Letting a ground ball go through his legs is arguably the most embarrassing thing an infielder can do. Even the best fielders commit errors occasionally, so there is always room for improvement. And one of the best ways to get fielders lower to the ground is to practice two-knee fielding drills. (See also Improve your Fielding Range.)
Dropping to two knees to field a ground ball gets your eyes closer to ground level and makes it easier to read the hops and watch the ball into your glove. It also trains your body to get closer to the ground and experience a lower center of gravity. When you take your lower body out of the equation, you don’t have to worry about bending at the waist instead of at the knees, and you can break down the process of fielding a ground ball into segments. (See how to Practice Fielding Indoors.)
Two-knee fielding doesn’t have to be practiced every day, but doing it a few times a week can solidify your fielding mechanics. These drills can be done independently, but they work best when done in progression. Do two sets of 10 reps each.
Start on your knees 10 feet directly in front of a partner or coach. Sink your butt as close to the ground as possible while keeping your back flat and your glove out. Your partner rolls a ball directly at you. Your job is to field it with your glove while keeping your eyes as close to the ball (and your glove) as possible.
Similar to the Roll Out, but instead of a rolled ball, your partner tosses a short hop a few feet in front of your extended glove. (Try these 5 Short Hop Drills.)
Now see if you can handle live balls, ideally hit by a partner who can control the bat and hit short fungos from about 20 to 25 feet away. If bat control is not in your partner’s repertoire, throwing ground balls to each other is a good substitute. The objectives remain the same as the two previous drills with the added element of reaction.
- Use your glove hand while your throwing hand is behind your back
- Field the ground ball like you would during a game
- Try fielding barehanded