This drill is from Marty Schupak's newest t-ball book:
T-Ball Drills: For Ages 4-7
Available January 1st, 2020
Stop The Ball Goalie Fielding Drill
Teaching players to move their feet on ground balls.
Cones and a bucket of balls and gloves.
This is a drill kids love. Parents and coaches can use this drill in a team practice situation or at one’s home. It is so important that young kids even as young as tee ballers learn the concept of trying to keep the ball in front of them. This combined with the concept of moving their feet will become beneficial habits once they get older.
- Two cones are set up 10 to 15 feet apart depending on the age and ability of the players.
- One player will stand between the two cones.
- Coaches should have a player backing up. Either the player that just went or the players that is going next.
- The coach will throw ground balls between the cones, and the player will try to stop the ball with his glove. The object it to keep the ball in front of him. This is similar to a hockey goalie stopping a puck.
- Coaches can use a time limit or a predetermined number of balls.
- For t-ballers it is encouraged to use bigger balls at first.
It is important to adjust the width of the cones by age and/or ability. Coaches should toss the ball on the ground without a regular pattern so the players will not anticipate which side he is throwing the ball. Coaches should also allow the player to get somewhat set between each toss. We want players to move their feet toward the ball instead of just reaching for it. A great concept to teach young players is that many times successful fielding plays are made without catching the ball cleanly. Keeping the ball in front of them gives them almost as good a chance of making the play as catching it cleanly. Coaches can set this up as a competition which kids love giving one point for each stop. For older players this drill is a dual purpose drill combining the stopping of the ball with general conditioning. Doing this drill for an expanded period of time making the space of the cones wide can be very taxing physically for older players.
Teaching players why it is important to move their feet toward the ball instead of just reaching for it. Also we are conditioning young players that stopping a moving ball can be just as effective as catching it.
More tips are at: www.TBallAmerica.com