Wednesday Web Gems
Correct Footwork for Fielding is Everything – At Least, Notice These
People should not expect youth baseball coaches to be experts with baseball strategy. Additionally, even after playing major league baseball, it took years of study to notice the finer details of the baseball swing and baseball-throwing actions, so volunteer coaches cannot know all the finer details of those, either.
However, one of my pet peeves is youth baseball coaches, who allow kids to get away with basic footwork mistakes. Simple things, as allowing fielders to have the wrong foot out front when fielding, are baseball-coaching points that even inexperienced coaches should catch, no pun intended.
The correct footwork on a normal groundball is to have the feet parallel when catching the ball or the glove side foot out front slightly, as players square the ball up in the middle of the feet.
Footwork for Fielding Thrown Balls
The other key footwork coaching points that youth coaches should be aware of involve footwork around the bases on thrown balls.
- Except for balls thrown from the home plate angle, first basemen use their foot opposite from their glove side on the bag. This allows the most amounts of range and balance for catching balls.
- Second baseman begin with their left foot on the base for all double play attempts, but use their right foot on the bag when needing to act like a first baseman for a force out only.
- Shortstops have their right foot on the centerfield side of the bag for all thrown balls from left of the baseline but have their left foot on the base for balls thrown from the right of the base line – from pitcher or first baseman, who is on home plate side of the baseline.
- Third basemen begin, as first basemen, with the right foot on the bag on all throws that are non-tag plays.
For most tag plays, basemen begin by straddling the base until making adjustments for throws.
Once again, good baseball coaches notice the little footwork moves of fielders and make the necessary footwork adjustments, so players have the best chance at success.