What Do You Look For In A Good Infielder?
Question: What Do You Look For In A Good Infielder? John
Answer from Sam:
John, that’s actually a really good question and happens to be my personal pet peeve. For me, a good infielder needs to have <strong>quiet hands</strong>. That means no excessive movement. No side to side approach of the ball, no flip downs with your glove at the last second. Keeping your glove low throughout the fielding process is also very important. I like to tell my players to pretend there is a giant eyeball in the pocket of my glove and if the eyeball can’t see the ball, how are you going to catch it. Anytime your glove or hands are moving there is more chance to make an error. Keep your glove low and track the ball. It’s much easier to see the ball when your eyes are closer to the ground. And I will tell you as you probably already know, it is much easier to come up on a ball than it is to go down on one. I always say, “START LOW / STAY LOW”.
And to practice this, come up on the edge of the grass and have your coach hit the ball at you. Put your glove out so the “eyeball can see”, and don’t move it when you catch it. Remember, we are just trying to catch the ball and not throw it. So catch the ball and hold it in your glove for a second then catch the next one, each time just catching the ball and holding it. After you get the hang of that, move back and do the same thing.
You will find over time that less movement means more success and less mistakes. And above all, practice, practice, practice. I know this will help you as you go along.