Tricks to Catching a Softball With Your Glove
Catching a softball the correct way will save you the embarrassment of dropping the ball and getting charged with errors, and it will quickly get you on the way to becoming a good fielder. Much of it is a matter of common sense and being alert, but a few tricks will help you land the ball in the glove with greater ease.
Move Your Feet
Don't sit back and wait for the ball to come to you. You want to play the ball; you don't want it to play you. When you are playing infield and getting ready for the pitcher to deliver the pitch, have your weight on the balls of your feet so you are ready to move left, right, in or out. When you are playing outfield, angle your body slightly toward home plate so you are ready to move easily. Move toward the ball when it's hit.
If the ball is coming in at waist level or below, turn your glove so that the palm (catching area) is pointing upward toward the sky. If you are going to catch a ball above waist level, turn your glove so the palm is facing downward. This will not only help you catch the ball; it will help you stay away from injuries. For example, if you have the palm of your glove turned upward and a hard line drive or one-hopper comes toward you at shoulder level, the ball can skip off the heel of your glove and strike you in the face or get past you.
Secure the Ball with Two Hands
Using two hands to catch a ball is one of the first things players are taught when they pick up a glove and play their initial game of softball. When the ball strikes the palm of your glove, close your hand quickly, then use your throwing hand to cover the ball. On balls that are hit hard or have a lot of spin, using your throwing hand will help you catch the ball more frequently and help you avoid making errors.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.