Suzy Willemssen explains the basics of softball, such as the ready positions and approaches in softball
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Suzy Willemssen: Hi! I'm Suzy Willemssen. I'm a Travel Ball and High School Softball coach. Here with me I have Aaron. We're going to be talking about some basic fastpitch Softball skills. In particular, fielding the ground ball and we're going to be discussing our ready position and different approaches that you can use when you want to secure the ball as well.
Before we get to that segment though, I'd like to discuss a little bit about a proper glove. Often, people will buy their youngster a glove hoping they'll grow into it. That's probably not the best idea or the best way for a player to learn the proper fundamentals. I recommend around a twelve and a half inch glove, that's a good starting point kind of a general rule of thumb. You want to make sure that they can actually manipulate the glove when they're learning these fundamentals. Alright, so, with our further do we'll talk about our ready position and our approach.
First of all, we'll talk about our ready position. You want to make sure you are ready to go when the pitch is ready to hit the zone and you want to have a little bit of movement because we don't want to start from a dead stop and so Aaron will first show a kind of a more static type of ready position. She is ready to go, but you can see she is rock in side to side a little bit. Also, when Aaron is in this position, she would make sure that she is square to the play because we want to be able to go four directions be it forward, backward, or side-to-side. We don't want to be in a staggered position. So, her ready position has her going and the static side-to-side, and she is square to the play.
Another ready position that you'll see many players use is more dynamic and they actually in almost do like a step in. Some people do it a little sooner, some people little later, but again, they're ready to go when the pitch hits the pitching zone and they're square to the play and again they've got a step in move and they're ready for the ball to be hit in any direction and so they can go and get it fielded.
Now we're going to talk about approaching the ball and the best way to do that. Aaron is in a ready position. The ball has hit. Now Aaron wants to almost be as if she is an airplane coming down for a landing, rather than a helicopter that's hovering and coming straight down. So, as you can see, as Aaron is going through her different motions, she is starting low, she is staying low, and she is coming down as if she is an airplane gradually blowing her center of gravity. If you also pay attention to the positioning of Aaron's glove, it is out in front of her and she is trying to get the ball central left. This will enable her to keep everything nice and relaxed. Some players get the ball off their right side, if they're right handed and that's a very tense position for the glove.
So, Aaron has her glove out in front. She is trying to be center left. So again, we want to be an airplane, lower at center of gravity, get the ball out in front. Also, going back to a little bit about the ready position typically mettle in fielders, who want to be like a tennis player and you want to be more up in this position. At corners, you can be a little lower, we don't want you to get down in the death squad, but you can be a little lower, you're going to be more for reaction. So, we've talked about the approach, how we want to come down slowly like an airplane. I will talk a little bit more about now the footwork.
A ball hit directly towards Aaron. An easy way to get it is, as she is coming down, she is going to actually get the ball in front; she is going to step in front, turn and throw. So, again we'll go one more time Aaron. She is coming down, secures the ball in front, step in front, turn and go. Now, the next one she'll do is going to be when she has to be a little quicker and she will be again we'll always going to be aggressive to the ball, being attacking so she is going to go towards the ball, she is going to replace her feet. So, she is getting the ball, its out in front, see how she replaces her feet, she has everything lined up, and then she makes her throw. So, that's the second way.
The third way is, let's say, Aaron is playing short step, she is being pulled away from the target, so she is haven to go deep in the whole behind second pace, she is going to get to the ball, she is actually going to come and step behind. This is the quickest way to enable her to get her body lined up in a position to make the throw to first base. Another thing I haven't discussed when you're securing or fielding any type of ground ball a catch, a glove is just used to redirect the ball. We don't want to be closing. Again, we just have in front and we always going to take our hand to the glove and we want to be redirecting the ball that will give us a quicker transfer.