Softball Infielder Tips: Important Drills for Receiving the Ball

Practice these three drills to hone your fielding technique and make that big play when it matters.

To help reinforce good fielding position, coaches suggest three drills: the triangle drill, hat drill and paddle drill.

TRIANGLE DRILL

To start, draw a triangle in the dirt, which will act as a reminder that your feet go at the bottom two points of the triangle and your glove goes at the top. It is very important that your hands be in front of your body to make a play. You want a low base, which forces your hands out so that you can watch the softball all the way into the glove.

HAT DRILL

If you have a spare hat lying around, the hat drill can really help you at tracking the softball all the way into the glove. Flip your hat upside down, turn it away from you and put the brim in your mouth. This shields a little bit of your vision so you have to get your glove and hands out in front to be able to see the softball go all the way into your glove and secure it. If your hands are too close to your body, you won’t be able to track the ball, as your vision will be blocked by your hat. If you start losing track of the ball, you should realize your hands are not far enough out in front of you.

PADDLE DRILL

Take your glove off and use a soft hands training glove instead. With the paddle, you cannot close the glove around the softball. The paddle is stiff, flat and promotes two-handed fielding. As the ball arrives, stop it with the paddle, get your bare hand on the ball quickly to secure it, get your grip and get into position to make a throw.

These three drills are great reinforcements for good fielding position. If you do these, the muscle memory is developed, proper fielding position becomes natural, and you become better a defender.