Short Hop, Up Hop, Baseball Drill
Every program has short hop drills that they do almost everyday (or at least they should). The drill we use for the short hop and the up hop though, includes a little different technique with the legs. We find the best way to gain the depth that we want with the eyes and chest, is to spread the legs out to almost a splits position and do our short hops and up hops from there.
By spreading the feet this far apart it forces the chest down and the hands out. It gives us the proper fielding position with the upper half of our body.
You will not field a routine ground ball like this, it’s only for the purpose of the drill.We want the legs locked out and as far apart as possible.
This builds the leg strength we want for infielders to be able to get in the correct fielding position when we start to field routine ground balls. You’re players are going to hate this drill at first because it’s tough on the legs. After awhile though, they will start to get used to it and you will see the positive depth results carry over into routine ground balls.
Another important point that I talk about in choosing the correct hop is that we always want the fielder to come through the short hop with the hands, while keeping the chest and eyes down. Start with just the glove hand, then go to two hands. You can see it in the video below.
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I would recommend doing this drill every single day. Not only will it teach the fielder the correct hand motion for each hop, but it will dramatically increase the strength of the fielders legs and ensure that the fielder has the correct depth that we strive for. This is a great drill for super young kids all the way up to college players. You really only need to do it for five minutes a day to see dramatic results.
*As always, please feel free to comment with questions or general observations. Let me know what’s working/not working for you and your players.