Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

How to practice Web Gems

I could watch ESPN’s Web Gems all day long.  Having been an infielder for most of my playing career, I have an enormous respect for what MLB infielders are able to do on seemingly impossible plays.  However, Web Gems are not just for major leaguers.  They can happen at any level and age group.  That is, of course, if you practice them.  

Nobody should consider the practice of Web Gems to be frivolous and a waste of time.  I have personal experience with coaching players as young as 8 years old who have increased their amount of Web Gems simply because we practiced them beforehand.  Make time for them!

Today’s video tip shows a very simple way to make those Web Gem drills much more productive.

 

Comments

3 Responses to “How to practice Web Gems”
  1. Drew Stegon says:

    Coach,

    Older players… OK…. but…..

    Could not disagree more for young players ages under 12-13 on your diving drill. One of the biggest problem with youth players is they dive or go to their knees for everything! AND I MEAN EVERYTHING! They love to dive and get dirty!! Even on a ground ball to the outfield we see “wee ones” going to both knees in order to stop the ball that is essentially coming right at them. They dive after crap they should never dive for! Last thing I want to do for players at that age is give them a reason to dive after more balls! 🙂

    We do drills specifically to make them NOT dive but to move toward the ball with as much momentum as they can and to stretch and get in a proper position both forehand and back hand. (ie – Moving through an agility ladder and then “explode” to a ball rolled far from the end of the ladder)

    One point I go agree with is the getting up and throwing part. We do a drill where the players are laying prone on their belly, ball in glove, and they have to get up and throw the ball. We use it to teach them how to get up and quickly position their feet and get in a throwing position as fast as possible and release the ball properly. Also.. and DONT TELL THEM… we use this drill for physical/cardio training. They are kind of like doing cross-fit “burpies” as it helps strengthen their core muscles. Shhhhhhh…..

    Sorry… had to post on this one. Thinking of taking me off your subscriber list yet? hehehehe

    • Hi Drew! I agree that many young kids go to the ground too often. However, that’s a separate issue that can be dealt with. I would disagree with the idea that younger kids cannot/should not learn this. I have successfully taught this to an 8 and 9 year old team so it can be done. The players did not go the ground more often than normal. In fact, I think it better informed them on when it is appropriate to dive and when it’s not.

      • Drew Stegon says:

        Interesting. Even when teaching them and reinforcing during practice to not go to their knees during games we still see it ALL the time. Maybe I am not using a big enough stick…

        But, maybe, you are able to teach 8-9 year old kids this because you live back east. We know the kids back there are smarter than the kids in SoCal. :o) (I grew up in da Burgh)

        If you have kids that are so good at catching regular ground balls that you can spend time on teaching them to dive… WOW! I can’t get our 8-9 year old kids to catch regular ground balls on a consistent basis with good throwing mechanics and I still stick to coaching the basics… the very basic basics for this age. As we know, defense wins games; offense says by how much! Good sound fielding mechanics is what we push.

        If you have a group of kids that are ready… by all means… like I said probably not a bad drill for older kids every now and then, so if yours are ready… dive away!!!

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