Wednesday Web Gem Tips – Fast to Smooth to Fast Baseball Fielding
Many ballplayers go about fielding ground balls incorrectly. The most common baseball fielding mistake has players starting slow, speeding up as they catch the ball, slowing down again when throwing it. The best infielders and outfielders do the opposite. They get off to a fast start, (namely a great jump on the ball), before getting under control as they field it (smooth faze), before using quick feet (fast again) to crow hop and release the ball quickly.
To help this fielding technique, coaches should insist on those three things – quick feet, body control, and correct fielding mechanics. I often tell young ball fielder that they have it wrong, in that the quick part of fielding is once the ball hits their glove, when the feet, hands and throw happen quickly. Of course, they have to be quick to balls that are not hit right at them, but that part should be smooth and with good body control.
Two more coaching baseball fielding points
“During practice, I would rather you work quick and mess it up than work safe and make the play”
“In practice, always pretend the fastest player in the league is running.”
These quotes help coaches get players the understanding that errors are OK when done with the appropriate effort and quickness necessary for improvement, as well as for getting use to the fast pace of baseball runners.