The short hop is one of the most difficult throws for a first baseman to catch, at a young age or in fact any age.
During practice I see most coaches hitting infield practice and the first baseman will have maybe five or six shorthops to make during practice from the other infielders.
This isn't enough practice for a young man to learn the art of the short hop.
Teaching Short Hop Reactions
What I do is have the first baseman, stand five or six feet in front of a fence, first baseline or third base line will do. I take a bucket of balls and then stand maybe seven yards away from him and throw to him one short hop after the other.
In the space of 10 minutes I can usually throw to him as many short hops as he would see during the entire season.
Adjusting the Drill
After the first one or two practices the drill is reduced to five or six minutes. You will be amazed as how this simple drill will transform your first baseman's prowess in catching a short hop.
He will gain confidence in his ability and the infielders will love him for digging out their poor throws.
Although I have enjoyed a very successful won-loss record I never use the word win with the kids. They are taught that their is always someone or someteam that is better than they are, but you can always be proud of yourself win or lose if you always do your best.
Coach Johnny has had several years of coaching youth baseball, kids under 10 yrs of age with the last 5 years having a won loss record of 76 and 3.