Glove presentation is the positioning of our glove as we field the ball. It might seem like a small detail in the act of fielding a baseball but usually the small details tend to have the greatest impact on the bigger picture.
Don’t have a blind glove!
A common mistake that tends to throw off our timing in our glove presentation is showing our glove too late to the ball. If we think of our glove having it’s own set of eyes, we want to allow our glove’s eyes to see the ball as long as possible. A general rule of thumb is to show your glove’s eyes as you begin to settle into your fielding position (as we plant our right foot in the right, left, field rhythm).
It’s a roll… not a flip!
Piggybacking on the blind glove is the glove flip to present the glove. The glove flip is when the fingers of our glove go in the circular motion away from the ball toward our body and then finally up to the sky before heading down to the ground to field the ball. The roll keeps our glove’s eyes blind to the ball for far too long. Instead of the flip, the glove should roll to the ball. Think of going from the thumbs up position (palms facing each other) and making a 1/4 turn with our thumb turning out to our left so the palm is presented to the ball for longer.
Think of our wrist like a door hinge. Our wrist door hinge can be closed, with our palm going to our forearm, or it can be hinged open, the back of our hand to our forearm. This open hinge allows for our glove to field the ball out in front of our body as opposed to in tight and it allows for our glove to give the ball a greater surface area to hit.
Fingers are like a fork
The open hinge of the wrist allows for our final glove presentation check point, fingers of our glove are stuck into the ground. Treating our fingers like a fork leads to the finger tips of our glove to be stuck into the ground (not literally). The fingers that should be stuck in to the ground are the pointer through pinky fingers of the glove so that they’re square to the ball’s path. Aligning these fingers will not only give the glove a greater surface area for the ball to come into contact with the glove, but it also will aid in arriving in an ideal fielding position (fielding in the slot). Many times in youth leagues, coaches will instruct their players to “get the back of your glove dirty.” This coaching cue leads to poor glove presentation which in turn is not setting their players up for success.
Having our glove’s eyes locked in on the ball, rolling our glove, hinging the wrist open as well as having fork fingers are cues that will keep our glove presentation consistent from one ground ball to the next. Consistent glove positioning will give us a better chance of being successful fielding ground balls.