Southwestern Youth Association Sports

SYA Little League Softball Fielding Drills

Fielding Drills


Grounders Position players in two lines: one line at midpoint between 1B and 2B and one line between 2B and 3B. Two coaches hit balls from opposite sides of home plate. One player shags balls for each coach. Hit three balls to first fielder who throws to shagger. After third grounder, fielder moves to shagger (running around other coach/hitter) and shagger moves to the end of the opposite fielding line. Mix in line drives and pop ups as drill progresses.
Fly Balls Position players in two lines in outfield about 30 feet apart. Put one player in relay position and one player as shagger. Hit fly balls between first two players in line and have them call for the ball while the other backs up the play. Player in right line moves to the end of the left line; player in left line moves to relay position. Player in relay position moves to shagger; shagger moves to the end of the right line.
Lateral Movement #1 Place six balls in a row, each ball 10 to 15 feet apart. Put 3 to 5 players in defensive positions in a line between balls 3 and 4. The players use a cross-over step to first ball on the right, return to starting position, pause, then use cross-over step to the first ball on the left. They continue in this manner until all balls have been covered. Bring in new group of players and repeat drill as long as necessary.
Lateral Movement #2 Position 6 to 8 tossers (with a ball each) in a row with each tosser 10 to 15 feet apart. Position a receiver up to 50 feet in front of tosser 1; tosser 1 throws a grounder to receiver who throws the ball back to tosser 1 and gets back into defensive position. Tosser 2 throws a ground ball to the receiver’s right who moves laterally to field the ball and throws back to tosser 2. After last tosser, receiver reverses direction and then takes the last tosser’s position. Tosser 1 becomes the receiver. Vary by throwing line drives and soft flies.
Lateral Movement #3 Have players pair up. One player assumes fielding position about ten feet from wall. Partner stands behind player and throws ball against wall so that player must move laterally to catch the ball. Tosser should work the player from side to side for two or three minutes. Rotate positions and continue through several rotations.
Lateral Pick Up Players pair up with each standing about 6 to 10 feet apart. Tosser rolls ball about 5 to 6 feet to the right of the fielder who moves laterally to field the ball and throw it underhand back to the tosser. Tosser then rolls the ball 5 to 6 feet to the fielder’s left and continues in this manner for 5 to 10 repetitions before players exchange positions. Be sure fielder follows underhand toss before getting back into fielding position.
Weave Drill Players line up in left field. Tosser 1 stands between 2B and 3B, tosser 2 behind pitcher’s rubber, tosser 3 between 1B and 2B. Tosser 1 has ball bucket and throws short fly to 1st player who catches the ball running in and throws it back to tosser 1. Player then runs toward CF and catches a fly over her shoulder from tosser 1. Player throws ball to tosser 2, runs in for short fly, returns ball to tosser 2 and then runs toward RF for long fly, throws the ball to tosser 3 and repeats sequence with tosser 3. 2nd player starts drill as soon as 1st player makes throw to tosser 2. When all players are in RF, repeat the drill in the opposite direction.
Line Drive Two or more coaches stand against one wall; players line up at one end of the room along opposite wall. First player runs laterally along wall; 1st coach throws a ball she has to stretch for. Player stops quickly, pivots, and throws back to coach then moves laterally to receive throw from next coach. Players form new line at the other end of the room. Reverse direction after all players have moved to opposite end.
Fungo Hitting/
Position one player 60 feet in front of player/hitter; position shagger to the right of the hitter (or left, if left-handed hitter). Form as many groups of three as desired; have some groups hitting grounders in the infield and others hitting flies in the outfield. Have hitter hit 10 grounders or 10 flies to the fielder, then rotate — fielder becomes shagger, shagger becomes hitter, hitter becomes fielder.
Charging Drill Players form lines of 3 or more facing a tosser who is 50 to 70 feet away. Tosser throws a grounder so the player must charge to the midpoint to field the ball before throwing it to the tosser and going to the end of the line. Outfielders can be positioned 90 feet from tosser and perform the drill in the same manner. For outfielders, emphasize dropping to one knee on routine grounders to ensure the ball does not get past her.
Fly Ball Pass #1 Players pair up standing side by side. The receiver runs out about 15 feet and the tosser leads her with a fly ball so that she has to catch the ball over her left shoulder. After quickly getting set and throwing the ball back to the tosser, the receiver runs back to the starting position. Continue with 4 more throws that increase the distance by 15 feet each time. Switch positions. Then switch again to perform the drill with throws over the receiver’s right shoulder.
Fly Ball Pass #2 Players with one ball each form a line of 3 or more next to a tosser. The first player hands her ball to the tosser and runs out to catch a ball over her left shoulder. After the catch, the receiver sprints back to the end of the line. After 5 or more repetitions, switch to throwing the ball over the right shoulder.
Double Relay Put 3 players in a line, evenly spaced, 50 feet apart. Player on one end turns her back to the others, rolls her ball out in front, runs it down, and turns to throw to the player in the middle who relays the throw (turning to the glove side) to the player on the other end. Player receiving the ball turns her back and repeats the drill. After 6 throws, the player in the middle rotates with a player on an end. Drill continues until each player has been in the middle a specified number of times.
Fence Drill Drill has as many tossers as the side fence or wall area allows. Players form up in groups of two or more. Player stands 20 feet from the fence or wall and the tosser throws a pop up close to the fence/wall. Player locates fence/wall using outstretched arm, then comes back to catch the ball. Players rotate after 5 catches each. Be sure players switch directions so they have to find the fence from both the glove hand side and throwing hand side.
Outfielder Jurisdictions
Put fielders in defensive positions and have two tossers throw fly balls and pop ups between them. Fielder going back should normally go for the ball until called off by a fielder coming in. Fielder going back should only call for the ball when she is certain of the catch. On balls hit between the outfielders, the center fielder is in charge. On balls hit between the shortstop and second baseman, the shortstop is in charge. Pitcher yields to all infielders.
Fly Ball Over the Head Players form a line about 15 feet in front and to the right or left of the coach. First player in line steps out to face the coach who throws a ball over her head and to one side. Player must take a drop step and run to the ball. Be sure the player runs with her glove down and put emphasis on running to the spot instead of drifting to the ball. The player should be in a position to throw the ball once the catch is made.

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