by Bob Dockendorf
Bob submitted: Spread the entire team across the entire outfield (25 feet in front of fence or so) and hit fly balls randomly to left, center, and right.
If a player drops or misplays a ball, he is eliminated and runs in to dugout. Play until there is a final 2 and then vary the difficulty of the hits to make them dive or cover more ground until the last man is standing.
I find that this drill really gets the kids juiced and simulates a little game pressure that can't be simulated through mundane fly ball drills.
Rick responded: Bob, thank you for submitting your drill.
The competition factor is always a good thing to pick up a practice. Players tend to focus better and work harder.
Great idea to use it for the whole team, rather than just the outfielders. Provides everyone some opportunities to work on a different area of the game.
Players benefit greatly from learning to play all the positions. You never know where you will end up and what your situation might be.
We have had an MLB player come and work out with us a few years back. He had been a sometime starter, utility kind of guy.
Over one winter he was traded, and when he came out in February with us, he had been teaching himself to become a catcher. Not an everyday catcher; but good enough to stick on the roster as a utility infielder, corner outfielder and emergency catcher.
Even at that level versatility becomes important.
The more versatile a player is, the more value he will carry forward to his next team and level, and the greater his opportunities to find a position on the team and in the lineup.
In 37 years I have never coached a team that didn't have anywhere from 1-3 players who were playing a position, which wasn't their personal strongest; but by their being able to play there, the team was ultimately stronger.
Thanks for sharing!
Yours in baseball,