Partner Ground Ball Drill for Hand-Eye Coordination

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By: Eric Tyler

It is no mistake that the worst infielders are typically the tightest and most rigid. All great infielders have a loose rhythm about everything from their footwork, throwing mechanics and hand-eye coordination. 

They never seem rushed or caught off guard. As I work with infielders I constantly look for ways to improve this quality. It is often seen as an inherent skill instead of a learned skill. I beg to differ.

The infield position is more reaction and instinctive than it is a choreographed movement. Very rarely will an infielder field two hits that are the same pace, hop, or direction. 

So why train and work to field the standard ground-ball when it never comes? I strive to train infielders to improve their reaction and ability to adjust to different hops. The partner ground-ball drill does just that.

What Skills the Partner Groundball Drill Will Help Improve

  • Increased Hand-eye Coordination- This drill requires a high level of hand-eye coordination in order to field the ball cleanly and get in back out of your hands and onto the ground as quickly as possible.
  • Limited Space Needed- Confined to a small area to practice your defense? No worries all you need for this drill is a ball, partner and ~15 yards of space.
  • Improved Reaction Skills- With the small space and quick pace comes a need for quick decision making and reaction skills.
  • Improvising Skills- A great portion of playing infield includes being able to improvise on the fly. This drill forces players to react to the ground ball they were given and adjust accordingly. Whether different footwork to secure the ball or different arm angles to get it back, this drill requires variability.


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