Improve Your Fielding Range With the "Walking the Dog" Drill
Want to improve your fielding technique and attack the ball? Try performing fielding drills while attached to a resistance band. (See The Many Benefits of Resistance Band Training.)
One of the problems I see with younger or inexperienced infielders is their reluctance to attack the ball. They are forced take in-between hops because they allow the ball to dictate their movements, reducing their range and increasing the likelihood of an error (Check out STACK Performance Series 32: Skillful Fielding With Ryan Roberts.)
This habit stems from being taught to funnel everything toward their body instead of working through the ball. To break the habit, infielders should be aggressive and take big hops to set themselves up to field the ball. You will get into position faster and be ready to react to unsuspected bounces.
To reinforce this technique, perform this resisted fielding drill, called Walking the Dog. The goal is to teach the lower body to explode from the ready stance, which is essential for reacting to and attacking a ground ball.
Walking the Dog Drill
You need three partners to perform this drill:
- Partner 1 - Rolls ground balls
- Partner 2 - Receives the throw
- Partner 3 - Holds the resistance band
- Place a resistance band around your waist and face partner 1
- Have partner 1 roll ball
- Attack the ground ball.
- Partner 3 holds back on the resistance band at the start and eases off as you speed up
- Get into position for the grounder and field the ball in front of your body
- Throw to partner 2 positioned at first or second base
- Make sure to transfer your weight from your left to your right foot and move your body to the target