Fielding 101: No more alligator technique!

When you coach Little Leaguers, you always begin fielding with the “alligator” technique of trapping the ball into your glove with your throwing hand. As players advance in skill and competition, it’s time to rethink that a bit.

Brandon Crawford is a technical master for IF defense. As you will see in the video below, his scoop, funnel, small circle, footwork and throw are all fundamentally superb.

Too many times in youth baseball you will watch a young player attack a grounder like this, scoop well, funnel OK, and then be 100% off balance on his throw – that ends up wild.

The technique shown in the video is what higher-level coaches ingrain into their infielders to maximize effectiveness. Any IF position can apply these mechanics on approaching ground balls and positioning the body to make an accurate, strong throw to any base.

One area that I think the video misses a bit is how Brandon circles to the ball in order to get momentum heading towards first base. He doesn’t take a straight angle that would push him away from the base, he circles behind the ball and attacks it with his momentum moving towards the base. While not possible on each play, this is the preferred way to approach and attack a ground ball.

What other observations did you have in this video? Tell us about them in the comments below.

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