In today’s blog post, we are talking about working laterally in the modified softball fielding stance.
Softball Fielding: Working Laterally using a Modified Stance
In this softball fielding drill, we’re simulating that they’ve already been in their ready position, and they’ve already turned to pivot to go after a ball that’s laterally left or laterally right. You want to make sure your athletes are doing a good job keeping their bottom down, using their quads and the big muscles in the legs to field the ball and bring it up into the throwing position.
You’ll do this drill on both the forehand side and the backhand side, both with their glove foot forward and their non-glove foot forward.
The key here is that she’s staying low. And you’ll notice the deep knee bend. You can see that she’s using her legs when she’s fielding that ball. More times than not, the players have a tendency to first field the ball too close to their body or they have a tendency just to raise themselves up and only crack at the hip.
Switching feet, it’s still a forehand, but now they’re going to use the other foot. Because you can’t always be sure that you’re going to be fielding it with the same foot forward. Remember, they’re trying to get that ball out in front, keeping their head down, and most important, using their legs. The back is flat; the bottom is down.
Now let’s take a look at them doing their backhand on this modified stance. They try to bring that ball up to their throwing position as quickly as possible when they’re fielding the backhand. Again, the head is down, the back is straight, and they’re using their legs while fielding. You’ll also do this same drill switching the feet.
The key to being consistent on fielding the balls that are lateral is making sure you use your quads when you’re fielding the ball. They should feel that burn on the quadricep muscle.
The next variation of the drill is going to extend them out even more laterally. It’s the same drill, but now they’re going to be on the run. Everybody has to be on the run at some point as an infielder. It doesn’t matter if you’re an infielder or an outfielder, you’re going to have to go ahead and set, pivot, and be on the run laterally. This drill works being on the run, fielding both the forehand and the backhand, using both legs with the glove foot forward and with your non-glove foot forward.
Again, the most important thing is that they’re staying down while they field that ball.
For more great softball fielding 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 fielding and defense, 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 fielding ideas and suggestions, and where you can talk to other coaches and players about favorite softball fielding practices!