T-Ball Drill: Circle Fielding Drill
A big role in catching a flying baseball scientifically is something called ‘binocular vision’ which some scientists think is not fully developed until age 7 or 8 in most kids. T-Ball coaches should recognize this and may be try alternate drills in practice to catching a fly like just having the player’s glove make contact with the ball.
Now the T-Ball Drill of the day:
Circle Fielding Drill
Learn how to catch ground balls
You need anywhere from 2 to 4 soft covered balls you can you also use balls larger in size than the baseball size
The circle drill is a fun drill that we use with older kids with their gloves however in t-ball it is recommended to do this drill without gloves at first. Not using gloves will motivate younger
t-baller’s to catch the ball with their hands and upon feeling the ball into their hands to squeeze it. I recommend the no glove theory as long as the balls used are safe. It is an excellent precursor to using gloves.
1. If your team has 12 players make a circle or form a circle about arm’s length apart.
2. To start the coach should take the position in the circle and when he says “go” the coach will throw a ground ball to another player in the circle
3. Upon either catching the ball or just stopping the ball whoever that the ball was thrown to will pick it up and throw it to another person in the circle
4. A player can throw to anyone in the circle but never to anyone right next to him on either side.
5. The coach will count the number of balls that players field cleanly.
6. The goal for all the players is to catch the ball cleanly. However the coach should emphasize that stopping the ball can be just as good an option.
A challenge in this drill is to use two baseballs. Coaches can subdivide the players into two smaller circles. One of the advantages of having to multiple circles is that you can divide the players by ability and adjust the circle size the same way. Coaches can challenge the circle giving one point for just stopping the ball and two points if they catch it cleanly. Once the players are doing well playing this game without gloves, coaches can then have the players get their gloves. Coaches should make it a point that players have to throw overhand. Spreading the players out enough in the circle will help but not guarantee uncertainty about who will catch the ball if it goes in between two players.
In games like the circle game t-ballers are learning to follow instructions and learning to keep their heads down when catching grounders.
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