Baseball Drills | Infield Momentum Drill
Baseball is a sport that includes streaks, slumps and where momentum drives a player or a team to be optimistic and build confidence. Momentum is the force or speed forward an object travels. Baseball players can experience momentum negatively or positively depending upon their focus, work ethic, and self confidence. There are major league baseball teams that have been in the position to make the playoffs and experience a slump or a lack of momentum to complete the task. There are other teams that have been in a slump and worked harder to positively create momentum. The success of an infielder depends upon the momentum to charge the ball, using the legs, core, and upper body to throw the ball with speed and accuracy. Infielders must build momentum through their feet to first base. There are a lot of infielder’s who misplay the ball or stay back on the ball when the ball is hit slow. They do not have any momentum through the ball to first. Every infielder must learn to build momentum to first on every throw unless they are fielding a ball in the hole that does not allow this.
Infielder | Momentum to First
Great infielders are a necessity for any baseball team’s defense to be successful. Fielding cleanly and throwing accurately can mean the difference in the game. Infielders must build momentum to first base for an accurate throw. Standing on back legs or moving away from first base will make it more difficult to throw accurately. Baseball players who can maintain balance and body control have a better chance of hitting their target, but this requires an abundance of balance and core strength. All athletes should work to be fundamental and work to build momentum to first. An infielder must master the fundamentals of control, speed, and positioning of the arm and glove. Not only does an infielder have to get to the ball in a hurry, but he also must field the ball cleanly and stay in control remaining balanced to secure the ball in his glove to throw the baseball to 1st base. The shuffle to throw requires great footwork and the ability to keep the arms and hands in position during the shuffle with the front shoulder directed to the throw letting the body’s momentum drive through to complete an accurate throw.
How to Set Up the Two Cones Infielding Drill
There are 2 cones that should be placed just to the right of the infielder’s starting position if they were facing home plate. The second cone should be about a yard and a half to two yards away from the first and at a 45° angle to the right of the first cone. The infielder should start by facing home plate and getting in the baseball athletic position a yard or two to the left of the cone closest to him.
The coach or trainer should throw the baseball to the cone or to the right of the cone if facing the outfield. This will teach the infielder to move around the two cones and field the ball already moving towards first base. It takes all the thinking out of being an infielder. Simply round the cones and field the ground ball. Repetitions will make this a natural motion for all athletes.
Infielders must stay low, get around the cones, drop their butt, and have their glove hand out front to field the baseball. Do not straighten legs and bend over so the glove can reach the ground because this will cause the infielder to be out of position in case of a bad hop. When an infielder drops his butt, then he will be able to put his glove on the ground in a good fielding position for any ground ball that comes his way. Proper fielding technique is important when on the move. The triangle position is the name often used for the baseball player’s ready position. In this position, the feet are underneath the body, knees are bent and player is on the balls of his feet. This makes the infielder closer to the ground and better able to come up with the ball. If an infielder does not start in this position it opens up a greater possibility of the ball going under the glove or between the legs. Infielders should also stay relaxed and maintain soft hands.
Infielder Positioning | Side Note
Infielders must be close enough to home plate to field a basic ground ball to the right or left and still have enough time to throw out a runner at first base. An infielders arm strength is a determining factor when deciding how deep to play. Infielders must position depending on the speed of the batter and upon whether or not he needs to cover a base for a force out, steal attempt, or double play if there are any runners on base. If a fast baserunner is up to bat infielders on the left side of the field should move in to get to the ball quicker and have time to throw the runner out.
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