Teaching Kids To Catch Ground Balls

How do you teach kids to catch ground balls? Here are six areas to focus on:

The Glove
Make sure you have the right glove. The most important things are to make sure it's not too big and the leather is soft. You want a soft glove so the kid can squeeze the ball in it. Most gloves sold today are already soft (broken-in)

The Stance
Start out with the legs spread wide and knees bent while keeping the body weight over the torso.

Now get up on the balls of the feet, position the hands over the knees with palms facing out.

Getting the glove down first
I'm surprised how many kids in youth baseball don't put the glove all the way to the ground first when attempting to catch ground balls. This baseball tip will prevent many errors.

Catch the ball between the legs

Teach the kids to catch the ball between the legs when ever possible. The rule of thumb is to use this approach if you can shuffle to the left or shuffle to the right and still field the ball between the legs.

Use Two Hands
Once you catch the ground ball you have to prevent it from coming out of the glove. This is done simply by putting the throwing hand over the open glove when the ball is caught. After catching it, the ball has to be thrown. So using two hands is fundamental to baseball.

Shuffle Step to the left or right
Encourage the little kids to shuffle to the left and to the right when catching ground balls. When shuffling, never have them use cross over steps.

Follow and practice these techniques to develop the fundamentals for being a good infielder.

Teaching kids how to play baseball and catch ground balls takes time and effort - but have fun at it!

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