To be the best softball fielder possible, you’ll want to be smart and aggressive on the field. A few tips from our Softball Tech Rep, Jen Schroeder, are revealed in the video above.
First, stay balanced in whatever position you are in on the field. Keep your glove and free hand in front of you to cover the ball into your glove and bring it up toward your body before planting your feet and making a hard throw. The closer you are to home plate, the lower you should be to the ground. If you’re playing first or third base, you’ll want to be in a ready position that is a little closer to the ground than you’ll be in if you’re playing second base or shortstop. The reason is due to your reaction time. You’ll have more time to react to the direction of the ball at second base and shortstop than you will at first or third base. There is a reason they call third base the “hot corner”!
Stay on the balls of your feet with little or no weight on your heels. This will help with your reaction time and allow you to move to the ball quickly. One mistake many new softball players make when fielding is to wait for the ball to come to them. This is wrong, as it can cost valuable time in getting the runner out. Instead, attack the ball that is hit to you. If you have time to run up closer to the ball and set yourself in the ready position you should do so. Never wait for a slow rolling ball to come to you.
Lastly, once you’ve fielded the ball and closed it into your glove, you’ll need to move your feet back under you before you step and make an accurate, yet hard throw. Throwing too hard can lead to an inaccurate throw. You’ll want to practice a lot to find your balance of how hard you can throw while keeping it accurate.