Teaching Proper Fielding Position and All of the Steps Leading Up to it…Baseball Drills

Explanation of the Drill:

The “make a triangle” drill is a great drill for beginners, all the way the way up through college baseball players. It is rather simple, and no matter what the age or skill level of the athlete, they should all be able to do this drill correctly!

You need to make sure:

The setup of the drill is done carefully

You have an extra set of eyes to act as the “onlooker” to be able to help look for incorrect positioning/feet/other within the drill

To set it up:

You will need baseballs, infielders, and onlookers

You will then take 3 of your baseballs and make a triangle shape, with each of the baseballs representing 1 corner of the triangle.  Those 3 baseballs are the visual model for the kids to understand where their feet (right and left) and glove will be placed…On the ground!


You need to make sure that the top of the triangle is off-center, just a tad to the glove side of the fielder.  In proper fielding mechanics and technique, the glove always slightly favors the glove side in proper fielding position.  The glove side foot/baseball within the triangle should also be a tad closer towards the center baseball.  Glove foot is always a tad further in front than the throwing side foot.  This lends itself to the starter step to get our body moving towards our throw (another drill altogether).

The other 2 points should be shoulder-width apart (or slightly more than that) of the player who is doing the drill.  Athletically wide, but with limits.

Make sure that the ball at the top of the triangle is far enough from the other 2 that the player will not be able to simply bend at the waist (which is the wrong technique) to get his glove all the way out to it.  If the hands are further ahead than the player’s head and chin area, you know that you have the ball far enough away.  Working it backwards is the easiest way for this to be taught.

We will work this drill in steps:

1 – Proper fielding position

2 – The approach to our triangle

3 – The Gather Step

4 – Pre-Pitch Movement

This is a progression style drill.  One piece to another piece and so on.  We teach each piece individually like we are putting pieces of the puzzle together until it is complete

1:  Proper Fielding Position

This is where we will begin the drill progression series. The infielder will simply put his toes right behind the 2 baseballs at the bottom of the triangle.  His glove should rest (on the ground) just behind the center baseball at the top of the triangle.  Please make sure that the player is not locking out his arms.  We need slightly bent elbows (athletic).

We do not want a rounded back here.  We want the player to get it as flat as possible, or parallel with the floor.  The chest should be over the knees.  Head should be down and you should not see eyes, they should be looking down at the glove/ball.  Please do this at least 5-6 times to create muscle memory and comfort for the player.

2: – The Approach to Our Triangle

This will be the footwork necessary to begin moving to the ball. Usually this is best if we start with the right foot, and then the left.  Just 2 little steps towards the plate as the ball is being pitched.  This is the correct step method, and also feels most comfortable in terms of having what we call “rhythm” in fielding a ground ball.  Lastly, once we land on the ball of our left foot, we should already have our hands out in front of us, and the glove touching or nearly touching the ground.  We are ready now to go in either direction…right or left.

3 – The Gather Step – I feel that this is a little advanced for smaller youth

As anything that we do in life, it is a good idea to “gather” ourselves and “ready” ourselves for what we are about to do.  As a fielder, this simply becomes taking a rather large step back from the fielding position from the first part of this series.  Then you have them get their right foot right to where that right ball is within the triangle, followed immediately by the left foot.

With the left foot on its way down, the glove hand and also the throwing hand get into their position at the top of the triangle as well.  They now have their triangle.

Part 4 – Pre-Pitch movement

Fielder is usually standing upright and paying attention as the pitcher is doing his thing before taking the mound/rubber.

The fielder is usually standing upright, and paying attention to all of his surroundings while the pitcher is doing his thing before officially taking the mound/rubber. 

As the left foot comes down on its side of the triangle (ball of the foot), the player take a subtle little hop to be in ready mode (being ready to jolt to the right or jolt to the left.


-Coach Corey Twigg

Gator fielding

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