Top 5 Infield Tips
Want top tier infield advice from a former MLB player and current Rockies Infield coach? Want tips that lead to quick results and increased confidence in the infield? Follow along as Coach Doug Bernier walks you through 5 essential infield tips to help you step up your game.
How’s it going? My name is Doug Bernier, lead infield instructor here at Game Day Baseball here in Parker, Colorado. Now, a question I get asked pretty often with our infielders is “what can we do to help see some quick results?” A couple tips that are going to give my young baseball players some confidence to go out out there and play infield. So today in this video, I got five tips that are going to help you quick fixes, and you’re going to see some results.
So the first tip: is when the ball is coming to us, we want to line up this glove shoulder to the ball. Now, we’ve all heard about getting around the baseball, right? But we don’t want to go too far, especially as you get older and balls start to get hit at you harder. So think about lining this shoulder up to the baseball. It’s going to get your head off to the side just enough where you’re able to see the height and the depth of the hops, which is going to make seeing the ball a whole lot easier.
All right, the second tip: is glove presentation. Now, of all the tips that we’re going to go through today, this is the one that I would look for and highlight with your infielders. All the way up from beginning, all the way through college, this is often a problem area. Now, infielders, as we’re trying to field baseballs, we’re trying to create rhythm. But what we want to do, we want to create rhythm with our lower half, not with our hands. You’ll see a lot of infielders pat their glove right before they feel the ball or roll their glove towards the baseball. We want to be boring with our glove. We want to have it open early towards the baseball and then let our feet create the rhythm. So remember, glove presentation. Get the glove out there facing the ball early and open to the baseball.
Number three, we want to make sure we have our hands out front. Now, you’ve probably heard this one before, right? But when? I didn’t realize until I got a little older. Where is that line from being too far out front, too far back? It’s kind of hard to explain sometimes, or it wasn’t explained to me. What I like to teach is making sure when I’m in my fielding stance that I can see the glove and the baseball at the same time when I’m fielding. Now, think about it when you’re playing catch. You’re throwing the ball to your partner, they’re throwing it back to you. I have my glove out front. I’m watching the ball, but I can also see the glove, right? That’s an easy ball to catch. If you throw me the baseball and I’m trying to catch the ball where I can see the ball, but I can’t see the glove, now, it becomes much more difficult. So make sure when we have our hands out front, we can see our glove and the ball at the same time.
All right, tip number four: is quick, slow timing: quick, slow tempo. So when the ball is hit, we need to read the ball with our eyes. We need to take a good, aggressive, quick first step towards the baseball. Now, what happens is often a lot of infielders will use that same tempo all the way through the fielding process. So they’re going to collide with the baseball. They’re going to run through the baseball too quick. What we want to do, we want to see the ball, take a good, aggressive, quick first step after the ball. Once we get closer to the ball, the last two hops, we want to slow our tempo down. Nice right left field. So think quick, slow field. We don’t want to have that same quick tempo through the ball. We want to be in control of the hop. We don’t want the hop to be in control of us.
And finally, tip number five: make sure we are super aggressive with our lower half, with our feet. Once the ball is secured. A huge mistake I see with a lot of young infielders, they catch the ball and they just kind of stand up and make the throw. Let’s try to create as much distance and direction towards first base. After we secure the ball, it’s going to make a shorter throw for us. It’s going to allow us to use our feet, which is going to make us throw the ball harder and take the strain off of our shoulder. So think about it. After we secure that ball, really, really be aggressive with our legs in the direction towards first base.
Tighten up your training with these at-home drills to do as a part of the baseball training routine. And if you are looking for some in-field drills to tighten your game, USA Baseball has a variety of resources and drills for you.
If you live on the north end of Denver, take your baseball skills to the next level at the old Hit Dingers Indoor Hitting Facility now Gameday in Arvada.
For anyone in the south Denver metro area, take your baseball skills to the next level at the 30,000 sq. ft. “Bubble” in Parker.