Indoor baseball drills can be great for working skills that are sometimes overlooked when you’re practicing outdoors. While the hardwood or artificial surface of a gym floor might not be the best for reading ground balls, it can be a great environment to work on footwork and fielding techniques. One position that can greatly benefit from indoor fielding drills is the pitcher.
Pitcher fielding practice, or “PFP,” can be sometimes overlooked when training for the upcoming season. After all, the main objective in pitching is to make batters miss, not defend hits. But fielding still remains an important part of the position. One of the key skills that can be worked on through indoor pitcher fielding practice is covering first base. Champion Youth Baseball Coach Branndon Pezzelle has some insight on how to properly run this quick and simple drill.
To start this pitcher fielding drill, you’ll need a pitcher, a first baseman and a coach to bat or toss a ground ball.
The pitcher should mimic a pitch by going through their motion, coming to an athletic position once they’ve simulated their follow-through.
Next, the coach will bat or roll a ground ball toward the first baseman, forcing him away from the bag and requiring the pitcher to cover the base. Pezzelle says that at this point, the pitcher should attack the baseline in a vertical fashion, running to cover the base.
“He’s going to get vertical because he wants to stay out of the baserunner’s way,” Pezzelle says. “By getting vertical, he’s keeping his eye on the first baseman, taking the catch and moving on through, so we’re not getting tangled up at first base.”
BONUS PRO TIP: Make sure to touch the base with your right foot. Touching with this foot can help keep your legs moving in a proper running motion without getting too crossed up in the process.
Mastering this fielding drill can be a great way to enhance your playing profile as a pitcher. Practicing your fielding can help keep your opponents off the base paths and off the scoreboard. Give this pitching drill a try and boost your ball game this baseball season.