How To Do a Baseball Workout For Outfielders
Here is what you need to do...
The first, and most important drill when playing outfield is to just practice catching fly balls during practice. This gives the best game like situations for the players. Have the players split up into the three different outfield positions and form lines. Have a coach stand at home plate and hit fly balls to each position for the players to catch. This resembles game like plays so it gives the best form of practice. Make sure everytime a player catches the ball to be using two hands. Each player should catch 10-15 balls per practice at the minimum
The next drill focuses more on the fundamentals. Have all of the players stand in one line in the outfield and a coach stand about 30 feet in front of them. The goal here is to work on footwork when running down a flyball. The coach will point to the players right or left, and whatever direction the coach points the player will dropstep in that direction. The purpose of the dropstep is to get a good break on the ball and eliminate false steps. So, if the coach points to the players left, he will drop his left leg back at a 45 degree angle and starting running in that direction. Once the player has made his turn and started running, the coach will then throw a flyball to the player trying to make him run down the ball and catch it. It is important for the coach to not throw the ball too short. If anything, the coach should thrown the ball too far so the player really has to work to catch it. Have each player go through twice going each direction.
The next drill focuses more on what happens after the catch, when the player needs to make an accurate throw to the right place. Have the players line up in the outfield and have one coach stand about 50 feet in front of them. Have another coach stand at second base, this will be the designation for the incoming throws. The coach in the outfield will throw a popfly to the player. The player will then make the catch and gain momentum towards second base. They will then crow hop and make a strong accurate throw towards the coach standing at second. It is very important that the players catch the ball then gain as much momentum as possible and complete the crow hop to make a strong throw to the designation. Have each player make 5 throws. The coach can stand at second, third, or home to replicate game like situations.
The last drill is very important for outfielders of all ages. It works on communications between players. Have players line up at the three outfield positions and have a coach stand 40 feet in front of the centerfield line. The coach will then throw popflys in between the different lines. For instance, he would throw a popfly up between left and centerfield. The goal is for the player from each line to catch it while communicating with the other guy. If the centerfielder thinks he can get it, he should be saying "mine, mine, mine." Once the centerfielder says this, the leftfielder should pull away from the ball and say "you, you, you." This form of communication is essential when catching flyballs all over the field. The key thing here is, make sure both players pursue the ball equally as hard, and do not pull off until the other player calls him off. Each player should make 5 catches, and also go 5 times where they do not make the catch.
Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.
The most important part of playing outfield is communicating with the other players, and getting a good jump on the ball. If players and coaches do these drills at 100 percent, and the right way, they will see improvements immediately.
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Funny or interesting story about this topic...
My junior year of high school, a senior outfielder on my team was doing outfielding drills with one of our coaches when he tried to catch a ball that was hit over the fence and he collided with the fence really hard. It looked worse than it was, because he was able to get up right away and continue practice for the day.
When did you first do this & how did you get started?
I started doing outfielding drills as early as 4th grade in Little League. At that age, every kid has to play every position throughout the season to be fair to everyone. So during practices, coaches would have every kid practice playing all nine positions on the field.