How QUICK do Middle inflielders need to,... yes you S.S. & 2nd...

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Feb 1, 2021
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I'd guess experience is probably more of a factor in the teen years than speed. DD is constantly anticipating various scenarios and adjusting her position on the field to help pull it off. She is not fast but I have never seen her struggle to get to the bag in time.
 

radness

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
7,264
113
Chiming in as a Catcher dad. Rant starts here: I cannot count how many times the SS/2B failed to be at the base on time or better yet before the ball got there. Catchers work their A$$'s off on the pop times, but I don't see MIF's working on the feet work to get to the base in time. In fact saw it happened this week in a college game. Fielder fails to get the base with the ball going to CF, while an error is appointed to C. 1st and 3rd situation, 2B does not get to her proper cut off position and ball flies in the OF.
? been working on that rant for decades...

Even have a training workout i offer for free to teams to develop agility
and defensive strategy .
Includes back picks!
 
May 6, 2015
2,397
113
I teach my one middle infielder (there's zero need for both) to break for second once the runner takes off. Rarely a ball might get hit to where she was. It happens. That's just part of the game. Doesn't make any sense for me for her to wait, especially if there is a question of whether she can beat the catcher's throw to the bag.

especially given that lots of coaches/teams do a fake bunt pull back on this play, to try to leave 2B unattented. if runner is going, designated MI has to cover.
 

radness

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
7,264
113
Maybe this is one of those "softball is different from baseball" things that still trips me up from time to time, but why is the middle infielder waiting that long to cover? Because the smaller field should give her time to make sure the batter doesn't hit the ball and still get to the bag? That's not my experience at the lower levels.

I teach my one middle infielder (there's zero need for both) to break for second once the runner takes off. Rarely a ball might get hit to where she was. It happens. That's just part of the game. Doesn't make any sense for me for her to wait, especially if there is a question of whether she can beat the catcher's throw to the bag.

Edit: I can see how some slappers could make this a difficult proposition. That's not something I typically need to worry about. So if a slapper is up, I'd probably try something different.
Seems what you are reffering to is strategy having infielders vacate their position early....but are you only speaking of little kids?
Learning timing???
 
Dec 2, 2013
3,537
113
Texas
I'd guess experience is probably more of a factor in the teen years than speed. DD is constantly anticipating various scenarios and adjusting her position on the field to help pull it off. She is not fast but I have never seen her struggle to get to the bag in time.
Bingo! That is how you play the game. Anticipating your next move. Expect the ball. 3 B's. Ball, Base, Back up! What are you going to do...if? If pitcher is going to pitch an outside pitch, where is the ball more likely to go? You base your movements on what you expect to happen. If you play the game surprised everytime the ball comes to you or you are always out of position you will not be playing very long.
 
Dec 2, 2019
104
43
Rad, have you ever seen teams work on a back pick strategy of throwing directly to SS? What is your thought on this?
Our 10U team experimented with this and our girls made it look so obvious that the ball was going to SS. However on back picks to 3rd base we have picked off a ton of girls. For whatever reason there isn't many teams in our area that practice back picks I guess, so their baserunners are not prepared for the throw from catcher to 3rd. Our pitchers walk a lot of batters and we erase most of them at 3rd base on back picks. We had seven pick offs at 3rd in a three inning game a couple weekends ago, the other team refused to make a adjustment.
 
Jun 4, 2024
142
28
Earth
For whatever reason there isn't many teams in our area that practice back picks I guess, so their baserunners are not prepared for the throw from catcher to 3rd.
As I reflect back on this post I see that comment.

Being prepared is worth bumping this post again!
 
Jan 25, 2022
957
93
I can't recall if it was patty gasso or maybe sue enquist who said she only recruits pitchers, catchers, and middle infielders. Seems like a smart way to go about it.
 

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