Ground Ball Circle Drill

Softball Article By: Coach John Peter's Softball-tips.com Team

Purpose

This is an excellent ground ball reaction drill designed to quicken and soften hands of infielders and catchers. 

What's Needed

  • A group of 4-6 players with gloves (2-3 groups will occupy an entire team)
  • Balls
  • An area of flat ground such as left field

Time/Duration

10 minutes

How the Drill Works

Gather your group of players into a circle so that the distance throwing across the circle will be at least 20-30+ ft. depending on age and skill level. Players are to be at least 10+ feet apart to their left and right.

  • Player with the ball makes a sidearm ground ball throw to the front of any other player in the group (other than the player to their immediate left or right (that’s usually too close). 
  • Receiving player catches, covers and transfers the ball to their throwing hand. Using good footwork, player must be in a correct throwing position to throw a sidearm ground ball to another in the group.
  • Now, keep it going!

 

Repeat this fun drill regularly in your practices and watch an entire team of players get multiple opportunities to display correct ground ball skills, footwork and learn the soft hands needed to get to their next level!

 

Note! Balls are thrown sidearm and should go directly to the front of the receiving player; this is not a drill to work on range or diving left or right. Our Soft Hands Gloves are a perfect compliment to improving infielders hands!

 

Softball Coaching Tips

  • Coaches, keep an extra ball or two in your hands so that the drill does not have to stop to play chase… get to game speed ASAP! Now watch ‘em have fun!
  • Compete – Got a 2nd or even a 3rd group? Place them in safe distance, start ‘em all at the same time while players count out the totals after each catch…loser pays some consequence… keep it fun!
  • The circle can shrink as players move toward the center…make the circle bigger, not smaller.
  • Doing this drill correctly is much more important than the speed of the drill!
  • 5 Players is optimal but not mandatory.

 

Variations

  • Round #1 – 2 minutes at 1/2 speed. Lets work on perfect body mechanics
  • Round #2 – 2 minutes at 3/4 speed. Combine perfect mechanics & added quickness
  • Round #3 – 2-4 minutes at game speed
  • Compete - Count the successful catches out loud at game speed! Set and then break their own record (coaches, cheer them on).

 

Why this Drill Works

  • Think of the coaching time saved and lessons learned when you are able to watch a group of your players close up!