Baseball tips – how to maintain your ground using the holding position?

Elvis Elvis

The holding position is used when a ground ball is hit hard directly toward, or a shuffle step to the left or right, of your fielding position. Essentially, this is when you are able to maintain, or are required to only slightly adjust, your original set position established prior to the pitcher throwing his pitch.

Your original set position technique should be similar to that of the alligator position.

Move into place utilizing the shuffle step.

If the baseball is hit just to your left or right of your holding position, you should use the shuffle step. The shuffle step allows you to maintain your shoulders and body squared to the ball and home plate. This helps you to better see and play the baseball by not forcing you to take your eyes off the ball, while keeping your body in its best possible fielding position.

If moving to your right, your left foot should skip close to your right foot, followed by your right foot skipping farther to its right. A slightly more than shoulder width spacing should be maintained between your two feet when spread apart. This is repeated until you are able to reach the fielding position best suited to field the batted ball.

If moving to your left, the shuffle step should have you moving your right foot close to your left, with your left foot then kicking out, until you are in position.

Baseball tips    how to maintain your ground using the holding position?

Cushioning the ball with “soft hands”.

Once fielding the ball, your feet must remain still with much of your weight on the balls of your feet. Your arms and hands must then continue “with the ball”. This action of continuing with the ball is referred to as having “soft hands” – the act of bringing your hands in the same direction of the ball as the ball enters your mitt.

This follow-through helps to quickly lessen the momentum and force of the ball, “softening” the impact of the ball into the glove and making it less likely that the ball will be deflected elsewhere.

With the high speed and momentum of ground balls, at times they have a tendency to bounce just as you’re watching it into your glove. Hold your position and keep your body and shoulders square to the ball – never taking your eyes off the ball.

Use your body to block the ball if necessary.

Use your body to block the ball, if necessary, if the ball hops above or rolls up your glove. The objective here is to keep the ball in front of you, making it possible for you to have a second chance at making a play. If your body and shoulders were square with the ball, any ball knocked down by your body is likely to be easily retrieved directly in front of you for you to make a throw.

In using your body to keep the baseball in front of you, be sure to maintain your throwing hand approximately twelve inches above your glove, palm side down. If any ball should roll up your glove arm, your throwing hand should be there to help block it – keeping the ball from reaching your face.

Knowing your hand is there to stop any wayward ball goes a long way in helping establish your confidence when using your body to block a ground ball, meaning that you’ll be less likely to close your eyes when fielding a grounder.

Establishing your feet position to come up throwing.

Your feet and hands play a vital role fielding ground balls in the holding position. Your feet must be spread comfortably apart, slightly more than your shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Your foot on your glove hand side should be placed slightly in front of your foot on your throwing arm side. This helps to firmly plant your back foot on your throw, providing more power and velocity.

As the ball enters your glove, follow through with the alligator positioning – clamping down on the glove with your throwing hand and softening the impact with your follow-through.

Once the ball is in your glove, jump to your throwing position, turning your body sideways to the base you’re throwing as you transfer the ball from glove to throwing hand. Your glove-side elbow and front foot should now be pointing toward the base you’re throwing to. Your throwing hand, now holding the ball, should start down near the back of your thigh with your back foot firmly planted.

You are now ready to throw the ball in an attempt to throw the hitter out – completing your task of fielding a ground ball from the holding position.