn their hips and run at an angle without extending their arms until they are in a position to catch the frisbee.
If the frisbee is to the player's right, they should turn their hips by making the first move with their left foot. If the frisbee is to the players left they should turn by starting with the right foot. Have the players try to catch the frisbee with their golve hand.
This is fun way to escape some of the redundant drills that they are used to and also teach them a new skill or improve on what they already know.
John Baughman is a youth baseball manager for the past 6 years at All-Star and Travel level.