How to Field a Ball on Your Knee in the Outfield in Softball
If there is no immediate play in the infield, there is no urgency for an outfielder to rush the throw back in. While the outfielder shouldn’t hold onto the ball forever, she does have a little extra time to field the ball as cleanly as possible. In these situations, the outfielder should field the ball on her knee, which will help to cleanly secure the ball. If you play on the grass, keep reading for tips on how to field a ground ball cleanly and quickly from the knee.
Get to the Ball
No matter where you are in the outfield, you cannot run directly to where the ball is hit. You need to be able to anticipate where the ball is going and run there, instead. The best approach to take is to round the ball. Rounding the ball means approaching it in a manner that allows you to be moving forward (toward your target) as you field the ball. This will help in preventing the ball from getting past you.
As mentioned before, if you are an outfielder, you don’t have to rush your throw if there is no immediate play in the infield. Instead, you should take the necessary steps to secure the ball so it doesn’t get by. You can do this by dropping to a knee:
- First, get to the ball. As mentioned before, never run directly to where the ball is. You have to be able to anticipate where the ball will land and run there instead.
- Round the ball. Once you are in front of it, drop down to your throwing-side knee.
- As you kneel down, try to extend your throwing-side foot to the side, perpendicular to the ball. Your other foot should be lined up with your knee.
- Drop you glove between your knee and foot, and then square your shoulders to the ball.
- Lean slightly forward at the waist as you watch the ball into your glove. Angling your chest forward will help you knock down any ball that takes a last-minute hop.
- Secure the ball with two hands.
Hot Tip: The Ball Will Find Your Back Shoulder
Always try to square your shoulders to the ball. If you turn your back shoulder, the ball that takes a bad hop will almost always find your back shoulder and get past you. If you square your shoulders and angle your torso forward, your upper body will create a wall. A bad bounce might hit you, but at least you will knock it down!
Get Up & Throw
When you drop down to your knee, there should be no gaps between your knee, glove, and foot. You effectively create a solid wall behind the ball. After watching the ball into your glove and securing it, simply stand up and throw the ball in. Make sure your throw is accurate, though! Just because there is no urgent play doesn’t mean the runner won’t advance on a bad throw.