Outfield technique

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Oct 3, 2019
I wanted to ask if there is a particular technique for an OF to run in hard on a pop fly, where they may not quite get there? Often I see on these types of plays, the ball land and invariably skip by the fielder. Line drives seem much easier to keep from getting by, but I wonder, is there a way to approach these fly balls to reduce the chance of it getting by, other than falling on it and smothering it with their body? Should they stay lower to the ground, treat it like a ground ball even though they don't know which way it's going to skip or is there no answer to this? If they don't risk all and run full speed in on it, everyone groans and the coach yells, "Call it", whether they could get there or not. It's frustrating to watch.
Apr 20, 2015
Practice, practicr Practice....these types of balls get slid under, dove for, or fielded on the short hop and it just takes a ton of Practice to learn to read them.

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Dec 11, 2010
Jeannie, I think you should approach this question differently. I’m not sure it’s a mechanics issue, it’s a deciding issue. Outfielders can get to way more fly balls than they think they can.

I think you should divide it into “balls I should go for” and “balls I should stop”. Quite a bit of that deciding can be done by field geography.

Okay- I'm not going to account for every situation here. Base runners, the score, etc are going to change some of these answers but here are some basic rules:

A cf should go for every ball because her backup should be coming from either side. CF can call off ANY defender especially including infielders and they MUST comply and button hook around in case it’s dropped.

A right fielder should go for every ball that won’t fall between her and the foul line because the cf is there to stop it.

Lf same…. And those balls by the foul line that are going to the corner if they are not stopped are a big problem. So when a fielder knows they are approaching that to stop it, they take a different line to get in front of the ball.

All three need to know the others are using these guidelines and they need to BE THERE for each other.

Any outfielder can call off any infielder. CF can call off anyone. She is the Queen. Always. All fly balls should be called when the ball is at its apex and that call has to be what happens.

Okay so why is that important? Because indecision costs time. Deciding costs time. Worrying about collision costs time. Every ball is a “go for the catch” until the player learns her limits.

This is both a coaching and a communication issue.

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