Softball Defense for 1st Base
One of the things that often happens at first base is that the player will stretch for the ball before it is even released. You know the third baseman has the ball, but you are already stretching and then when the ball comes to you, you have no more stretch to give. If the ball is thrown high, it’s very possible you are going to miss it. You’re going to have to come back and leap up to get the ball.
So what you want to do is get in the ready to catch position right at the base. Stay there until the ball is coming to you so that you can adjust to successfully catch it — whether high or to the side, you have to be ready for any throw. If you are stretched out when the ball is coming at you, then it is going to be hard to redirect the body.
Now, this is important – once the ball is in the air, the first baseman then has to decide if she can get the ball if it is a low one by stretching while keeping her back foot on the plate. A good thing to do before a game is draw a line in the dirt which tells you “if the ball is here, I can catch it in the air. If it’s going to bounce in, you know you need to back up to the base and make a basket with the glove and block that ball. We want to keep the ball from getting past us and still be able to get the player out. So if you know you can get it, stretch out and get that ball, but if you can’t get it, back up and make a basket, rounding your shoulders and getting down to keep that ball from getting past you. Your glove foot is always going to be the one that you stretch out with.
Be ready to pull that ball in with two hands and throw it to the next base to make a followup play, or if there are no other plays, be sure to get away from the base bag so that you don’t get hurt.
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