Shortstop is one of the most exciting positions to play in softball because a player will be very engaged in the game. However, it is also very demanding, and so to ensure the success of your team, one needs to be very skilled and this is only possible if you know softball shortstop playing requirements. As the head of the diamond, a shortstop has not only to be one of the strongest players in the field but also the most vocal because together with the second baseman they will be responsible for most of the infield. Below is a basic guide on shortstop playing in softball and some tips to help you succeed in the position.
Basic Guide For Playing Shortstop
1. Position Correctly
Positioning is the first and most important thing that you will need to know to play as a shortstop. Different coaches may have varying opinions on this because they advocate for distinct styles of play. But, the correct position is between (halfway) the person playing third base and second base.
2. Working on Your Range is Vital
When playing as a shortstop, you will have to get many ground balls continuously and also very quickly, and so you have to improve your range. Apart from the regular training exercises, a pre-pitch routine is very beneficial because it will get you off faster.
3. Field Cleanly and Build Arm Strength
Unlike the second baseman the shortstop will have to get clean fielding in most instances and this will only be possible with a lot of practice. Arm strength is also crucial because the shortstop will have to throw the ball far across the diamond this also requires training but make sure you do not hurt your arm in the process.
4. Develops Ability to Throw from Different Angles
Throwing ability is one of the things that define a good shortstop in softball. And so one of the important skills that you will need to develop is throwing the ball from different angles and for this to be possible you need excellent footwork.
5. Release Quickly
Even if you have a fast throw, it will not benefit you if you do not know how to release the ball quickly and so you also need to practice on this. Also, ensure that you read the situation the pitcher pitches. And for this, you should determine where the fielders and base runners are because it will help you in determining where to throw the ball.
Tips For Success At Shortstop
- Always stay hydrated since your body needs a lot of fuel because the shortstop position is very engaging. The extra activity means that your body needs a lot of water.
- Good footwork is essential and to ensure you have put up leg muscle through sprints up on a steep hill.
- Get into the game without any fear and block the ball if need be using the chest because all that you will get is a small bruise that will not be there in a couple of days.
- A shortstop is a well-rounded player, and so you should also aim at improving your hitting skills because if you are not good, you will not play.
- Knowing the softball field is essential because understanding things such as its slope and the speed of an infield can change the game dramatically and so it is a significant advantage.
- It is essential to ensure that you have the best gear because this will affect your performance significantly. Shop for the best bats, gloves, pine tar, batting tees, and even sunglasses.
A shortstop sees a lot of action and so if you want to play in this position and also enjoy doing it you will need to not only know how to play but also how to became good at it. With the tips above in mind you should be able to play in this position well but always remember that good and regular practice is the only way to build and improve your skills.