Baseball Drills: Infield : Bucket of Balls with Runners

Drill: Bucket of Balls with Runners

Purpose:
The addition of runners to the bucket drill will help simulate real game situations for both the defense and the baserunners.

Equipment:
Infield area with bases and a bucket or bag of balls and helmets for the runners.

Setup:
All infield positions are used except for the pitcher.

Execution:
This is a team drill where you'll split your team into two groups. One group will play defense and one group will run the bases. Start with a player at each position, except second base and pitcher. Empty the balls near home plate and count them before the drill starts or keep track of errors. Place the bucket in foul territory next to 3rd base. Have runners at home, 1st base, and 3rd.

  • Start the drill by hitting a ground ball to the shortstop and have him throw to 1st. Runner at home and 1st will run on contact. Runner at 3rd will hold until the ball is thrown to 1st and then will break for home. 1st baseman will then throw to the catcher who will attempt to tag the runner going home. The runner who started at 1st will always attempt to make it to 3rd base. Catcher will throw it to 3rd and the 3rd baseman will attempt a tag on the runner and then put the ball in the bucket.
  • Keep track of any errors that occur or don't place the ball in the bucket. The goal is to make it through the drill without any errors.
  • If you have two players at each position you can have two teams and compete between the teams.
Coaching Notes:
  • Like all the drills this can be adjusted for the level of the team and what you'd like to work on. For example if you are rotating players with a younger team you may have the ground balls go to the second baseman so the initial throw is shorter.
  • Make sure your baserunners are helping the drill by not leaving too early. You want to simulate game type of situations and you can't do that if the runner from home is leaving before contact. One way to prevent this is to have the runner at home turn his back and run when he hears the ball being hit.
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