Softball Player Positions Explained
Every sport requires different skill sets and characteristics from players, which is why there is so much diversity among athletes. If you look at many basketball players, they tend to be taller, as do swimmers. Offensive and defensive linemen in football tend to be shorter than basketball players but are much broader. And people who are shorter and stockier typically excel at gymnastics, soccer, and playing one of several fastpitch softball positions. Your body type can help determine what sport you’ll excel at, but within each sport, there are different positions that require different skill sets too.
Softball Player Positions
To better understand which softball player position might be best for you, we wanted to break down what the softball field positions are. Understanding the strengths required for each position will help you determine which position will be the best fit for you.
There are two positions that are involved in every play of every softball game and are thus referred to as the “battery.” These are the pitcher and the catcher.
The pitcher stands on the pitching mound in the center of the baseball diamond and throws the ball to the catcher. They need to be strong and consistent throwers as well as catchers; as soon as the ball is thrown, the pitcher is responsible for catching and fielding pop-up balls and grounders. Pitchers tend to be taller with great lower body strength, are good under pressure, and have strong and wide shoulders.
The catcher is located right behind home plate and is responsible for catching each pitch the pitcher throws, hence the name. Catchers need to be strong communicators, be agile both physically and mentally, and have strong footwork and blocking work. Because they tend to be squatting the whole game, they need to be mentally and physically strong and fast.
Softball Outfield Positions
There are three softball outfield positions. As the name suggests, they’re in the outfield, or beyond the baseball diamond, and patrol the field.
Right fielders are positioned nearest to first base and tend to be on the taller side with the strongest throwing arm of all the outfielders. They also are responsible for catching or chasing down balls hit down the right foul line and catching fly balls overhead. There’s a lot of running involved, so right fielders should be fast runners.
The center fielder is the hardest and most demanding of the outfield positions. They patrol the center of the field, which is an extensive amount of area to cover, so they need to be fast and incredibly athletic and able to locate and read balls really well. They also need to catch fly balls, have a strong arm for throwing infield, and be a strong hitter when at the plate.
The left fielder is in charge of catching fly balls, fielding ground balls, and catching line drives. They’re positioned closest to the third base and act as a backup to the third baseman and the center fielder. They’re typically taller and have a strong build but are also fast and agile.
Softball Infield Positions
The infield refers to the baseball diamond itself and is where most of the action takes place.
Those who play first base need to cover their base from grounders and pop-ups, have strong hitting skills, and be quick on their feet. They also need to have good glove skills since they’ll be catching throws from various parts of the field often. First basemen are typically tall and powerful, with strong arms.
Second basemen must cover their base, field ground balls, and catch pop-ups. They need to have catlike reflexes and good glove skills and need to be good throwers. They can be smaller players because second base requires more defensive skills, like agility, rather than offensive prowess.
The shortstop is basically the team leader in terms of communication, skillset, and agility. They cover the area that’s left open between second and third base and are positioned in the middle of the two, which gives them a unique view of the field. The position calls for a player that has a versatile and dynamic set of skills. They need to have strong arms, good range, and be strong hitters.
Third basemen cover the third base, must field any and all balls hit into their area, and catch throws from their teammates. They need to have incredibly strong and accurate throwing arms to throw the ball across the diamond, is quick on their feet and fearless of line drives, and is a powerful hitter.There is a lot of diversity in skillset on the baseball field. And whether your strength places you in the infield or the outfield, having quality equipment will take you from a good player to a great one. Headbanger Sports has everything you need and more to get outfitted for your softball season. Visit us online to get your equipment today!
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