Fielding for Beginners

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Fielding is a skill that requires focus, concentration, coordination and confidence.  There are many factors that can effect any of these attributes potentially causing errors during a games and practices. Fielding for beginners is of course more difficult than for experienced players due of course to lack of experience.  Coaches can help rookies by ensuring that there are no repercussions for errors and allowing the players to learn from their errors gaining productive experience.

Fielding for Beginners Considerations

For beginners and experienced players:

  • the importance of the game
  • the score of the game
  • the inning you are in
  • the opponents
  • experience level of the players
  • speed of the runner

As you can see putting all of that together to make a good play takes skill and patience because when fielding is rushed, that’s when errors are made.  As an athletes anxiety level increases the skill level decreases.  this can be alleviated with increased confidence using simulations and mental training.

Fielding Ground Balls

  • start with the feet about shoulder width apart
  • the glove side foot slightly ahead of the throwing side to facilitate making a throw after
  • knees are bent like in a seated position with the glove out in front of the body facing the batter
  • the shoulders should be square to the ball, like a triangle
  • eyes remain on the ball until it is in the glove

The errors occur mostly when the defensive player looks at the runner or anticipates making a play before the ball gets into the glove.  What usually happens is he/she lifts their head to look which as a result lifts the glove up from the ground allowing the ball to go underneath the glove.

Fielding Fly Balls

  • start with feet shoulder width apart
  • more of a parallel stance
  • body more upright than with fielding a ground ball
  • the glove fields the ball at about shoulder height on the throwing side of the body to facilitate throwing

Fielding Tips

I like to put the sequence in fielding into an order like this…

  1. ready for the ball
  2. watch ball hit the bat
  3. watch the ball come off the bat
  4. prepare to field moving to the correct location to meet the ball if it is coming to you
  5. watch the ball into your glove
  6. make the decision on where the play is
  7. make the play

If any of that sequence is out of order then an error will likely occur especially in the learning stages of the game.  When under stress we tend to rush our plays which also inhibits our success.

Fielding a Ground Ball Checklist

Preparation

  • your shoulders are square or facing the batter
  • feet about shoulder width apart with the glove foot a little bit ahead of the other
  • weight is slightly forward (on the balls of your feet) balanced side to side
  • knees are bent bringing you low to the ground
  • glove hand is almost touching the ground in front of the body
  • the throwing hand is beside the glove ready for clean fielding
  • your back is flat and upright so you are facing the batter
  • eyes are on the ball

Execution

  • keep your eyes on the ball
  • hands are low with the glove open to the ball
  • move to the ball and meet it in front of the body
  • use two hands (alligator) to field the ball into the glove
  • watch the ball into your glove
  • the throwing hand is over the ball and getting ready to throw
  • weight is moving back with the ball in your throwing hand

Follow Through

  • the glove or glove side elbow is pointing toward where you are going to throw the ball
  • the glove side of the body is pointing toward the target
  • the ball is in throwing position
  • eyes are on the target you are going to throw to

Fielding a Fly Ball Checklist

Preparation

  • your shoulders are square or facing the batter
  • feet about shoulder width apart with the glove foot a little bit ahead of the other
  • weight is slightly forward (on the balls of your feet) balanced side to side
  • knees are slightly bent ready to go in any direction
  • glove and throwing hand is about at your knees in front of the body
  • your back is flat and upright so you are facing the batter
  • eyes are on the ball and the batter
  • keep your eyes on the ball

Execution

  • your eyes and body are moving with the ball
  • hands are still down until you get to where you are going to field the ball
  • when you get to where you are going to field the ball, you get ready with your body and your glove open to the ball
  • watch the ball into your glove which is pointing up at your throwing shoulder

Follow Through

  • the throwing hand closes your glove over the ball and then gets ready to throw
  • weight is moving back with the ball in your throwing hand
  • the glove side elbow is pointing toward where you are going to throw the ball
  • the glove side of the body is pointing toward the target
  • the ball is in throwing position
  • eyes are on the target you are going to throw to

I found it useful to laminate these checklists and have the athletes actually check the items off while working on skills during practice 🙂

Summary
Fielding for Beginners
Article Name
Fielding for Beginners
Description
Fielding for beginners is a difficult task when you consider the the activities that happen around them along with spectators.
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Publisher Name
Softball Tutor
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