The ability of a fielder to read the hops will greatly improve their fielding percentage. Teaching the basic fundamentals of baseball fielding & ground balls, the foot movement and distances of spread, bending of the knees, and glove positioning out in front and low to the ground, demand time, patience and practice.
When a ground ball is hit off the bat, a good fielder’s brain will immediately make predictions as to how many times the ball will bounce before he can get to it. A huge key to successful fielding is learning how to speed up or slow down your footwork in order to catch that ball. So fielders must concentrate not only on proper footwork and mechanics of catching and throwing, but also on the timing of the process. The more a fielder practices this, the more he will be able to know when to speed up or slow down his footwork, in order to put himself in a better position to catch the ball.
Check out the video above for an excellent breakdown and drill that you can incorporate into your next baseball practice plan, to help your fielder’s get more comfortable with reading the hop, which will lead to successful fielding.