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Who We Are…and the reason for this blog.

Hey guys, our names are Scott Payne and J.T. Putt. We wanted to start a blog so parents and coaches would have a reference on how to teach their kids proper infield techniques.

A little about Scott – I played infield my whole life up until and throughout college. I attended Mesa CC in Arizona and was coached by one of the better infield coaches in America, Buck Cirelli (I’m not just saying that…pro guys would come by our practices all the time and tell us how they loved to work with Coach Cirelli).

I went to Mesa CC, and set a single season fielding percentage record while I was there that has since been broken. After that I went to Regis University in Denver and never really had a shot to make it to the next level. Part of why the instruction we will offer here is so valuable is because we were never the genetic outliers that were just over the top talented and everything came easy to us. Both J.T. and i accomplished what we did in our playing days because we worked our tails off, and made a conscious effort to do it in more effective ways.

Sometimes the guys with unreal playing resumes don’t make the best coaches because it always came extremely easy to them. When young players are struggling with a certain fundamental they are just perplexed as to why they can’t do it correctly. To them they simply rolled out of bed and did it all right. We had to break it down and understand the intricacies of all these fundamentals because our baseball lives depended on it. That is not to say that great players can’t be great coaches, it is simply a dynamic that we have seen with a lot of our former teammates that were extraordinarily great ball players.

We explain it down to the detail so there is no way it could be interpreted in various ways that are confusing or conflicting. The only things we teach are exactly what the pro guys do. We have looked at thousands of pictures and hundreds of hours of video of pro infielders. We have had a lot of direct contact with infielders that are in professional baseball and the things that they taught us are the things that we will convey to you without you.

As we touched on above, we have noticed that a lot of the people who are the best at displaying proper infield technique (great players) have the hardest time explaining it. We’ve figured out how to explain what these great infielders do in a way that is easy to convey to younger kids so they can understand quickly and thoroughly what they need to do.

A big part of the reason I (Scott) have this ability to explain these techniques, comes from my transition from Mesa CC to Regis. At Mesa I was taught most of the same things I had learned in high school, (a credit to my high school coach Tagg Lain) with a couple of different small things or techniques that made certain body positioning that made fielding a ground ball much easier. I made eight errors in two years at Mesa and was very fundamentally sound. When I transitioned to Regis, the methods that were taught there were more of the conventional myths about infield technique that a lot of coaches and parents have taught their kids and players for years. I started my junior year at second base and played terrible and was inevitably buried on the bench. This really made me start asking the question, “What was I doing different in Arizona as opposed to when I came to Colorado? I realized that a lot of the conventional teachings that are widespread throughout amateur baseball are just flat out wrong. While the people teaching them have good intentions, and believe that they are teaching the right methods to their players and kids, they are unknowingly creating bad habits and error producing techniques.

The techniques J.T. and I will talk about in this blog are exactly what the pro players do, and while there are no new revolutionary ideas in these teachings, I can assure you that they are accurate. I will give you a lot of different ways to convey this information to your players or kids. The whole point of this blog is to help young infielders create correct long lasting muscle habit patterns, at a young age, so they are ahead of the curve when they reach high school and college.

The hardest part of being a great infielder is breaking bad habits and the older the player is the more difficult it is to break these habits. I encourage any type of feedback from these techniques that I will teach in this blog, especially from people who disagree with me and are convinced that their methods are better. I’m not at all saying that there is only one “cookie cutter” style of infield technique, but I have seen the methods I teach work over and over for many players and it all starts with a solid foundation that I will talk about in the post – Proper Fielding Position.

Please feel free to comment on any post. Also if you’re more comfortable with email please email me at infieldfundamentals@gmail.com