When it comes to fielding the ball, all players want to be able to pick up the ball cleanly, 100% of the time. What keeps a player from doing that is just a few things that they do wrong. In today’s blog post, we talk about some of the defensive weaknesses that you need to eliminate in order to take your game to the next level.
What your teammates, watch your players, and you will be surprised to see how many players field the ball right by their feet!
Players need to understand what a wide base means. Many players do not take their feet wide enough, and if you don’t go wide, you can’t get down and low. If you stay with your feet too close together, you will be using your back muscles instead of your leg muscles.
Also, if you keep your feet together, the ball is going to have to come right to your feet because you can’t reach out for the ball because you don’t have the balance.
A great technique for ensuring your players have a wide base is to employ the “triangle” concept. You draw a triangle in the dirt and players want to field the ball at the tip of the triangle. So if the feet are set up correctly, the player should be able to lower themselves, using their quads, and easily reach the tip of the triangle.
Another reason for fielding the ball at the feet is that your players do not decelerate, or slow down, soon enough to get into the proper fielding position with the wide base. Players also want to focus on getting the butt down and get the head down and glove out in front.
Many players are “glove flippers”, meaning the player begins with the glove facing the ground and then they flip it over when they are ready to field the ball. This motion takes time. Remember that a tenth of a second equals 2 feet, so its a race between you and the batter/baserunner. So if you can eliminate the glove flip, you’ll have abetter chance of successful fielding that ball and making the out.
Think about the “Bowl Of Soup” technique. From the ready position, bring the glove down and field from the ground up. You aren’t going to flip the glove over to catch that ball – you are going to meet the ball on the ground with the palm up and glove level as if you are holding a bowl of soup.
Looking for more awesome softball fielding tips? Then be sure to check out Championship Coach Sue Enquist’s other Softball Coaching Videos! Sue will share some great tips and softball pitching, hitting and much more! And don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook, where we share more great drills, tips and suggestions.