In today’s video blog post, we are talking about softball defense and some common fielding problems, such as coming up out of ready position before the fielding catch is made and not charging or going after the ball.
Softball Defense: Fielding Problems
A major problem players have is, although they begin in the down in the ready position, as the ball approaches, they come up out of that ready position. And then they have to go back down to actually get the ball. This is when you see a lot of errors being made in terms of balls running through the players feet, because the glove and body are up, and the athlete doesn’t get back down to the ground in time to make the catch.
So you want to make sure your fielders stay down in that ready position the entire time, even as she approaches the ball.
There are some tricks you can use to work on the concept of a player staying down. One is to take a bat, dowel or stick and have two additional players — one on each side of the fielder — hold the stick over the fielders back so that they cannot come up out of that ready position. As the fielder approaches the ball, the two players follow her with the stick so that she can tell without doubt whether or not her back is coming up. Many times an athlete doesn’t even realize that they are coming up out of that ready position.
Another error is staying back, instead of coming in and charging the ball. The longer a ball is on the ground, the more chance it has of coming up at you or off to the sides, etc. Drill soft toss pitches off the ground to allow the fielder an opportunity to work on getting comfortable with coming in, charging and getting the ball.
For more great softball defense tips and techniques, be sure to check out my “5 Free Softball Coaching Videos from 11 Time NCAA Champ Sue Enquist”! Sue will take you through softball defense and fielding, as well as hitting mechanics and hitting drill practice plans, baserunning, field progressions and pitching! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will share more great softball defense ideas and suggestions, and where you can talk to other coaches and players about favorite softball defense practices!