Baseball Fielding Tips - Hey Get A Grip Will You?
Whenever possible, try to grip the ball with four seams before throwing the ball to one of your teammates. It's one of the most important baseball fielding tips that unfortunately, very few focus on. You want the closed part of the horseshoe formed by the seams on the baseball to be either facing inside toward you or outside and away from you. In other words, your index finger is on two seams and your middle finger is on two seams and thus the name four-seam. My preference is having the horseshoe facing inside because it feels better to me in my hand but this is strictly your call. The objective is to simply create a perfect backspin on the throw. It's not difficult at all.
If you are limited time wise and have to hurry on a play, you might not be able to have the choice as to which way the horseshoe faces but you still should strive to get the 4-seam grip.Think of it as a pitcher. A pitcher throws a 4-seamer, which is for the most part straight and fast. A pitcher throws a 2-seamer, which is not as fast and has movement. You don't want less speed and more movement when throwing to a teammate, do you? Fielders can be fooled by movement on a ball exactly like a batter can be fooled. You want to focus on more speed and less movement in the same exact manner that a pitcher throws a 4-seam fast ball. The last thing you want is for your throw to have any extra movement when throwing to your first baseman or another teammate.
It is a little difficult to get your 4-seam grip on the bare-handed play on a very slow roller. As you are bringing the ball up with your bare hand, the tricky part is that you only a fraction of a second to move the ball in your hand and find your 4-seam grip. Resist the temptation to simply throw the ball before getting the 4-seam grip. This is definitely something that requires practice, but all serious fielders make it their business to learn it. And all serious coaches should include this in their baseball coaching drills. On this play, you don't want to have the ball sail and either go into the runner or have any extra movement to cause your throw to not be handled cleanly by your first baseman. The runner may very well end up on second base because of the improperly thrown ball when he should have been a fairly easy out. P.S. Some professional infielders actually practice getting their 4-seam grip when removing the ball from their glove when they are sitting in the dugout. Maybe that's one of the reasons they are professional infielders.
Getting the 4-seam grip on the baseball before throwing it is one of the more important baseball fielding tips. It requires some practice but I assure you that you will be able to execute it properly after some repetition. All smart coaches should include this fundamental in their baseball fielding tips.
If you have any doubt about the importance of getting the 4-seam grip before throwing the baseball, just remember that ALL the great infielders use the 4-seam grip. On that note alone, I rest my case!