Baseball Fielding Tips- How To Improve as
Learning to become a better
fielding outfielder is a skill that can definitely be learned and improved upon. Although great hitting gets most of the headlines, it is great fielding
which separates the great players from the good ones. Here, some
tips to help you with your training in becoming a better fielder:
1. Practice catching a pair of rolled up socks with a family member at your
house. The other person should make throws that make it very
difficult for you to catch the pair of rolled up socks. This can be
done by increasing the speed, throwing it high or throwing it short. Your goal is to adjust for all of these and try to catch them. If you practice this game enough, you will notice your reflexes getting faster
and faster and you will learn how to adjust your body quickly as well.
2. Practice shagging fly balls on a constant basis. Nothing beats getting used to catching baseballs. Your aim here should be to run on the balls of your feet so the ball does not
appear to move in the air as you run towards it. Always catch with
two hands. A dropped ball can occur because just a slight lapse of
concentration. Use both hands to make sure this doesn’t happen to
3. Practice catching balls hit in the sun. You need to get in the habit of catching baseball in the worst conditions and
nothing is worse than in the sun. One way to do this effectively is
to practice moving slightly to the side of the sun’s rays and try to pick up the ball there. This gives you a better chance of battling the sun’s rays and coming up with
4. Practice tracking down long fly balls. The main rule of proper outfielding is to not let the ball get behind
you. This can sometimes occur when an outfielder misjudges the
flight of a hard hit fly ball and/or the wind carries it over his head. One way to combat this is to instead run to the wall or the warning track and
then turn around and come back to the ball. This strategy makes it
harder for the ball to go over your head.
1. Consider taking speed lessons to improve your speed. This will help you with your explosiveness and give you more confidence in
your running as you know you are running the most efficient and quickest way.
2. Practice learning to dive and catch the ball. This will teach you to adjust your body to hold onto the ball and lessen the
impact on your body. One of the most basic rules is try to avoid
having your elbows hit the ground at an angle as this has a good chance of jarring the baseball
loose. One clever way to learn how to do this is have a partner or
coach take out a bucket of balls and have them throw them to your left and right sides in such a way where you
are required to jump to the right or left to catch the ball. As you
get good, he should start to throw the baseballs further and further away from your
3. Learn how different pitches, locations, and the batter impact where the
ball can go. For example, if you have a right handed batter up
who is being thrown a change-up to the outside, he is likely to hit this to right field towards the right field
foul line. A smarter outfielder will start off in a position that
takes advantage of these likelihoods and a good outfielder will also train himself to read how the ball flies
off the swing of the bat. Practice in this area will allow you to
get a jump on some line drives and make it easier for you to make plays in the outfield. This skills takes some serious practice, but you will start notice its
advantages fairly quickly. This skill can be practiced even while
shagging flies in batting practice.
Conditions & Situations
1. Determine how night games effect your vision. Recognize that bad lights are notorious at high school parks. Know your stadium. If this will
be an issue, be sure you are wearing your eye black and have other teammates routinely point to where the ball
is on a pop fly. In this way, even if you momentarily miss the
flight of the ball, you can sometimes find it with their help.
2. Determine how rainy conditions effect your running and tracking down fly
balls. Recognize that rainy conditions can cause you to
slip. For this reason take more circular routes towards flyballs
and ground balls. Also, try to take shorter steps as this will make
it less likely you will slip and fall.
3. Adjust your fielding style to the specific game. If your team has a big lead, there is no reason to risk diving for a flyball
or letting a ball go between your legs. For this reason, play these
hits conservatively. Go down on one knee for grounders and play
flyballs off the hop if you know you will be forced to dive for the ball. A single or double won’t hurt you so lay up and keep the ball in front of
you. If you take a risk and fail to stop the ball, this could
result in an extra base hit that starts a rally.
By applying these tips
and practicing your fielding daily, you will soon see your fielding improve as you are able to make less errors
and get to more baseballs that you could not get to in the past.
Remember a great defensive play is always appreciated by the coach and the other