When I was playing in youth leagues, I had a tendency to drop back on balls while playing SS using my + arm to help me get outs. I started out as a so-so player mainly becuase I could throw from anywhere on the field at age 6 and reach the plate on a line. But I had many shortcomings when it came to fielding grounders as I took angles to give me the best hop although it might take me deeper into the hole. I was a much better soccer player and one night my uncle asked me why I make great jumps at a soccer ball but horrible angles to a baseball. It came down to my footing. Much of the time early on, i'd sit on my heels at shortstop and not get that jump. Once I got taught to play off the balls of my feet (like I did in soccer), I was able to get much better angles on the ball and get it to the bag that much quicker.
Naturally, squaring up and balance are big contributors in achieving success. But I found out as I grew, getting the jump on any ball gives you an advantage.
"Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers