Looking for some fun conditioning drills to play with your team? Last man standing is a way to help players become individually competitive while still playing as a team. Here’s how to run the drill:
Have your players drop their gloves. Using just hands makes the play less aggressive. Have players split into groups of 3 or 4. Each player rolls 5 ground balls to the person to their right. Fielder becomes roller as the players move down the line, and the first roller runs to the end to become the last fielder.
Where does the competition come in? Make it a relay race! The teams rush to finish first, because they get the “safety.” Everyone else has to run sprints while the winners watch. Play this a few times to really get your players heart rate up.
Once the kids seem ready to go (and a little tired), switch them to a knock out drill. Have your pitcher throw soft balls at players, who are still gloveless. If they cannot field the ball with their hands they are out. Last man standing, again, gets to sit out the sprint. Players are much more competitive when they know that they can elude sprints, and it’s a real reward for the ones that do win.
These drills can be run at the beginning or end of practice as a fun little way to help players condition for quick sprints from standing positions – a key skill in fielding that surely can’t hurt a player fight his way to first, either.