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13 Common Mistakes Middle Infielders Make

by Stacie ~ March 27th, 2013. Filed under: Coach Softball, Softball Tips, Stacie's Thoughts, Youth Softball.

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I spent most my playing time in the middle infield. I have a particularly soft spot for 2b. I know playing middle is not easy. There’s a lot to remember and a lot of ground to cover in short periods of time. There’s certainly a lot more to it than simply catching, throwing, and knowing basic situations and coverages.

Unfortunately, coaches may not have time to cover all the lovely intricacies of playing middle infield in just one season. In fact, I’d venture to say they couldn’t even if they tried. Therefore, it’s not entirely surprising that players make mistakes in the middle.

Fastpitch softball tips: mistakes middle infielders makeHere are some of the more common ones I see:

  • Not knowing where outfielders are playing and letting a short fly drop because they assume it’s an outfield ball OR running smack into a tight playing outfielder while going after those Texas leaguers.
  • Not communicating with corners on base coverage for steals, pick-offs, or bunts.
  • Not clearing the base path when turning a double play.  Metal cleats are now allowed in youth/high school softball.  This is IMPORTANT!!!
  • Sitting back and waiting for a ground ball to come to them vs closing the gap, giving the batter/runner less time to get to first, and getting to the ball before that last, possibly nasty, hop.
  • Holding on to the ball longer than they need to then gunning it with all their might over to first base on every.single.play. (Note: While this may look cool, it does NOT make the play easier for your first baseman.  The easier you make it for them, the more outs you’ll get over the course of a season!)
  • Moving their feet in one direction while throwing in another.
  • Throwing the ball overhand when they should flip/toss it (throwing the ball hard when they need to throw it quick).
  • Relying solely on their teammates to line them up for cuts vs moving quickly, being aware of their surroundings, and looking in and out to help themselves get lined up.
  • Not giving the outfielder a BIG (get those hands up), LOUD target when serving as a cut.
  • Catching the ball with their back toward the infield while relaying a ball in from the outfield.
  • Digging in, dropping back on their heels, or trying to move to a hit ball from a dead stop.
  • Breaking to cover a base before the ball is hit.
  • Yielding to a baserunner while in the process of going for a hit ball.

Do you see middle infielders making these mistakes?

Is there anything from this list your middle infielders need to work on?  
Choose 1 or 2 things you can clean up quickly and work on that this week.

Or maybe you have things to add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know!

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About the Author
Stacie Mahoe shares lessons learned from decades around the diamond. Enjoy her unique insights on softball and life from years as a player, coach, parent, and fan of the game.

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