What is the Ready Position in Baseball?

An easy to learn, step-by-step guide on how to perform the ready position correctly.
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

The ready position in baseball is the position defenders are in just before contact with the ball is made by the batter. The ready position is a very important position for all defenders because it best prepares you to react and make a play on a batted ball. This article will discuss what a good ready position should look like for each position and how to teach the correct ready position. 

What Does a Good Ready Position Look Like?

A good ready position looks like a defender who is in an athletic position to make a play on a live ball. The ready position will put you in the optimal position to react to a hit ball in any direction. Although each position has a slightly different ready position, you will want to be in an athletic stance, with knees bent slightly and on the balls of your feet. Also, you will want to have your shoulders and hips back with your head up and eyes on the ball. As I said earlier, each defensive position group will have a slightly different ready position, so let’s take a look at what the ready position looks like for the different position groups. 

Ready Position for a Catcher

A good ready position for a catcher is the most unique ready position of all of the fielders. As a catcher, you must squat to receive the pitches thrown. This is called the catcher’s stance. In your catcher’s stance, you should keep the throwing hand behind the back, heel, or to the side of the groin. This will keep your throwing hand protected from foul balls. Additionally, your feet should be about shoulder-width apart while you are in your crouch. You should have your toes pointed slightly outward which will open your hips up. Keep your glove in front of your knees with your chest up. Your glove should be open to give a good target to your pitcher. 

Ready Position for a Pitcher

A good ready position for a pitcher will help field a ball hit right back at him. To get in a good ready position as a pitcher, you should finish your delivery with both your head and body facing home plate. You also must finish your delivery in an athletic stance facing home plate. You do not want to fall off to the side of the mound. Finally, once you have released the pitch, you should move your glove to the center of your chest. This will give you the best chance to see and catch any ball hit back to you and protect you from the hardest hit balls to your body. 

Ready Position for Infielders

A good ready position for infielders starts with an athletic stance. You should be in a light crouch and be on the balls of your feet. If you are an advanced player, you can take a small hop at the same time the ball is being hit. This will give you the most explosive first step to a hard hit ground ball. If you are playing a corner infield position, you can stay lower as the ball will likely get to you quicker. If you are playing as a middle infielder, you want to stay low but you need to be ready to spring towards the ball no matter where it is hit. 

Ready Position for Outfielders

A good ready position for outfielders gives you the best jump on a ball hit your way. You want to keep your legs moving between pitches so that you can stay light on your feet. As an outfielder, you need to drop into an athletic stance with your hands off your knees and your legs slightly bent. Your legs can be wider than your shoulders in the outfield. Your ready position in the outfield might resemble that of a football player or basketball player on defense. 

How do you teach ready position?

The way you should teach the ready position is to practice and model it often. The ready position should be taught and coached in practice so that when you need to do it in a game, it feels natural. One thing that is important to teach is the mental aspect of the ready position. When you are in the ready position, you need to stay mentally sharp by reminding yourself of the game situation and pitch count every pitch. The ready position is also a great time to visualize what you will do if the ball is hit towards you. When you are in your ready position, it is important to watch the signals of what pitch is being called and what your defensive alignment is. You can teach the ready position to the individual position groups and practice getting into a good ready position during batting practice and scrimmage games. 

Up your game with the ready position

The purpose of this article was to inform you of what the ready position is. The ready position is a very important position for all defenders because it best prepares you to react and make a play on a batted ball. Although each position group has a slightly different ready position, you want to be in an athletic stance, with knees bent slightly and on the balls of your feet. This will help you be ready to make a defensive play. Learn and practice your ready position, and go make some plays!

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