In this video blog post, we are going to discuss balls that are not hit directly at us. It’d be nice if every batter accommodated the defense and hit the ball directly at a player, but seldom does that happen on a regular basis at any rate. So you’re going to have to move left, you’re going to have to move right — you’re going to have to incorporate lateral movement.
You want to be sure to spend a lot of time on lateral movement, drop steps and crossovers. But this is the key in the crossover, that there are no preparatory steps. You don’t have anything to do ahead of time. You simply turn and you go, with strong legs.
One of the basic things with fielding that we have to remember is we have to have strong legs. So be sure to spend a lot of time on strength of the legs and then your players will be able to stay in position, and it won’t be a problem with staying down because they’re strong enough to do it. If the feet are in position, everything else comes naturally.
Breaking Down Lateral Movement and Fielding the Ground Ball
If you have to move quickly:
- On the glove side: Use a crossover step – From down in your fielding position, push the knee out over the toe, pivot hard, push off with the other foot, and begin heading in the direction of the ball. As you do this, the entire body should turn. Make sure you actually pivot in contrast to the step and then turn. Most people will have a tendency to move their feet first, but this is an inefficient use of your time. Stay close to the ground so when you get to the ball, the glove is already down close to the ground.
- On the non-glove side: Make sure you pivot rather than taking a step. Pivot until you are facing right to where the ball is heading and then push hard off the back foot. If a ball appears it’s going to get past you, then at that point you may have to instead of using a true crossover, add a slight drop step. The whole time. The glove is like a vacuum. the body stays down and then she’ll pick it up the ball quickly and be ready to get in position to throw.
A typical mistake that athletes will make — the player will come up, then try to go back down. By then you have lost your timing. You also don’t want to see players slam on the brakes once they reach the ball. She should finish by walking through the ball path so the ball will stick in her glove rather than dropping out.
Also, If she doesn’t have good balance, she’s going to be reaching. So be sure she pulls the leg through and then she can come up and get into her throwing position, instead of just stopping and trying to set and throw.
Looking for more awesome lateral movement drills and tips? Then be sure to check out Championship Coach Sue Enquist’s other Softball Coaching Videos! Sue will share some great tips and softball throwing, hitting and much more! And don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook, where we share more great drills, tips and suggestions.