Get Your Throws Down
When attempting to retire a runner heading to a base, it is very important to get the through down in the "tag range". This is and ofter overlooked minor subtlety of the game. How often have you seen a ball thrown up high where the receiving fielder has to reach up to catch the ball, then come down to make the tag. On a close play this is often the difference between an out and a run.
A way to practice this drill is to simply throw to the bases. (BORING!). Of course, we have to add a twist to make it fun for the kids! Here is what we did tonight:
- 3B strattling the bag slightly offset to receive the throw from home plate .
- SS on second slightly offset to receive the throw from 3B.
- 2B backing up second
- 1B on the bag strattling to mimic a "pickoff tag"
- Catcher in standard catching position
Drill in Action
Here is the path to throw:
- I throw to the catcher (could have been practicing a pitcher too now that I think about it).
- Catcher fires to 3B trying to throw at knees, 3B makes "V Tag"
- 3B throws to SS at the knees covering 2nd (I know this is backwards, but I don’t care we are rotating anyway) SS makes "V Tag" 2B backs up
- SS throws to 1B at the knees who makes a "V-Tag"
- 1B throws to catcher at the knees who makes "2-Hand Tag"
- Catcher throws to SS’s knees covering 2nd who makes a "V-Tag"
- SS flips back to 2B backing up
- 2B makes a throw home trying to "take my head off" mimicking a throw that can be cut off or let through. (Always keep your throws down!)
- Everyone moves up a base sliding at home, 3B, 2B and running though 1B
This started out shaky, but by the time we were done, the throws were great and the outs were plenty!
Do you have a drill you use to practice throwing to the bases? I would love to hear about it.