In today’s video blog post, we are breaking down the 5 parts to fielding a ground ball. This is a great fielding drill that can be done with any number of players, at any level of play – from high school or college level down to little league aged players. The only requirement for this is that they understand exactly what they are supposed to do, and the proper fielding mechanics to make it happen.
Fielding Drill: 5 Parts to Fielding a Ground Ball
Part 1: Creep Step
You want your infielders to get some momentum or movement. For right handed infielders, this is nothing more than taking a small step with his right foot, then a small step with his left foot and opening his hands. At this point he will be in a position to move in any direction – he can run to his left, run to his right, or move forwards or backwards at a dead sprint. He doesn’t need to stop or stand up.
Part 2: Charge
You want your athlete to be ready to charge the ball every time. Rarely in a high school setting or below do you have a situation where you don’t charge the ball. On the charge, you want to come at the ball quickly and with control – you don’t want to overrun the ball because when you get there, you have to set up to field the ground ball.
Part 3: Breakdown
This is the position in which we are going to begin to field the ball. On the breakdown, you want to spread the feet shoulder width apart, and keep the head down. The non-glove hand is on top with the glove on the ground, and you want to keep your arms extended to meet the ball. It’s important to extend the glove in front of you so that we can cradle the ball and create a cushion for the ball as it comes to us. You want to keep your non-glove hand on top because a normal reaction, especially in younger players, is to protect the face and turn the head. By keeping the non-glove hand on top, if you happen to get a bad hop, you can use the top hand to trap the ball in the glove and shield your face. This is also known as the “Alligator Ball Trap”.
Part 4: Field
When in the fielding position, you will trap the ball and bring it to your mid-section and cradle the ball in.
Part 5: Throw
You are going to take the right foot, step inside the left, square the shoulders to the target, square the hip and knee and make a good strong throw.
For more great fielding drill tips and techniques, be sure to check out my Baseball Drills and Practice Plans series, complete with video demonstrations! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will discuss more important fielding drill mechanics!