Defensive Team Conditioning Drill

Defensive drills often leave a good portion of the team standing around. Here's a drill ideal for improving your squad's overall defensive play, as well as keeping everybody engaged and having fun.

Purpose of the Drill

This is an excellent drill to start your defensive practice that uses every player on the team to warm up fielding and throwing. I usually start this drill with four balls allowing for four overthrows.

What to Focus On

As we are trying to field the ball correctly we are also emphasizing accurate throws.

If the fourth ball is overthrown, the entire team will take a lap around the field (jogging) and the drill will start over.

I've had great success with this drill narrowing the number of balls down to two.

How the Drill Works

Setup a player at first base with a second player as a backup. Setup a catcher at home.

All other players are at third base with one player playing third base and everyone else in line outside the foul line.

Coach is at home plate with the four balls and a bat. The drill break down this way:

  • Coach hits grounder to third baseman who fields the ball
  • She makes an accurate throw
  • Follows her throw and becomes backup at first base
  • Player playing first base after catching ball makes accurate throw home to catcher
  • Then player at first base follows her throw to become catcher
  • Catcher tosses ball to coach
  • Catcher than goes to end of line at third base, who hits to next player in line at third base

Station to Station

After entire team completes fielding and throwing rotation have the players go through this circuit:

  • Move to third base
  • Move to shortstop
  • Then to second base
  • Then back to third base and run bunt defense, with a player at second base moving to first base for the catch

In other words on the bunt defense you now have the first base backup playing second base and first base, as well as third base are charging the bunt.

Finishing Up

To wrap things up, after the play have:

  • The first base player comes home to be catcher
  • Second base becomes first base
  • Third baseman moves to second base and catcher gets in line at third base

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Vickie O'Brien is a softball enthusiast and coach, as well as an admissions specialist for Georgia Southern University.

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