Ozzie’s Infield Drills
Develop confidence and hand and eye coordination by controlling your environment. Take your feet out of the game and practice fielding balls on one knee while a coach hits balls at a short distance.
Ozzie: You know, I've always been trying to be as creative as I can possibly be in the drills that were going to enhance my hand and eye coordination. And one of the ways of doing it is taking your feet completely out of it, so that you don't get your feet and your legs and everything into it. So, I get down on one knee, have a coach hit the ball at a very short distance...
Man: I'll play a coach.
Ozzie: You're the coach today. But hit the ball from a very short distance and all I'm using is my hands.
Man: Okay, well let's look at it. You can explain it while I'm getting set here. Basically, you want to get a coach in a position that's not too far away. Again, you can control your environment, stay fairly close, and veer it right here. And you just hit the ground ball...
Ozzie: Just gotta hit the ball, hit the ball sharply. But as you see here, all I'm doing is I'm using my hands, really, really developing the hand and eye coordination. And trusting my hands.
Ozzie: Trust my hands.
Man: Let me try to get it a little better. There it is.
Ozzie: Here it's just developing hand and eye coordination.
Man: So, what's this do, Oz?
Ozzie: This sharpens your hand and eye coordination and it builds confidence, confidence in your glove hand.
Man: So, if you're doing this with younger kids, use a tennis ball, maybe?
Ozzie: Use a tennis or a rubber ball, and that way you don't tear down their confidence.
Man: What I'm seeing, too, is that you're getting that action that you talked about earlier...
Ozzie: That's right.
Man: Flipping that up.
Ozzie: There you go. And it's developing the fundamentals that we talked about, those little things that are always going to make you a little bit better as a fielder. And that drill right there really enforces, or reinforces, the idea of going toward that ball.