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Getting into ground ball position

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
Watch the typical youth player working on fielding ground balls. More often than not, what you'll see is a bend at the waist, with the arms hanging down like an orangutan and the ball being fielded at the feet.

There are any number of reasons for this poor technique. One is actually some of the coaching we do. We tell our fielders to get their gloves on the ground. So they follow those directions, taking the shortest distance between two points -- a straight line. And that straight line is directly below her belt.

What we need to do instead is tell them to lower their hips. When their hips are lowered the glove will also get onto the ground, but a little more forward, forming the point of a triangle. (The feet are the base of the triangle.) Lowering the hips also allows the head to stay up so fielders can watch the ball all the way in -- as opposed to bending at the waist, which causes the head to point down.

Try it. Get in the athletic position with the hands in front, then move down by lowering the hips. You'll be in a much better position to both see and field the ball. And the nice thing is it's a very specific instruction.

May 12, 2008
Yes, field it as far out in front as possible. Eyes can only track so many degrees change so fast. Field it up by your feet and you can't track a hot grounder into the glove. It's also safer from a bad hop since your face is closer to being behind your glove.
Aug 2, 2008
I have been having good results teaching Kobatas fielding techinques. Field the ball out in front with the glove side foot foward, your glove ends up on the ground between your bodies centerline and your glove side foot. It makes fielding a ground ball on the move very quick and efficient. Most of all it solves the problem Ken is talking about, to get the glove out by your foot you have to lower your hips.

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