Wednesdays Web Gems Tips – Sweet Spot in the Glove
It is important that youth baseball players practice catching balls in the palm area of the glove rather than in the web of the glove, when simply playing catch. Often, kids get in the habit of catching balls up in the web so their hand does not get stung when catching it in the non-web areas. This is a dangerous habit as it leads to not being able to catch it in the area of the glove where the ball is most accessible, leading to a fumbling of the ball when needing to get rid of it quickly in games.
Of course, with beginner ball players, just catching the ball is an accomplishment. However, as kids become more adept at that, it is important they learn where the best spot to catch balls in the glove is, too.
The best rule of thumb for this is that on any glove only catches, they should attempt to catch balls in the deep part of the glove, in the web area. This applies to backhand, forehand, shoe string catches, dive plays, and first base catches. Of course, it follows that any balls where youth baseball players get in front of the ball and have to get rid of the ball quickly should be caught in the palm area of the glove and not deep in the web.
Catching balls in the palm area is most important when turning double plays, so middle infielders must practice this often.
Too reiterate, coaches should encourage players to catch balls away from the web area on good throws during warm-up time. Remember, it’s the little things that make the ball player, and the coach.