Tennis Ball Soft Hands Drill

Delivered by 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Number of Athletes and Coaches: 1 athlete and 1 coach, or 2 athletes as partners

Average Time to Complete: 5 minutes

Equipment Required: Catcher’s gear, bucket of tennis balls (at least 10)

Goal: Catching the ball with a “soft” hand, letting the ball travel instead of reaching for it

Description of the Drill:

• Catcher in full gear in catching position (home plate optional), no glove

• Coach/partner with bucket of tennis balls 10 feet in front of the catcher

• Coach/partner tosses the catcher the tennis balls one at a time

• Catcher catches each with one hand (receiving hand), keeping the other hand behind their back

• Catcher places each tennis ball off to the side and gets ready to receive the next throw

Add Difficulty:

• To add a degree of difficulty, the catcher can hold one tennis ball deep in their receiving hand with their pinky and ring fingers (as shown below)

• The thumb, index and middle fingers should be left free to catch another ball with

• The catcher should keep one tennis ball deep in their hand while catching another tennis ball with the same hand, their throwing hand should still be behind their back

• This helps catcher keep their hand soft while receiving, letting the ball travel to them instead of reaching out for it


For more free drills and resources, download the USA Baseball Mobile Coach App for Apple or Android or visit the Mobile Coach website.

From GameChanger and USA Baseball.