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Ten most important things for an infielder to do

Mar 28, 2016
At the really young ages e.g. when they are just starting (maybe 4-8 YO), just having them charge everything is a decent idea imo. At least it gets their feet moving and not waiting back on the ball. At that age the long step to "choppy" step footwork we are talking about in order to get the best hop is probably not really possible. Older than that, yes working on the proper footwork to get the best hop is a must imo. That said, many centuries ago my father never worked on that specifically with me but I probably also took 50 to 100 GB every day in the summer from the time I was 7 so I figured it on my own I guess.
This is true for most of us. We figured it out. But I would say that if the girls are aware of it in gym practice, the learning curve would be quicker.
Jan 13, 2020
When the pitch is made, watch the barrel of the bat. In time they will learn from the angle of the bat about to hit the ball how to get a better jump on the ball. 🌟
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Apr 20, 2018
After you know where your going with the ball and the situation and the pitch location called. a more specific skill I teach to practice. At contact looking down your nose instantly decide is the ball hit right or left of your nose. Turn your hips that direction. As your turning your hips decide is the ball going up or down. Which will determine if your back leg is going to be stepping back (if ball is up) or sideways or forward depending on angle of downward hit ball. My cue is turn and sprint right or left turn and sprint. Practicing instant decision has made huge improvements on my team. I learned it for outfielding it can make 3-4 step diffence but works great for infielders also.
You might like this. I just started using it. Getting creative. Think backhand forehand and right at you.
Apr 20, 2018
Sluggers - thank you - this is a great thread topic - I suggest a “10 things” OF thread for next week!

In the meantime - my attempt at 10 things to know/have:

1. Throw on the run.
2a. Know HOW to toss the ball underhand.
2b. Know WHEN to toss the ball underhand.
3. Already mentioned - long hops and short hops - choose one and commit to it. It’s the in-between hop that will make you look semi-pro. (Trotsky does a great job of explaining it).
[Rabbit Hole #1: ARE there enough balls hit with a trajectory that will produce a short or long hop to dedicate much practice to it? Seems important based on baseball experience and videos I’ve seen, but I’m still @10U - more mis-hits than hot smashes or high chopperss.]
4. Approach angle.
5. Approach footwork (Right-Left-Field-Right-Left-Throw / Right to Left, Left to Target). My own variation in regards to pace is fast (get there), slow (glove down), shuffle (realign feet), and throw.
6. Solid, repeatable throwing mechanics.
7. Glove work (work through the ball / funnel /reach / elbow hinge / midline exchange)
8. Pre-pitch motion (split step / hop / creep)
Ack! I knew I’d run out of slots once I started!
9. Situational awareness / anticipation - broad, I know:
9a. Know where to throw
9b. Know when NOT to throw, b/c sometimes the best play is making no play.
9c. Know where to go (the 3 “B”s - ball, base, backup).
[Rabbit Hole #2: One of my proudest ‘coaches-kid’ moment - play at the plate, and after the usual cluster of ball and runner arriving at the same time, our under-sized C ends up beneath the over-sized runner, with the ball slowly rolling to the backstop. It was like a slow-motion coaching nightmare - the runner is acting like she just belly-splashed off the top rope, the batter is still rounding the bases, the pitcher is still standing in the circle (I guess the ball magically appearing in her glove from 35’ away was a play they’d been practicing?), and no video game super move was available to allow our catcher to flip the runner off her and get the ball. Just as an inside-the-infield-HR was looking more and more likely, in rushes my daughter from 1B to scoop up the ball and keep the runner at 3B.]
10. Internal clock. Yeah - probably similar to 9, but I feel it’s important enough to get its own line. You have to have one. Not every play is “field, step, and throw” - you have to know before you transfer the ball what type of runner you have - you can’t expect to pick your head up, gauge the runners speed, and then adjust your throw accordingly. That clock has to be ticking the moment the ball hits the bat.

Looking forward to everyone’s thoughts on this topic.

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Once the ball is past the outfielder they should have a good idea, based on runners on which base and time that has expired to where they will be throwing the ball. Not retrieve ball and then turn around with that let me figure this out look on their face.