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Thread: Fielding a misread ball in the outfield

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Default Fielding a misread ball in the outfield

    A lot of time I find this happens when the ball is lined with a lot of top spin at an outfielder. The outfielder breaks towards the ball to catch it in the air but the ball dives because of the top spin and lands a couple feet in front of the outfielder. I realize the outfielder should try to block it whichever way possible, but is there a proper technique to block (keep in front) those hard hit balls that land a few feet in front of you? I know those in between balls (between a short hop and full hop) can make a fielder uncomfortable. Wondering if this is something I can help my DD with

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    Certified softball maniac canyonjoe's Avatar
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    It just takes a lot of practice. I encourage OF's to go for the ball but once you realize you can't catch than you want to try and find a full hop if possible. There are many variables to take into account. If you are playing on turf the spin of the ball will make a much bigger deal so you need to account. If there is a fence or if the field is soft you can take more chance. The location it's hit. In the gap you should have help, down the lines not so much.

    However the biggest issue I see with so many players is they simply don't get in front of hard hit balls. If you stay in front you might need to down on a knee if it's not a do or die situation but the attitude that it's not going to get by me is what prevents many from getting by.

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    Softball Junkie Elk Grove Hurricane's Avatar
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    We were always taught to take the ball of your chest in that situation. I haven't seen anyone teach DD that, yet, however. But we were taught to make ourselves as "big as you can," (meaning broaden the shoulders but keep the legs a normal distance apart), then let the carom hit you, knocking the ball down. The other option for her is always trying to short-hop it and getting a force out if possible, something that takes some confidence and something most of the younger kids won't know to do.

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    Certified softball maniac Sweet Lou's Avatar
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    A willingness to use your body to stop the ball is required.

    Otherwise being able to turn around and run fast chasing the ball is option number 2.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball chinamigarden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julray View Post
    A lot of time I find this happens when the ball is lined with a lot of top spin at an outfielder. The outfielder breaks towards the ball to catch it in the air but the ball dives because of the top spin and lands a couple feet in front of the outfielder. I realize the outfielder should try to block it whichever way possible, but is there a proper technique to block (keep in front) those hard hit balls that land a few feet in front of you? I know those in between balls (between a short hop and full hop) can make a fielder uncomfortable. Wondering if this is something I can help my DD with

    Thanks
    Yes, you can hit her a whole bunch of balls. The best way to fix this is practice reading the ball off the bat better. The more she sees this sort of ball, the less chance she will put herself in the position of needing to take a one hopper off the chest or legs

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    Softball Junkie julray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinamigarden View Post
    Yes, you can hit her a whole bunch of balls. The best way to fix this is practice reading the ball off the bat better. The more she sees this sort of ball, the less chance she will put herself in the position of needing to take a one hopper off the chest or legs
    I agree... but there are times no matter how much practice you will misread a ball and need to sacrifice your body to keep it in front. I was wondering what the best way to do this would be. My DD's coach advises my DD to keep charging the ball and not lay up. Considering this approach she will continue to see balls drop in that uncomfortable distance in front of her.

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    Certified softball maniac Sweet Lou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julray View Post
    I agree... but there are times no matter how much practice you will misread a ball and need to sacrifice your body to keep it in front. I was wondering what the best way to do this would be. My DD's coach advises my DD to keep charging the ball and not lay up. Considering this approach she will continue to see balls drop in that uncomfortable distance in front of her.
    It really depends where you are and how close you are to the ball on what the approach is.
    Typically "keep coming" is good advice but if "keep coming" puts you in an in between hop, laying up might be more appropriate.

    As others have said, reps, reps and more reps and they player will get more comfortable on what to do in different situations.

    The biggest problem I see with "laying up" is far too many balls fall in that really should be caught.

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