These fellas will chase a ball ANYWHERE. We have over ten ways to throw a ball and teach a dog manners and impulse control while we're at it. Scamp and Zeus came from the same home, have the same ball drive, are quick to learn new ways to get the ball, and will show some manners in order to achieve their respective goals. We introduced the hula hoop to them, and made an agility jump out of a broom pole and two plastic chairs. Doesn't get more inexpensive than that, and these guys have learned some new skills.
Here Scamp is being asked for a sit prior to getting the ball thrown for him. Fortunately, he's not a grabby kind of guy, something we always have to be aware of. If Scamp won't sit after being asked the first time, well, we'll just move a foot or so away, and repeat the command as if it's being asked for the first time. Not quite the same as saying, "Scamp, sit, sit, sit, sit etc" which is likely to produce a sit on the 4th or 5th "sit". We appreciate the bum being firmly on the ground after saying it once. The dog gets clear on what's being asked of him also, making for good communication between our two species. We'll also combine the verbal cue with a hand signal. Ultimately, with consistency, you'll have a dog who is likely to sit every time he sees a ball in your hand. He's gotten the message that it's the fastest way to get the game going. Scamp has.
If Zeus would have shown fear of this odd looking contraption, we would have slowly introduced him to it. We want Zeus to succeed. We might do this by starting out with Zeus stepping over the pole, no chairs nearby, on the ground, or even letting him approach the pole on his own, placing treats by it to encourage him, or whatever motivates him to approach. We're cheerful and praise a lot for each step of the way. If Zeus is just a bit cautious, we might lower the pole between the chairs and encourage him, watching for cues from him if he is comfortable with each new step. To paraphrase what some wise man said about us humans, and this applies so well with dogs, "it's not just about the destination, it's also about the journey."