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.
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