Lining Up With the Ball
Centering the body on the ball puts the player in the best position not only to adjust to a ball that she has misread or that might curve slightly but also to see the ball well and catch it in front of the throwing-hand shoulder. As players advance in their skill level, they can learn to shift the catch to the throwing-hand side to enable a quicker transition into the throw. If your team can throw the ball with speed, players will need quick feet to center the ball in the infield, but it is important that they develop this quickness. Great players make centering the body on the ball look routine, and you hardly notice how quickly they do this.
Catching the Ball Away From the Body
When preparing to make a catch, the player assumes a basic athletic position. The feet are shoulder-width apart, the knees flexed, the body slightly bent at the waist, the arms extended and the elbows slightly bent. The eyes are in line with the ball over the top of the glove so that they can track the ball into the glove. The player should reach out for the ball away from the body, let the arms absorb the impact and then quickly bring the ball to the throwing-hand side.
Note that the height of the ball will alter the angle of the glove. If the ball is shoulder height or higher the fingers of the glove point upward, if the ball is below the shoulders to waist height the fingers point sideways, and if the ball is below the waist the fingers point down.
Making the Catch With Both Hands
When catching throws, the throwing hand should always stay close to the glove, as shown in figure 4.30, a and b. This positioning allows a quicker exchange into the throw for better players, provides some assistance in the catch for younger players and reinforces the centering up of the catch. Players often become lazy with this aspect of catching, so you should emphasize it in practice and warm-ups.
This excerpt is taken from the ASEP title Coaching Softball Technical and Tactical Skills, written by ASEP in conjunction with Kirk Walker and Mona Stevens.