The three-point defense or tennis ball drill allows fielders to practice lining up the eyes, glove, and the ball. This drill is done completely in the kneeling position so players can focus on just the upper half of the body.
To begin set up, the player should be in a kneeling position. A foam kneeling mat can be used to avoid putting too much pressure on the knees.
Line three balls up in front of the player: one on the glove side, one in the center, and one on the backhand side. The player will be catching the ball at all three positions.
Lining the balls up in front of the player before beginning the drill allows them to visually see how to line up the eyes, the glove, and the ball. Have them practice lining up the glove at each position before throwing them live balls.
Once the player has a good visual representation of what the catch should look like it is time to begin tossing live balls. The coach should be between 6 and 10 feet in front of the player. The coach can be in a kneeling position or standing position.
This drill can be done with a baseball or a tennis ball. If you choose to use tennis balls, the drill can be done without the glove and that is a good place to start for beginners or younger players.
Having a coach is better for this drill because they can check form, but it can be done alone using a wall.
Toss the ball using a short-hop throw towards the center. The player should use both hands to catch the ball. The ball should be secured with the palm and not the webbing of the glove.
The player should be able to feel the ball in their hand when they make the catch. Make sure the player is catching through the ball and has their open glove lined up with the ball. Once the ball is secured the player should bring it to their chest, get their grip, and toss it back to the coach. Continue tossing to the center a total of 10 times before switching to the gloved side.
Repeat the same short-hop throw on the gloved side. The player should use one hand to catch through the ball on this side. Again, make sure the player is catching the ball with the palm of the glove, this allows them to secure the ball and throw it faster. Repeat the gloved side catch and throw 10 times and then switch to the backhand side.
The same short hop throw is used on the backhand side. Once again, make sure the player is keeping the glove open and lined up with the ball when making the catch. This side should also be caught one-handed and then thrown back to the coach. Repeat the backhand side catch and throw 10 times to conclude the drill.