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When you take baseball training, one of the first things being taught is how to field a ground ball. For all players of baseball, it is important to know how to field ground balls but many times the fundamentals to do so are ignored. Let us know “The Fundamentals Of Fielding A Ground Ball”
Not just beginners should know it but also the league players should practice their game based on these fundamentals. The chances of errors during the game reduce when you keep revising them. We will find the details of these fundamentals below.
There are seven fundamentals of fielding a ground ball. These fundamentals start with the ready position beginning and moving on to hit assessment, coming in front of the ball, and then taking quick steps. Later you should keep your gloves down, use two hands for fielding, and lastly throw the ball. Outfielders field the ground ball in three extra ways which include keeping one knee on the ground, while moving to field a ground ball, and fielding like an infielder.
Seven Fundamentals Of Fielding A Ground Ball
The young players must settle themselves by focusing on the physical fundamentals of ground ball fielding only. When a ground ball comes their way, they will not be able to tackle it if they are not properly aware of the fundamentals.
By knowing the fundamentals, a young player can reduce his chances of injury, increase his chances to get out and increase the opportunity of making the play. All these fundamentals are discussed below:
- Ready Position
When a pitcher is ready to release a pitch, every player should be prepared for the main player to build a connection with the ball. This ready position helps players in grabbing the best achievable position for making a play.
A ready position has three steps.
- Bend forward marginally in a way that the shoulders come above your toes,
- Both the knees of the player must be bent slightly
- Keeping your hips back is important.
- Hit Assessment
After a few of the shots, the ground ball comes towards you nicely and easily but for some, you have to get your skates on. They may bounce hard off the ground and your movement ahead can make the ball fly above your head. For weak ground balls, sprinting forward will be required. You must calculate your ball fast but it requires you to practice a lot before your games.
When you become experienced in-game, your head is always focusing on the game and your assessment becomes sharper when you pay attention to the ground ball. You can handle it easily.
- Come in Front of the Ball
The player should stay low while coming in front of the ball. It looks simple but it is not that simple. You might create many errors if you don’t focus on getting in front. The right trick is to hurry and move in front of the ball’s front while staying low.
- Taking Quick and small Steps
For long-leg players it is difficult to bend so they should be quick in taking steps but smaller ones. Longer steps commit the player to only one direction but it is not necessary that the ball may go in the same direction. Its direction may be changed due to spin caused by the hit or an anomalous angle. The ball’s seam might hit the ground just right and favor the player.
- Keep Your Gloves Down
The players must give themselves a feeling that they are in charge of the game, not the ball that they are after. Even if the ball goes high, you can catch the ball if your gloves are down. Bringing gloves up for fielding a ground ball is much easier than gloves down for fielding a ground ball. Keep the gloves low because if you stay up then the ball goes low and you might lose it in between your legs. So keeping the gloves low is very important.
6) Fielding with Two Hands
For fielding a ground ball, two hands must always be used. The Fly ball should also be caught with two hands.
Your glove scoops the ball when you use two hands. You must cover the ball reaching your hand with your other hand. Take the ball towards your chest when it comes to your hand and then move forward towards the next step of throwing the ball.
7) Throw the Ball
Throw the ball to the appropriate base when you have it in your hands and you have moved it back to your chest. You must know while playing the game which base you have to throw your ball to. Throw your ball after practicing the fundamentals of ball throwing as well.
3 Extra Ways Of Fielding A Ground Ball In The Outfield
The outfielders have three extra ways of fielding the grounded ball depending on the situation of the game. Fielding a ground ball when it is moving is the most dangerous thing to practice in the outfield. The three extra fundamentals are discussed below:
1) Keep Your One Knee on the Ground
An outfielder must put his one knee on the ground when fielding a ground ball when he knows that the base runner will not try to move towards the second base or there is no one at the base. This helps in cleanly fielding the grounded ball and you become a barrier also if you miss the ball in the outfield.
It is always better to get hit by the ball and stop the base runner from moving to the next base.
2) Field just like an Infielder
Outfielders can field the ball like an infielder if they feel that the base runner will be advancing to second base or there is no one on the base. This way the grounded ball is fielded well and then can lead the ball to the infield as early as possible.
3) Fielding While Moving
The most rewarding way to field a ground ball in the outfield is while running. This way is practiced when there is a chance to stop a base running from advancing to home.
The outfielders field the ball by the leg that is on their glove side when the ball is moving.
This position gives them a chance as an outfielder, to quickly jump in their crow hop when they have fielded the ground ball.
Grounded ball fielding becomes very easy and common to execute with more and more practice. The hardest and most important thing is to keep the gloves down while the grounded ball approaches them. Practice is the key to all these fundamentals and it helps in becoming a solid defensive player.
What should be the bending position when fielding a ground ball?
The bending position should be of the knees because it lowers the body in a way that becomes a good and ideal position to field the grounded ball.
Should the fielder come in front of the Ball while fielding the grounded ball?
Yes, the player should stay low while coming in front of the grounded ball. You might create many errors if you don’t focus on getting in front while fielding the grounded ball.