THE BASICS OF FIELDING A GROUND BALL
To become good at fielding ground balls, you must practice fielding them the correct way. In order to consistently field a ground ball, a player must:
- Have good footwork – Good footwork allows you to get your body in position to field the ball.
- Have soft hands – Soft hands allow you to field the ball cleanly without having it bounce out of your glove.
- Have quick hands – Quick hands allow you to react to last-second bad hops and transfer the ball to your throwing hand faster.
- Have good hand/eye coordination – Hand/Eye Coordination allows you to get your glove down in the right place at the right time to field the ground ball.
Teaching correct footwork for fielding routine ground balls is pretty simple. Just make sure the kids practice it correctly on a consistent basis.
NOTE: We are talking about fielding a routine ground ball that will NOT need to be a backhand play, forehand play or diving play. Fielding those types of ground balls will be discussed later.
To field a routine ground ball:
- The infielder charges the ball in a controlled fashion.
- As he approaches the ball, his footsteps become choppy (stay on balls of feet as he approaches ball).
- When it is time for fielding ground balls, a right-handed thrower uses the following sequence: Right, Left, Field, Right, Left, Throw. A left-handed thrower would use the opposite: Left, Right, Field, Left, Right, Throw.
- When fielding a ground ball, bend at the knees and lower your butt (butt down)
- Field the ground ball out in front of your body
- To protect your face from a bad hop, it is also important to “alligator” by putting your bare hand on top of the ball and glove as you field the ball
Preach this footwork over and over during your infield training drills. Take a look at this video as well to help!
QUICK HANDS & SOFT HANDS WHEN FIELDING GROUND BALLS
Quick and soft hands are a necessity if you want to be a good infielder. In my opinion, part of having those qualities is God-Given talent. However, I also believe that you can teach yourself those qualities while practicing. Here’s a better look at how to practice!
One of the best tools for teaching youth ball players the skills for fielding ground balls is a Rawlings 5-Tool Quick Hands Trainer. This tool forces players (rookies to veterans) to get their feet set up properly and have soft hands It also teaches them to transfer the ball quickly to their throwing hand.
RAWLINGS 5-TOOL QUICK HANDS TRAINER VIDEO
PURCHASE A 5-TOOL QUICK HANDS TRAINER
The Rawlings 5-Tool Quick Hands Trainer is something I totally believe in and think all youth baseball players should use on a regular basis.
Rawlings 5-Tool Quick Hands Trainer. Be sure to also watch the videos below on this infield training tool!
Master receiving the ball in front of you with two hands before advancing to back hands. This is an advanced move but is a crucial skill to have in any fielding arsenal. Some more tips on backhands are in the video below!