Taft's Tips: Ground Ball Approach and Defensive Triangle
My name is John Taft and i'm with Triple Crown Baseball. Today we are going to cover some basic ground ball mechanics and how these fundamental steps will vastly improve your defensive skills by executing the proper mechanics while fielding the baseball.
Ready Position: Players need to be ready to field a hard line drive and able to move in every direction.
1. Our stance should be balanced with a slight knee bend
2. Players should be on the ball of our feet and not flat footed
3. Elbow should be in front of our belly button, glove hand out in front with the palm of the glove open and facing upwards
Right to Left Approach: As infielders we always want to get the best view of the baseball and how we approach the baseball will greatly improve our view of the baseball.
1. Players should come around the baseball. A slightly curved approach moving to the right and curving back to the left with forward movement as we step to the baseball.
2. As we arrive at the baseball our feet should land right to left. This means our right foot first and our left foot second, which keeps our body in motion towards first base.
3. While we are in our Right to Left approach, our elbow should still be out in front of our belly with our glove hand out and the palm of the glove open and facing the sky.
Defensive Triangle: This is the stance we are in as we are receiving the baseball.
1. As our feet land Right to Left, they should be wide which helps us get lower to the ground.
2. Players should get their butts low to the ground, with good knee and back bend, getting their shoulders out in front of their knees, and their glove open and down on the ground. Fielding every ground ball from the ground up is extremely valuable for every infielder.
3. Our throwing hand should remain close above our glove and cradle the baseball as we catch it and funnel our glove into our waistline creating "Soft Hands" as we field the baseball.
Players can improve on these steps at home by simply throwing a tennis ball off the wall and repeating the steps every time, or partnering up with a friend and working together. Maximized repitition will help them improve their overall technique which will carry over in the games.
Stay tuned for my next blog where we will cover the next portion of this which is our transition, proper footwork to throw, and our correct followthrough.