Tips For Being An Effective Outfielder

Nov 14 12:04 2016 Coach Mark Print This Article

The game of baseball appears in many ways to be simple. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, and you catch the ball. However, within that "simplicity" is myriad situations and circumstances that must be handled just right.

Otherwise,Guest Posting a misjudged fly ball can literally mean the different in a close game. Playing the outfield is one of those areas that is, in theory, fairly simple. If a ball is hit to you, catch it and throw it back in. If a ball is hit to you on the ground, make sure it doesn't get past you. If you a ball is hit between you and another outfield, get to it quickly and throw it back in. Still, there are many ways to mess up in the outfield. Players from little league to the big league still make mistakes. Here are a few thoughts on how to play the outfield.

ANGLES

There is a lot of geometry in playing the outfield. The outfielder is responsible for a large area of real estate, and it is their job to make sure balls are tracked down. Therefore, the first thing people need to learn when playing the outfield is how the ball flies. Prior to a ball being hit, the outfielder should take note of the batter, his stance, and whether he is right or left-handed. Sometimes coaches will signal outfielders to shift one way or another, depending on the hitting tendencies of that particular hitter. When the ball is hit, the outfielder has to make a quick judgment as to where that ball is flying. The inexperienced outfielder may run left or right depending on the flight of the ball. The more experienced outfielder gets to the point where they can feel the angle of the ball. In other words, balls are rather hit to spots that are directly left or right of the outfield. More often they are hit partly left or right and partly in front of or behind the outfielder. Rather than running a right angle, the outfielder needs to run on a diagonal towards the flight of the ball, compensating for the fact that the balls curves. Again, even major leaguers misjudge the flight of the ball sometimes. In extreme situations, they may even dive for a ball if they cannot close the gap fast enough. This creates a situation where they either make a miraculous catch, or the ball skips past them and they must leap to their feet and chase it down.

COMMUNICATION

The other key part of playing the outfield is communication. When a ball is hit, the outfielder needs to immediately find the ball in the air and avoid looking away at all costs. This means that there is sometimes a potential for two outfielders to be streaking towards a ball without seeing the other outfielder. Therefore, when an outfielder is fairly certain they can make the catch, they should shout to their teammate that they have the ball. This helps to avoid nasty collisions that can result in injury and a dropped ball.

Playing the outfield is a bit of an art form. It is partly about instinct, but also partly about understanding geometry and analyzing flight patterns. Also, it requires the player to be paying close attention to the action so that they can make a play or be aware of other teammates who may be making the play in their immediate vicinity.

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Coach Mark
Coach Mark

Coach Mark is the pro in baseball coaching field, known by his website at baseballbeforeweknewit.com. Recently, he has just released 2017 baseball bat reviews which aim to become the largest repository of real reviews found on the internet.

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