Fielding Ground Ball Analysis

Fielding Ground Ball AnalysisAs with other skills, in order to be able to fully help your softball players to be good ground ball fielders, it is beneficial to have a thorough understanding of the skill from as many angles as possible. Following is what can be referred to as a referent model or analysis for fielding ground balls that will give you some ideas on how to improve small specific pieces of the skill that need to be refined.

Fielding Ground Ball Analysis Considerations

The best way to analyze softball skills is with video analysis.  The ability to slow the motion down and see specific movements by the player will allow you to not only take not of the refinements but also allows the player to see it as well.  This will be useful in the development of kinesthetic awareness.

Technical / Tactical Skill Factors

We don’t always consider it but fielding ground balls is a technical and tactical skill.  How and when the player fields the ball will determine the ultimate success.

Some Technical Errors for Fielding Ground Balls

Technical Errors Improvement Strategies
poor reaction time start far and move closer drills
slow to the ball reaction drills staying on toes
not reading the ball off the bat drills with colored softballs
fielding behind knees draw a triangle in dirt in practice
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Some Tactical Errors for Fielding Ground Balls

Tactical Factors Improvement Strategies
poor positioning use scenarios to practice
inability to read the batter watch games & observe batters
lack of experience game play and observation
thinking about the runner narrow focus drills
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Psychological Requirements

Softball is a game that has a lot of psychological barriers for athletes during competition.  The psychology of fielding ground balls requires skills that are going to have a

  • Narrow focus – keeping the eye on the ball
  • Confidence – feeling capable of clean fielding
  • Emotional Control – not worried about the outcome
  • Concentration -knowing where the play is

Some Psychological Challenges for Fielding Ground Balls

Psychological Factors Improvement Strategies
Afraid of making a mistake visualization / affirmations
Importance of the play emotional control / relaxation
Many distractions focus / refocus strategies
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Physical Requirements

Softball is a power sport that requires the following biomotor skills:

  • Narrow Focus – focusing on the ball off the bat to the glove
  • Confidence – not afraid to take risks in getting the the ball
  • Emotional Control – not worried about the outcome of the play
  • Concentration – able to concentrate through distractions

Some Physical Challenges for Fielding a Ground Ball

Physical Factors Improvement Strategies
Agility ladder drills
Coordination specialty balls
Speed wind sprints / plyometrics
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Performance Outcome Factors

Every softball skills is executed with a desired outcome.  That outcome however can be broken down just as the skill itself is.  Here are some expected outcomes that you might have.

Expected Outcome Mechanics / Biomechanics
clean reception of the ball both hands on the ball
keeping eyes on the ball square to the ball
good transition to throwing good position to throw
feet in good position good movement to the ball
knowing where to throw good ready position
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Interventions

As coaches, error detection and correction is what we do.  There is a time and a place however for that activity to occur.  During competition is generally not the time.  Following is a few recommended paths you can take to help your players improve their skills.

Intervention Timing
Break down the skill During practice
Kinesthetic feedback During practice
Skill instruction During practice
Provide a mentor During practice
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Summary
Fielding Ground Ball Analysis
Article Name
Fielding Ground Ball Analysis
Description
Fielding Ground Ball Analysis is a detailed look at the skill and how it can be improved depending on the execution and outcome.
Author
Publisher Name
Softball Tutor
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