Fielding & Catching Instruction
Fielding & Catching Instruction
Fielding and Catching are integral parts of the game which are core components of learning for any youth baseball player. Furthermore, fielding and throwing instruction along with catching instruction should be taught in a progressive way so that youth players can apply motor learning and know how to improve their technique.
Many in youth baseball circles may only focus on reps without assessing core technique which exacerbates issues with technique. Repetition without instruction can even affect arm health especially in throwing the baseball; DREAM Team focuses on technique with instruction and specifically there’s a focus on maintaining arm health and decreasing the amount of stress on the throwing arm. We subscribe to physiological and kinetic chain doctoral studies and higher learning arm care programs to ensure that every player is on track with using their lower half correctly while ensuring they are rotating through their upper half (providing fluidity to motion). Additionally, we teach the correct way to release the ball at an optimal release point to help decrease stress and also increase throwing velocity.
DREAM Team also insects on the different types of throws in the game when playing in the field:
- Infield throws to make force outs
- Infield throws to glove side to increase chances of tagging out an incoming baserunner that is sliding
- Outfield throws to glove side of relay man
- Outfield throws to make force outs
- PFP (Pitcher fielding practice) underhand throws and toss plays
- Middle infield throws
- Catcher pop throws and snap throws
Fielding fundamentals are taught in the progressive manner as originally taught by Perry Hill:
- Feet (starting footwork to get to the ball)
- Field (working through the ball with the glove)
- Funnel (funneling ball to the chest & making transfer to throwing)
- Feet (aligning feet to square up to your throwing target)
- Fire (throwing the ball with proper technique)
- Follow (following with steps towards the fielder’s target/glove being thrown to)
The importance of good footwork is paramount to any fielding play. Whether it’s a routine infield ground ball player or an outfield line drive where the outfielder must range to get their feet in a position to catch the ball and make an optimal throw, it all starts with footwork. Again, DREAM Team focuses on so much more than developing a good throwing arm because if you can’t get your feet set in position to make a play and know how to use your fielding technique to give the ball the throw won’t even be made.
Along with proper fielding technique, we teach fielders to anticipate (based on the catcher’s pitch sign) and read contact off of the bat when fielding to give themselves an optimal opportunity to make the play. We what our fielders to want the ball to be hit to them as they are prepared and ready to make a play using the 3 B’s (every fielder has a responsibility on every play in one of these ways):
- Make a play on the Ball
- Cover a Base
- Back up the play or another fielder
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