4 Essential Infield Defense Drills to Keep Your Baseball Team Engaged

The ideal baseball drills keep your entire team active while working on fundamentals. Here are 4 infield defense drills to keep in your practice plan.
A baseball infielder approaches to field a ground ball.

The key to an effective and efficient baseball practice is eliminating downtime for your team. Here are 4 essential infield defense drills that keep your team active, engaged, and working on fundamentals. Keep these in your practice plan. 

Cutoff Relay

It’s a throwing relay race that players look forward to every practice. Divide your players into equal teams (4 to 5) with players at an equal distance apart (25 to 40 feet depending on age group). Place the first player in each group on the foul line. On your command, players throw down the line and back. 

It’s a fun game for the players but moreover an opportunity to practice the fundamentals of receiving a relay—giving a big target, moving toward the ball and getting it gloveside, then transitioning to a crow-hop, and sending it cleanly. If the ball is overthrown or misplayed, it must return to the throwing player before it can continue. Players rotate down the line after each round. A fun twist is to throw in a team of coaches and parents.

Partner Rolls

Pair players in two facing lines 10 feet apart with one ball. The players alternate rolling and receiving. The receiving player starts in a fielding position—feet spread and knees bent with glove on the ground and out in front. The first roll should be directly at the glove at a moderate pace. Then rolls should vary speeds and locations between front- and back-hand. 

4-Bag Tag

Place one player at each base and equally disperse the rest of your team in lines behind the base. The player at home begins the drill with a throw to third, who drops a quick tag on the inside of the bag and throws to second. The action continues around the bases with players trying to continually increase speed/intensity. 

The throwing player should to put the ball ‘on the runner’—low and at the inside edge of the base. This will lead the receiving player to an easy tag. After a player throws they will go to the back of the line at the base. Players should alternate between one-hand and two-hand tags. 

Infield Triangle

Place players in a triangle 30-40 feet apart (or at basepath depth, depending on age). There should be a second player behind each point. The player at the first point (‘home’) throws a groundball to the second point who fields the ball and throws to the ‘first baseman’ at the third point who throws back home. The player at home puts down a quick tag. Each player follows their throw to the next point, and the next player at each point steps in to keep the drill in continuous action. 

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