Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fielding through the ball

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fielding through the ball

    Young kids in my area are taught to "break down" get feet shoulder width apart, get tip of glove on ground and "alligator" the ground ball. Then throw to base or maybe shuffle and throw to base.

    As my son starts playing with 9 and 10 year olds, I've noticed that they are more fluid when fielding grounders (unless they are hard shots to them). They seem to move forward, and then move forward or through the ball while gloving it, and then keep their momentum towards the base when throwing to the base. In contrast, the younger one's stop (aka break down), feet apart, get ball, then from a stand still throw or shuffle throw.

    I'm wondering how do you teach fielding through the ball so your momentum is moving to where you want to throw the ball and you don't stop and then get upright to throw? Are you supposed to step with a particular foot (R or L) as you field the ball? Is there a video or website where I can read the teach on this?
    Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

  • #2
    Look through the videos at this site: http://www.touchemallball.com/

    At younger ages it's hard enough for them to just field the ball, so you teach them in the way you mentioned. As they get older, the bases get longer, and the runners get faster - so the same methods aren't as effective. They need to learn how to come around a ball to create momentum in the direction of the throw. They also need to learn to maintain that momentum in the direction of the throw (follow the ball).

    The best thing to do is to watch video of the best fielders - you can find videos of Chipper Jones or Jeter doing infield drills and learn a lot about proper footwork and positioning.

    Comment


    • #3
      We teach our kids to play through the ball at 10. We spent a month working on proper glovework and footwork in January indoors. A few practices we has some younger brothers there, I believe they were 6 and 8, and they went through the drills and picked it up a lot better than I ever expected. What I learned this year is that kids are capable of a lot more than you could ever imagine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys. Ralan, the link was very helpful, some good vids there.
        Never played baseball, just a dad of someone that loves to play. So take any advice I post with a grain of salt.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by pthawaii View Post
          Young kids in my area are taught to "break down" get feet shoulder width apart, get tip of glove on ground and "alligator" the ground ball. Then throw to base or maybe shuffle and throw to base.

          As my son starts playing with 9 and 10 year olds, I've noticed that they are more fluid when fielding grounders (unless they are hard shots to them). They seem to move forward, and then move forward or through the ball while gloving it, and then keep their momentum towards the base when throwing to the base. In contrast, the younger one's stop (aka break down), feet apart, get ball, then from a stand still throw or shuffle throw.

          I'm wondering how do you teach fielding through the ball so your momentum is moving to where you want to throw the ball and you don't stop and then get upright to throw? Are you supposed to step with a particular foot (R or L) as you field the ball? Is there a video or website where I can read the teach on this?
          These are some nice observations. If you can get your son to field "through" the ball-in games- then that will be an enormous accomplishment.

          I don't see a lot of players doing this that well-in games- at even the hs level although the real good infielders do for sure. It's a key to fielding the routine grounder, it's a very athletic move, takes a lot of confidence, and most take the easy way out. Good luck.
          Major Figure

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by omg View Post
            I don't see a lot of players doing this that well-in games- at even the hs level although the real good infielders do for sure. It's a key to fielding the routine grounder, it's a very athletic move, takes a lot of confidence, and most take the easy way out. Good luck.
            A lot of that falls on the coaches. The director of our program taught us (the coaches) that the kids are going to be taught the proper footwork, glovework for infield and outfield. If they do everything correctly and kick a ball, compliment them for taking the right angle, proper technique etc. When they make an out but don't do it correctly, teach them the correct way of doing it.

            We live in a results oriented world. The kid who does everything wrong but makes an out gets praise from the parents and a lot of coaches. The kid that does everything right, but the ball takes a bad hop gets yelled at for not making the play. You can see why it is so easy for players to take the easy way out.

            Comment


            • #7
              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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ben Grimm View Post

                But I found out as I grew, getting the jump on any ball gives you an advantage.
                So true. Kids forget about the importance of this as do coaches. A typical kid thinks, after a ball is hit: "Oh gee, there is a ground ball coming way."

                Coaches will spend 99% of their time on the mechanics of the actual fielding of the ball (butt down, hands out, etc.). The "jump" and the ready position and the proper mind set are close to everything in fielding grounders.
                Major Figure

                Comment


                • #9
                  In general, yes, you field through the ball as you break down. But, that's only a small part of the overall picture.

                  Questions like this come up periodically here - check out this thread.

                  And there is always the same ultimate answer. Get this DVD by Coach Billy Stubbs on "Mastering Infield Play". It's got everything you need to know to teach kids from age 5 to 15, and it's very succinct. The page to which the link directs you has some sample clips, so you can decide for yourself.

                  We live in a results oriented world. The kid who does everything wrong but makes an out gets praise from the parents and a lot of coaches. The kid that does everything right, but the ball takes a bad hop gets yelled at for not making the play. You can see why it is so easy for players to take the easy way out.
                  Wow, that's a huge - and of course dead on - mouthful for a very narrow question. When I hear coaches or parents say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," I sometimes think of this very problem - kids who catch balls flat-footed and who can make the throws on smaller fields, but who end up throwing lollipops when they have to make that 128-foot throw across the big diamond.

                  Here's a clip of a 16 year-old on my son's summer team fielding a fairly routine grounder that, among other plays, preserved a victory for my son and his team last year. His mechanics are flawless and made for an easy, strong and accurate throw. He's made many that I've seen over the years.


                  When this kid was in our 11-12 year old league, he came to tryouts and fielded grounders exactly the same way. Everything stopped and became silent when his turn came to take grounders - the coaches just sighed in bliss while watching him.

                  He's not huge or a great hitter, but he's off to a top D-3 college as a heavily recruited shortstop next month. It all started with that footwork going back to age 9.
                  sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

                  Comment

                  Ad Widget

                  Collapse
                  Working...
                  X