ASA Softball: ACE Coaching Manual - Fielding A Ground Ball
While hand-eye coordination is not as crucial in fielding a ground ball, fear of the ball is a big problem. Most kids are scared to death of getting hit by a ball that is bouncing sharply, heading directly toward them. Softballs are not soft and they can hurt young (and older) kids.The best thing you can do to improve your players’ ability to field ground balls is to remove their fear of the ball by using softer, safety balls. Use safety balls, whiffle balls, tennis balls or any softer ball, that won’t hurt the player if it takes a bad bounce and hits them. Pain and injury are two things that will certainly keep your players from paying attention long enough to ever learn how to field correctly. And with all the great safety balls available now, it doesn’t make any sense for you not to use them. If you are the type of coach who thinks kids just need to take a few grounders off the face until they learn to “stay down on the ball and keep your body behind it,” you are in for a surprise - those days are over. Kids have many choices now as to what sport they want to play and it doesn’t take much - fear, injury, boredom - before they choose to go play something else. So be compassionate and use safety balls when teaching your players how to field ground balls.
Here are the basics for fielding a grounder