Dueling Fungoes (ages 6-11)
A great drill involving competition, Dueling Fungoes is applicable to athletes of all ages and involves the entire team. Athletes are to compete against each other in two teams all the while maintaining proper fielding fundamentals. Dueling Fungoes can be done with two coaches competing along with their respective "teams" or with a single coach hitting ground balls to both lines of athletes.
The rules are very simple: Split the group into two even teams. One team lines up behind a cone, placed in between the pitcher's mound and first base. The other team lines up behind a cone placed in between the pitcher's mound and third base. A target net is placed just behind home plate, which will serve as the "basket." Coaches line up on either side of the catch net, or a single coach can pick a side, in position to hit ground balls to the athletes.
Make a throw into the catch net, earn a point! With each team lined up behind their respective cones, the first athlete steps forward and into the ready position. Coaches take turns hitting ground balls and checking fundamentals. Athletes are simply to field ground ball correctly, shuffle their feet, make an aggressive throw and then return to the end of the line. If the ball ends up in the net, that athlete's team earns a point - First team to reach a determined number is the victor.
Note: To challenge athletes, add rule that fielder must execute proper technique or throw will not count no point! Also, it is the responsibility of the coach to be loud and create energy this drill is fast-paced. Athletes love the chance to compete against one another and avoid doing push ups or picking up baseballs!
For more information, check out my book Coaching the Beginning Pitcher.
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