Updated: Jan 30
The number one way to teach baseball fielders how to make diving plays is the dive throw drill. By utilizing the dive throw drill you can increase your outfielder’s and infielder’s range exponentially, allowing them to make highlight reel plays on fly balls and ground balls along with the routine ones. Throughout the video I’m going to show you how to perform the dive throw drill with just your bare hands and then with a glove.
Be sure to watch the video because I compete in a Dive throw challenge where if I fail I have to do the cinnamon challenge.
To perform the dive throw drill, place two balls in the direction you want the player to dive. There are 4 directions that each player should practice diving: forwards, lateral to the left, lateral to the right, and backwards away from the hitter. The player starts with the ball in their glove facing the direction of where the “imaginary hitter: would be in a game. When the coach says go the player drops down all the way down onto the ground, quickly pops back up to their feet, and immediately makes a strong accurate throw to a target. This drill is fantastic if done as a race between multiple players to see who can dive, get up, and hit the target the quickest.
If you are performing the dive throw drill with bare hands, place the ball on the ground in the direction you want to dive. Face the direction of the “imaginary hitter” and when the coach says go drop down, grab the ball with your GLOVE hand, pop up, transfer the ball to your throwing hand, and make a strong accurate throw to the target.
There are 5 key teaching points and key execution points to consider when performing the dive throw drill:
1. Always throw to a target! If you're not throwing to a target with gamelike purpose you're not going to be able to make diving plays with a quick accurate throws in a game.
2. Practice diving for balls in every direction. In baseball we cannot predict where the ball will be hit so being able to dive forwards, lateral to our right lateral, lateral to our left, and backwards ( a drop step and then an over the shoulder dive) is really important.
3. Always use the proper “universal” footwork. After you dive and as you pop up to throw, you should use the universal footwork which is right foot, left foot, throw for righties and left foot, right foot, throw for lefties.
4. Always practice a proper two-handed transfer from glove hand to throwing hand. For example: if you’re performing the dive throw drill bare handed, drop down grab the ball off the ground with your glove hand, transfer the ball to your throwing hand, and throw. If you're performing the dive throw drill with a glove, put the ball in your glove to start with so once you drop down and pop up you're always pulling that ball out and making a quality two handed transfer.
5. It can be a little bit nerve-racking for younger players to give 100% the first time they perform the dive throw drill because it's a long ways to the ground and are scared of getting hurt. To mitigate this fear you can perform the dive throws initially by lying on your stomach, then from your knees, and finally progressing to regular dive throws.