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Hi guys I'm just starting play with my summer team..... Im a SS and not totally sure why but im in a bit of a fielding slump...

It's like every ROUTINE ground ball hit to me, it deflects off of my glove or just hits my body...

My coach tells me that i pick my head up too soon, and that I need to stay down and watch the ball go all the way in my glove....

When we have practice, I dont exactly know how to stay down and "watch the ball into my glove "...

Can you guys give me some advice because I truly love SS but am having a rough time fielding lately.... Thanks!
Original Post
Hi IEBSBL I think my main problem is that I dont get my hands out in front all of the time... When I do get my hands out I definitely feel it....But I definetely field the ball to deep in my body now that you brought that up.... Do you think theres anything I should keep in my head while I'm fielding,  or any drills to help keep my hands out... Thanks IEBSBL

 

 

         Practice perfect makes a perfect practice

 

Sounds like you are standing flat footed letting the ball come to you. Be aggressive and attack the ball. When the pitcher starts his motion take a soft step toward the hitter staying on the balls of your feet like a tennis player getting ready for a serve. This will help take at least 90% of those short hops out of the equation. Note, not all. I could live with 90%, how about you?

Practice this everyday...take those very important steps and you will want the ball to be hit to you not to everybody else.

When do you practice these steps? Its called “BP” the best form of fielding practice you can get. Don't wait on the coach to hit you those needed ground balls.

Now don't scare yourself because every ball hit in the infield will now be yours. Balls hit in the hole now becomes a “can of corn” (easy play).

One last thing, when the hands go down the head goes down. Hands too far out in front or too deep in your stance will correct itself. This occurs when that soft step is taken...

         

Many young players are taught to get in front of the ball or center on the ball.  This can create problems at times. They tend to try getting in front of balls in the hole that need to be back handed and they are often fielding routine ground balls on the throwing arm side of their body.

 

in addition to the suggestions above, make sure you are fielding balls on the move and receiving the ball below your left eye or ear.  Those that field ground balls in front of center body or open handed on right side of center will have less up and down glove flexibility and thus they will appear to have hard hands.

 

That said everything starts with the feet. And every so often balls are hit that will require great instincts and reaction. And sometimes the situation calls for keeping the ball in the infield above all else.

 

One last thing, most slumps are caused by mental rather than physical issues. This can happen to anyone be it throwing, fielding or hitting.

Going to second what PGStaff about "fielding balls on the move". My son's infield coach played 10 years in the MLB and one of the first things he taught SPYvSPYjr was that "if you're feet stop moving your hands will get hard". It also reinforced the need to work through the ball and being more aggressive to the ball which keeps him from getting "back on his heels" - an error just waiting to happen!

My son had the yips like this once, we had him put the ball cap in his mouth and bite the bill of the cap. Make sure the cap is upside down and with the logo facing your chin. It forces you to watch ball into the glove and if your hands are out front...you should be okay. If you do it right, you will have to face down as the ball is in the glove and it is really difficult to lift the head up and see the ball during that process unless you focus. 

 

He could make "jeter-esque" plays that no one else could make but those 8 hoppers ate him up for a while. No he attacks every ball and if they are hoppers, he makes a quick decision to attack on a certain hop.

 

Best of luck to you.

Originally Posted by Shoveit4Ks:

My son had the yips like this once, we had him put the ball cap in his mouth and bite the bill of the cap. Make sure the cap is upside down and with the logo facing your chin. It forces you to watch ball into the glove and if your hands are out front...you should be okay. If you do it right, you will have to face down as the ball is in the glove and it is really difficult to lift the head up and see the ball during that process unless you focus. 

Here is video of the cap-in-mouth drill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awVIZV_emqU

Good suggestions above.

If your talking routine balls for the most part hit right at you

The key is too always try get the ball on the short hop.

One drill I would do with Everyday 2016 and 2018 is throw one hoppers a few feet or so in front of them.

They would learn to charge it as close as they could to the short hop, and would get a good feel and visual sense of timing.You tend to keep the glove lower longer as well, which is also key.

Good luck kid!

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