How to Make a Baseball Diving Catch

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In baseball, few plays electrify the crowd quite like a diving catch. At a minimum, the catches prevent hits and many times, a diving grab will keep the opponent from scoring a run. Generally, the catches are made by outfielders, but on occasion, an infielder will get a chance to make a diving catch of a line drive. Mastering the diving catch can take time, but learning the skill can provide a valuable asset to your baseball team.

Things You'll Need

  • Baseball glove
  • Read the ball off the bat. Break toward the area in which the ball will be landing, keeping your eye on the ball at all times.

  • Extend both arms outward and lunge at the ball, allowing your feet to leave the ground. Try to keep your body parallel to the ground.

  • Keep your glove in the proper position. If the ball is on your glove-hand side, keep the glove in basket position with the web of the glove pointing down. If the ball is on your throwing-hand side, keep the glove in the backhand position with the web pointing the direction you are running.

  • Watch the ball into your glove, and clasp the mitt around the ball, securing the catch.

  • Finish the catch by keeping both arms extended and sliding to a stop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fielders are taught that their first step should be back so that no balls get over their head. But to make a diving catch, trust your instincts. Getting a quick break on the ball is key to reaching it before it hits the ground.
  • Try to keep your elbows from slamming into the ground, as this can jar the ball loose.
  • Once you make the catch, don't celebrate. Know the situation, get up quickly and throw the ball to the appropriate teammate.
  • Only dive for a ball if it is absolutely necessary. Not only can an ill-advised dive lead to injury, but it can also let the ball get past you, which can hurt your team.
  • When you finish the catch, keep your wrists straight. Severe injury can occur if you roll your wrist over on the ground.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Jared Wickerham/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images Nick Laham/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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