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Have You Noticed Proper Footwork For Fielding A Slow Roller In Softball

Softball players will benefit from knowing the proper techniques for fielding and throwing.  One of the more difficult types of hits to handle is the slow roller because most of the time it is accidental or unexpected.  Proper footwork and positioning of the body can be the difference between a runner being barely out or barely safe.  Handling a slow roller whether it is a bunt or the batter did not connect with the ball properly is the same.

Approach the ball a quickly as you can.  Your speed is the first tool to getting the runner out.  As you approach the ball approach it to the side opposite your throwing hand, because that is the hand you will use to pick it up and throw it.   Right handed players will approach the ball with it to their right; left handed players will approach with the ball to their left.   Bend your knees slightly as you stop as be ready to go to a throwing position.

Be careful to grasp the ball firmly.  There is nothing more embarrassing than attempting to make a fast out and finding you fumbled the ball.  One you have the ball throw to the base that you have committed to in your mind.  If you hold the ball and look around, everyone may be safe.

If you are a right handed player trying to throw to third base then you will still approach from the right but go a little past the ball so you are position with your feet in a straight line pointed toward the intended base.   Likewise, if you are left handed the safe thing applies if you are throwing to first base from the position of shortstop or 3rd base.

Keep your weight on your toes so that you can make quick changes of direction if a teammate calls out to you to throw to a different base.  Also if you are close enough to a base for a quick toss being on your toes will help you balance and make it easy to pick up the ball.  You would still approach the ball in the same manner but you would not have to square around as much for a quick toss for a double play.  A shortstop who handles rollers well will greatly increase the number of 6-4-3 double plays.

Kevin Eaton
 

Keavin Eaton lives with his wife and two boys in New Orleans, LA. He has a bachelor’s degree in Phys Ed from the University of New Orleans and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the Louisiana State University. As an athlete, Kevin competed in many sports including wrestling, rowing, speed skating and bobsleigh before finding skeleton. Opinions expressed by Kevin on Play Famously are his own.

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