Fielding Ground Ball Progression
for Players 5-8 years
by al and AL
First, please recognize you are working with young players just starting out, with wide variety of different attitudes, motivation, experience and skill level.
Second, you must build safety and organization into every part of your practice.
Third, remember players improve the most when they are active trying out what you want them to learn.
Fourth, be patient with each player and be positive with them every chance you get.
Fifth, find a creative way to break down the skill so each player on your team finds success.
Finally, and most importantly, they need to have fun. Your job is to help each and every player on your team develop a passion for the game
the skill of
Ground Ball – “Ready Position”
Have the players stand side by side on the edge of the infield grass arms distance apart and introduce the basic infield stance. Legs wide, bum sticking out, hands out front and low, head up, eyes on the ball. We call this ready position “alligator” because we want players to take a low stance with
two hands out front in an alligator type position.
Ground Ball Practice – Fun Repetitions
Organize your team into
four lines of
three players. Mark a spot on the infield dirt at each of the 4 infield positions. Have a coach or parent helper stand
five to six
steps out in
in each line
to get ready
to field the
As the players gain more confidence during the year, organize the drill with the coaches at each station back at a position closer to game distance.
As a coach, your goal should be to provide each player with 40-50 ground ball chances in the 10-15 minutes that you have set aside in each practice. Using this approach it is easy to accomplish this objective
of 10 practices, you have provided each player 400-500 repetitions on this very important & challenging skill.
course you will
need to mix in
practice but we
give all players
using the above
This progression was developed by Al Herback and Al Price; Authors and Instructors of the Little League Education Program for Managers & Coaches. Fielding ground balls along with other skills, drills, fun activities along with tips on how to plan a practice can be found in the “Getting Started” Training Series. This series includes a manual for coaches, instructional booklets for players & a new Getting Started DVD. Please go to
www.alandalbaseball.com for more information on the program & to order your own set of Training Materials.