Baseball Toolbox

Resources for Baseball Coaches

Using the Paddle for Fielding Drills

This article is republished with permission. The original article appears at Dominate the Diamond

By Steve Nikorat

Our community had a couple of questions regarding the paddle and the training pads. So, I’m just going to walk you through a couple of easy drills that you can do with your players.

Remember the whole reason for the paddle, to make sure that we work on quick transfers. As infielders, we never want to just catch the ball with one hand. If the ball is between your feet or our shoulders, we want to use two hands and use our glove or use a paddle to stop the ball/ deflect the ball.

So here is the first easy drill you can do.

Line your players up about ten, fifteen feet from each other and just toss the ball back and forth focusing on getting that ball that is easy. Players should have hands up, thumbs up to the sky, work on deflecting it, not catching it. Again, anything outside our shoulders we’re going to use one hand, but for this drill right here we’re just going to work on deflecting it, two hands, get it that easy.

The next step to this drill would be to deflect it and then line up our feet with our target. So, we’re going to have our partner toss it, deflect it, and line my feet up with the target. Again, right here, deflect it, line my feet up with my target.

Another simple drill you can do, have your guys get down on both knees, about fifteen feet from each other, and just go through the pick series.

The pick series is already in the videos. Just have them use the paddle, push back through.

Again, eyes down, head down, looking back through we can push through the ball, or we can funnel it, bringing that ball back to center or directing it back to the middle of our body. Again, focusing on deflecting it off the palm.

You can use the paddle for more than just drills, have your guys go out into the infield, hit ’em routine ground balls, have them use the paddle. At first it’s going to feel like a ping pong paddle to ’em they’re going to be hitting the ball all over the place, but once they get used to timing it up then as that balls hitting the paddle their right hands going to be there to take it out. They’re going to get used to it, and your going to start to see them use two hands more efficiently.