Thursday, October 06, 2005

Working with the Lead Arm

Lead Arm Infield

Objective: To promote lead arm extension while practicing different defensive situations.

Offense: Outfielder and Catchers

Defense: Infielders

Procedure: Outfielders and catchers will be at the plate. The coach will flip soft toss to the offense having them swing with just their lead arm. The hitter, after making contact, will run out the play like a regular batted ball. With regular game-like intensity, the defense will field the ball and try and record the out at 1st base. To start, the infield should be positioned at a shallow depth. When the offense is familiar with lead arm hitting, have the defense move back to normal depth. If the batted ball reaches the outfield, the hitter will stay at 1st base and become a regular base runner. When a runner reaches 1st base the defense should concentrate on turning a double play. As the offensive players get more familiar with the drill, they can practice increased bat control by putting the ball either to the right or left side of the infield. Infielders can also adjust the drill to work on backhands, slow rollers, or diving to field balls out of reach. Catchers and pitchers could be added also to work on a wide variety of defensive situations like plays at the plate or 1-2-3 double plays.

Application: Lead Arm Infield is a good drill to use when trying to break up the regular routine of practice. Also, it allows the coach an opportunity to see which players are getting maximum lead-arm extension. This team drill can be incorporated into a pre-game warm-up for infielders since space can be adjusted for different settings. This drill is effective indoors to simulate game- like situations without needing the space of an entire field.

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