Saturday, December 3, 2011

How Youth Pitching Machines Can Improve Your Skills As a First Baseman

By Lincoln Hawk As a first baseman, you have the possibility to be involved in every defensive play. This means that you will need to be skilled in multiple areas. To help you develop your all around defensive game, youth pitching machines can be used to help you go through drills and improve your defensive prowess. Here are a few different drills you can use to get better playing first base. Shots Down the Line Playing first base, you will see many balls hit sharply down the first base line. It's your job to get to those balls. Here's a way to improve your quickness and corral more of those balls for outs. Begin by setting up youth pitching machines at home plate to fire line drives down the line. Assume your standard defensive position at first, about 8 - 12 feet off the line. As the machine fires balls down the line, work to keep as many as you can from getting to the outfield. Even if you can't retrieve it and make the play, if you can at least knock it down and keep it in the infield, you are probably saving an extra-base hit. Applying a Tag at First When playing first base, you are going to have opportunities to try and pick off base runners at first. It's important to practice catching the ball from the pitcher and quickly applying a tag on the runner who will presumably be sliding back to first. Youth pitching machines can help you practice apply that tag. Set up the machine on the pitcher's mound so that it faces first base. Maintain a stance at first that will provide a target for the "pitcher". Practice receiving throws from the machine and applying the tag on the runner. You can adjust the throwing angle to help simulate the potential for errant throws from the pitcher. Chasing Foul Balls As a first baseman, you are going to have to try to catch foul balls where obstacles in foul territory can make that difficult. Using youth pitching machines, adjust the settings to throw pop ups into foul territory. Try to maintain your focus as you chase these balls down to make the play. You may have to deal with avoiding dugouts, fencing or tarp, but when you can make an out without the batter leaving the batter's box, your team has a much better chance of winning. For more information on where to find youth pitching machines, check out Article Source: Article Source:

1 comment:

Coach Knox said...

As a former first baseman in high school i can vouch for the versatility involved with the position. without strong fundamentals and a hunger for strong defense this position can challenge you to the highest degree. pitching machines played a strong part in developing my game. we would set them up to throw us grounders and pop flys under various game situations to test and develop our skills. hope this helps someone else out. thanks.