NC Baseball Academy | Fielding Overview
NCBA teaches the 6 F’s of Fielding as created by Marlins infield coach Perry Hill. This system provides an easily understandable structure that players of all ages and skill levels can learn with. These are our Core Principles for accelerating each infielder’s skill level and knowledge.
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Pre-pitch preparation anticipating the ball being put in play. As the pitcher separates his hands, the infielder will take two steps to get on the balls of their feet with their hands apart. We call this a prep step. The right handed infielder will generally start with a right to left step sequence to mimic his right to left fielding rhythm on the ground ball. Allows the fielder to be athletic and to efficiently move in any direction, and get to the ball as quickly as possible.
Fielder lines routine ground ball up with their glove side hip, and steps into fielding position with two-step rhythm. The right handed infielder will use a right step to left step movement pattern and the left handed infielder will use the opposite feet pattern. Fielder’s feet should be spread wide, back flat with hips slightly up to keep the infielder athletic and moving into the ball, nose in front of toes, and bare hand away from the glove. Glove arm should be extended in front and the ball should be fielded left of center for the right handed infielder and right of center for the left hander. Glove should be angled down and not flat on the ground
Hands work softly to gather the fielded ball out front and then to bring the glove to the center of the chest, setting a consistent starting point for all throws. Thumb of the glove should be in front of the fielder’s sternum, where the throwing hand can get the ball out of the glove and up to the throwing position quickly. Think about the logo of the glove turning towards the chest to set the glove and throwing hand in a down position for proper and consistent arm action to throw. Funnel happens concurrently with footwork.
Generate momentum and reduce the distance to the target while using a minimum number of steps. Quick feet are essential to a good infielder. As the fielder funnels the ball to their sternum, they will replace their feet without crossing in front or behind. For right handed throwers: Right foot to left foot, left foot to target. Good infielders do not cross their feet in front or behind. This type footwork keeps the feet under the body and athletic which will promote throws with better velocity and accuracy. Fielders should replace feet again if they get a poor grip on the ball or bobble the ball. A second shuffle of feet can be acceptable if the ball is hit hard and the infielder knows he has time.
Executing the throw. Fielder uses a short arm action to separate hands from the center of the body. Front side elbow remains up and aligned with the target, and the head should stay in the center of the feet to ensure strong accurate throws.
To allow carryover of momentum in the direction of the throw, the fielder will maintain slight bend in their glove side knee as they release the ball. Their body should continue to follow the throw for 2 steps towards the target. This core principle allows for easy carry on the throw and accuracy almost always improves. If the proper rhythm and footwork have been executed the follow of the throw should look smooth and make the throw seem effortless. The least executed fundamental of the 6 F’s!