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What Players Never Tell You
June 10, 2007  --  Issue 14
  
Better Fields for Better Play
Jim Reiner

It was a typical senior league baseball practice.

The 15 and 16 year old players stretched and played catch.  They took their positions and went through some game situation drills.  Then they took batting practice and set up a few stations for batting drills.  This concluded with some baserunning. 

Then the players and the coaches huddled up and talked about the next game and where they needed to improve.

Just before they broke to head home, a coach asked them a question rarely asked of players, "How was the field to play on?"

It was silent for a moment.  Was this a dumb question?  Or what?

Suddenly there was a flood of responses:

  •  "the infield skin has a horrible lip at the outfield grass edge; I stumbled over it."
  •  "the dirt at third is too loose; grounders didn't bounce like I expected; they died and skipped by me."
  •  "the dirt on the basepath to first is too loose. I slipped in it."
  •  "doesn't anyone ever drag this field? The shortstop area is full of lumps and holes that make bounces go all over."
  •  "the loose dirt at second was actually easier to slide into today."
  •  "there's patchy grass at the edge along third and short; I don't trust the bounces in this area."

Interesting responses, aren't they? A few good comments, but mostly criticism. 

Can this be corrected?  Sure. And it starts by knowing what the players need in a field.  It's pretty simple - they need true and consistent bounces.  And they need good footing as a fielder and as a runner.

This site has solutions to all of these problem areas. Dig through and find tips and hints as well as common problems to avoid.

You and your players will be much happier and have a better baseball experience.

Yours for better play more often,

J. Reiner

Jim Reiner
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
The Ultimate Baseball Field Renovation Guide

Involve your players in identifying field problems and solving them.  They get a sense of ownership when they work to fix the field they play on.  Check out the project gallery for examples.



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