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Thread: Teaching to NOT field the in-between hop

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xraf View Post
    Here is a video that I found interesting... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZXkJ2Jv660
    It's Oregon State's Marty Lees working with the infielders. It's just a sample of what goes on in their program but there are some good points to be picked out if you watch closely. I'm sure this isn't new to you Cannonball but for others who are reading this thread might benefit. The footwork comment made me think about this video, especially just after the 5 minute mark in the video.
    Great video, and this is a great thread. I think a lot of youth teams neglect drilling proper footwork in fielding, and getting players to transition smoothly from fielding to throwing. I worked a lot with my team on getting their momentum going toward first as they are fielding the ball, with a right/left throw. I was amazed at how quickly some of the boys picked it up.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xraf View Post
    Here is a video that I found interesting... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZXkJ2Jv660
    It's Oregon State's Marty Lees working with the infielders. It's just a sample of what goes on in their program but there are some good points to be picked out if you watch closely. I'm sure this isn't new to you Cannonball but for others who are reading this thread might benefit. The footwork comment made me think about this video, especially just after the 5 minute mark in the video.
    xraf, I thought that I posted this earlier and must not have hit the post a reply button. I loved watching that work. It reminded me a lot of what we did in practice with coaches coaching and several stations going at once. The attention to detail is neat to see. Thanks for posting!
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pthawaii View Post
    I started to teach my son about the in-between hop and how he should aim for the short-hop, or fielding it right before it hits the ground. I discovered that he actually sets himself up to get the in-between hop (or so it seems). He seems to try to field everything at the peak of the hop. I suspect he's been doing this for awhile now.

    So I want to teach him how to move forward and take it on the short-hop or at the very least, stay away from the in-between hop. How do I do this? If anyone can give me some ideas, I'd appreciate it.

    Thanks.
    I haven't read through this thread but I will say this, having played shortstop/pitcher up til high school, before switching to center field/pitcher, this is an instinctual skill and it comes from taking grounder after grounder.

    Not sure what infield position he plays, but an experienced infielder will read several things in a short amount of time, and simply let instinct take over.

    "An act of skill is one in which a man does more things at once than there is time to think about it." - John Ciardi (From, The Life That Ruth Built)

    They will know the surface of the infield. They will read the velocity, angle, and projected bounce pattern of the ground ball. They will read the speed of the runner and how much time is required to throw him out.

    All of this information is known and processed in an instant. Sometimes it means the fielder takes an extra risk, as in making a barehanded attempt if the velocity and/or bounce pattern of the grounder changes, and the speed of the runner requires a gamble. Might pay off, might not. Teaching a youth though, I would get him to understand these things. If it means having runners simulate from home to first while he take "choppers" so be it. Might be the key that unlocks the door forever.

    There is a definite window between the short and long hop that any fielder would prefer stay out of. The in-between. That split second read is crucial. Sometimes the factors I mentioned earlier, require an unorthodox chance of an in-between, but for the most part, you are safe in either staying back, or coming in. Coming in and scooping the short hop is not a bad option, as the glove is already coming up into throwing position, and the ball has had less time to change direction.

    Try hitting him semi-choppers and making a game out of. Better yet, what we've done, is have the infielder take short hops with the first baseman who practice digging. Against a backstop, throw them short hops to they get the feel, backhand and forehand. Then, when they're comfortable with that, mix in some in-between and watch them struggle. The switch will click in their head, that they must make a decision upon reading that trajectory. Either come in, or sit back.
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    They do both but I would say for the most part they pick. You will see more of a funnel feel on routine plays but remember they are throwing the ball 90 across the field. IMO, funneling and playing through are 2 different things.
    Right, funnel for routine plays. Sure, pick on the difficult ones.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by omg View Post
    Right, funnel for routine plays. Sure, pick on the difficult ones.
    I do want to add that for the guys who play for me, they all pick. On every play. Like I said, MLB guys are throwing it 90 across the field and they are not normally faced with a runner busting his A** down the line. Non MLB guys normally do not throw that hard across the field and runners are running hard. I tell my guys to just get the ball in the air.

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    I do want to add that for the guys who play for me, they all pick. On every play. Like I said, MLB guys are throwing it 90 across the field and they are not normally faced with a runner busting his A** down the line. Non MLB guys normally do not throw that hard across the field and runners are running hard. I tell my guys to just get the ball in the air.
    Right, there are 2 ways to do it. Whatever works. I don't agree, though, that funneling breaks the flow to the throw. If anything, it helps the fielder to gather, get their grip, get their feet under them, and make a strong accurate throw. Talking about a routine ball. Different philosophies.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    I do want to add that for the guys who play for me, they all pick. On every play. Like I said, MLB guys are throwing it 90 across the field and they are not normally faced with a runner busting his A** down the line. Non MLB guys normally do not throw that hard across the field and runners are running hard. I tell my guys to just get the ball in the air.
    HYP,
    This is a very important difference between HS and MLB. Great point.
    To some degree, even more important now in HS--as compared to two years ago--with grounders coming off the BBCOR bats somewhat slower.
    To Keep It Simple, my coaching mantra is: Field the ball aggressively on the short hop.
    Obviously, that doesn't cover all situations.
    It's fun to watch the progression from frosh to JV to V as the infielders adapt to the decreasing time window.
    For that reason, I spend considerably more time drilling my guys on slow-hit balls--slow rollers, slow bounding balls up the middle--than I do on hard-hit ones.
    Our HSV coach (good guy; good coach) takes the opposite approach. He likes to challenge infielders with hotshots. Similar to the coach in "Dodgeball", throwing wrenches.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMWdnkSMPGM
    Last edited by skipper5; 12-11-2012 at 08:51 AM.
    Skip

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    On every play. Like I said, MLB guys are throwing it 90 across the field and they are not normally faced with a runner busting his A** down the line. Non MLB guys normally do not throw that hard across the field and runners are running hard. I tell my guys to just get the ball in the air.
    I'm not sure about this one either. MLB guys have to preserve their arms for 162 games. Cal Ripken is a perfect example-he put just enough on the ball to get the runner out. Eckstein and Zimmerman, too. Talking about a routine ball. They have learned the art of NOT throwing with maximum velocity.

    HS guys tend to throw TOO hard, in my view. Sometimes trying to impress people. Mostly because they don't know any better. Bad footwork, too.

  9. #34
    Hyp, a couple questions:

    1. Do you teach your kids to "round" the ball? If yes, how do you teach it.
    2. In your counting hops drill, WHEN do the kids yell the hop that they will field the ball?

    Thanks. Good stuff.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatBusted View Post
    Hyp, a couple questions:

    1. Do you teach your kids to "round" the ball? If yes, how do you teach it.
    2. In your counting hops drill, WHEN do the kids yell the hop that they will field the ball?

    Thanks. Good stuff.
    1) I do teach "rounding" but I just say "set it up on the left". Rounding gives the impression that I am coming around the ball. I want them to put it on their left and then move through it. It is hard to explain but what we do is just step behind with the left foot behind the right foot. Like a Karaoke step. This will turn your body slightly side ways as well. That is your read step and then you go to the ball. This is for routine plays.

    2) When they first start, they will probably yell it out as soon as they field it. The idea is to yell it out as close to the ball leaving the bat as possible. The idea is, as they yell out the number of the hop they believe they will field the ball on, forces them to set it up. For instance, a player may think 2 but really should have been 3. They are forced to charge and get it on 2. Vice a versa, they may think 3 but realize they could have got there on 2 but they have to keep the feet moving and maintain their rhythm and field it on the 3rd hop. At some point they will be able to call out the correct hop all the time and early. This helps them with learning how to "play the ball" versus the "ball playing them".

    Hope that makes sense.

  11. #36
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    Great stuff in this thread guys, I've cut and pasted it to my Word file of tips. My son isn't quite there yet with a lot of the advice, but it'll be good stuff to keep in mind as he develops and get's older.

    I figured I'd try something new. I see lots of people post swings, but not much defensively. So here he is taking a few grounders. I figure probably lots wrong, but I'm interested in what you think is MOST wrong, or maybe better worded, the FIRST thing you would want to work on if he wanted to try to improve over the winter break (for people that know me, I don't like to work on too many things at once, so one or two things for winter would be enough) Thanks!


  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pthawaii View Post
    Great stuff in this thread guys, I've cut and pasted it to my Word file of tips. My son isn't quite there yet with a lot of the advice, but it'll be good stuff to keep in mind as he develops and get's older.

    I figured I'd try something new. I see lots of people post swings, but not much defensively. So here he is taking a few grounders. I figure probably lots wrong, but I'm interested in what you think is MOST wrong, or maybe better worded, the FIRST thing you would want to work on if he wanted to try to improve over the winter break (for people that know me, I don't like to work on too many things at once, so one or two things for winter would be enough) Thanks!

    Rough field but it will make him better.

    Here is a fielding progression for EDD (every day drills). We start everyday this way.

    1) No glove on both knees. Just roll grounders at him. Have him field ball out front and take it up to his right ear.

    2) Stand up and do the same thing. No step through to throw. Just field like on knees and take the ball up to his right ear. Have him get use to shifting weight from right leg to left leg as he fields. Not a big transfer. Kind of like a rocking from right to left.

    3) Now, move to a step through. Same as drill 2 but as he fields he steps in front with his right foot and gets to a strong throwing position. So, he rocks from right to left as he fields. Right foot continues through in front of left and "pushes" his hands to his right ear. Hands move up to right ear and right foot replaces the hands.

    4) Do the same thing as #3 but take your hat off. Turn it over and place the bill of your hat in your mouth. This forces the player to look out and field the ball out in front.

    5) put glove on and get back on your knees. Partner is about 4 to 5 feet away on knees and throws low short hops. Just have him working on picks out front. As he picks, it is a small wrist move and he rolls his glove over and up to the ear as he fields. Push through the ball and roll the glove over and up to his right ear. You also do this at a 45 to forehand and then to backhand.

    6) Stand up and repeat #5 with the transfer of weight from right to left.

    7) same as #6 but with the step through added in.


    Probably tough to follow but if you have questions please ask.

  13. #38
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    I think I get it. With #3, would you let him step forward with his left foot and it ends there? If I'm reading it correctly, he might have trouble stopping after right foot replace hands and hands to right ear.

    Quote Originally Posted by HYP View Post
    Rough field but it will make him better.

    Here is a fielding progression for EDD (every day drills). We start everyday this way.

    1) No glove on both knees. Just roll grounders at him. Have him field ball out front and take it up to his right ear.

    2) Stand up and do the same thing. No step through to throw. Just field like on knees and take the ball up to his right ear. Have him get use to shifting weight from right leg to left leg as he fields. Not a big transfer. Kind of like a rocking from right to left.

    3) Now, move to a step through. Same as drill 2 but as he fields he steps in front with his right foot and gets to a strong throwing position. So, he rocks from right to left as he fields. Right foot continues through in front of left and "pushes" his hands to his right ear. Hands move up to right ear and right foot replaces the hands.

    4) Do the same thing as #3 but take your hat off. Turn it over and place the bill of your hat in your mouth. This forces the player to look out and field the ball out in front.

    5) put glove on and get back on your knees. Partner is about 4 to 5 feet away on knees and throws low short hops. Just have him working on picks out front. As he picks, it is a small wrist move and he rolls his glove over and up to the ear as he fields. Push through the ball and roll the glove over and up to his right ear. You also do this at a 45 to forehand and then to backhand.

    6) Stand up and repeat #5 with the transfer of weight from right to left.

    7) same as #6 but with the step through added in.


    Probably tough to follow but if you have questions please ask.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pthawaii View Post
    I think I get it. With #3, would you let him step forward with his left foot and it ends there? If I'm reading it correctly, he might have trouble stopping after right foot replace hands and hands to right ear.
    Yes, he should end up in a strong throwing position. FYI, one thing I notice a lot with young players is they stand up after fielding. I always just explain it to them like they are a pyramid and it can't grow. So the head doesn't raise up.

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