Use This Fielding Drill to Build a Strong Foundation

Josh Gernatt
February 27, 2024
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When building a house, the first structural phase of the project is pouring the concrete foundation.  The foundation sits at the bottom, supporting the rest of the home.  The windows, trim, and those brick accents may look nice, but they would crumble to the ground without a solid foundation underneath them.  Much like a house, a baseball player’s foundation starts at the ground with their feet.  So much emphasis is put on upper body mechanics, but the best ballplayers and coaches know that every key move in baseball  begins with a solid base.  This solid base enables us to get in position to make the play.  A poor base makes it hard to make even the most routine plays on the infield.  

Here is a great, easy to teach drill that will have your players ready from the ground up to make plays.

The 1234 Hold

This is a great move to use at the beginning of your fielding practice.  You can do this in small groups or with your whole team.  There is no ball in play here, as we are focusing on the core moves to get into fielding position.  Set balls and/or cones about 8 feet apart.  For whole  teams, use a layout like this to keep everyone within listening distance but with enough room to move.

Step 1- Start players with their throwing side foot in front of their glove side foot.  Their weight should be on their back foot.

Step 2- Move the front foot into the proper base- feet should be slightly more than shoulder width apart, with the glove side foot slightly in front of the other.  This slight offset is important for an infielder because it enables them to have a strong step through after receiving the baseball moving towards their intended target. 

Step 3- Have your players drop their elbows to their thighs, pressing their butt back and keeping the back flat.  This position matters- butt back and back flat allows players to see the ball coming toward them with minimal head movement.  Keeping the head still will greatly improve field vision and help your players catch the ball more consistently.  

Step 4- Extend hands in front of their body, and get into good glove presentation near the ground.  Pay attention to the glove!  We don’t want a ramp for the ball to travel up.  The glove should be pointed toward the ground with a good extension of the wrist.

Simply call out the number and have them move!  As players progress, you can add timed holds, especially at position 3 and 4, to help your players build leg strength and see their feet, glove, and head positions.  Make it a competition and see who lasts the longest! Work this into your next practice and see how quickly your players pick it up!

To see this drill in action and our other training videos and pages, click here to see what it is all about!

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Josh Gernatt
Standout Coach

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