WK's Coach's Tips
The Glove and Positioning
Let's move on from hitting and spend some time
on defense. The last time we talked about fielding was way back
in 1996 (see the Coach's Tip Archives above). I think it's time
we re-visit this critical part of the game. Let's start with the
It seems almost fundamental, but make sure that
the glove being used is appropriate for the postion.
- The first baseman's glove is long and deep
pocketed for one hand "picks".
- The ideal glove for second base is
smallish with a shallower pocket to help on making the
ball transfer on those pivot plays.
- The shortstop will use a glove slightly
bigger than the second baseman with finger control being
- The third baseman's glove is larger yet
with a deeper pocket for those one hand picks.
The overriding consideration for each position
is hand size, comfort level, and aptitiude.
- The standard fielding position is flexed
at the knees to allow the glove to begin below the level
of the ball.
- The back is relatively straight but angled
slightly forward to allow the arms to hang with a slight
elbow bend and tension free.
- The hands will accept the ball comfortably
out and away from the body.
- The last step before catching the ball
should be left leg (for right handers) moving through for
natural transition to throwing footwork.
- When first and third basemen are playing
up on the grass, they will begin with a lower ready
position for better lateral reaction while short stop and
second base will begin in a more upright postion for
better "hop judging" and increased perception
of ball speed.
- Movement on the balls of the feet is
critical for a smooth approach to the ball. The first
quick step is critical.
- When charging, adjust to the speed and hop
of the ball. Ideally, receive the ball from the center to
the glove side of the body.
- Subtle movements and soft legs mean soft
hands. Keep the feet moving. If the ball hits your glove
while your body is stopped, the result is "hard
That's it for now. In the next session, we'll
continue with infield development.
Keep your head in the game!
Updated May 24, 1998