Attacking the Baseball

Part 2: Attacking the Baseball 

  • Know your surface
    • How aggressively you play the outfield is dependent on the surface
      • Turf will play fast, but give you longer & truer hops 
      • Grass is a wildcard surface that requires you to really focus on trying to get the ball when it hops up in the air
  • Our primary goal is to “secure the baseball” 
    • You can’t throw anybody out if you don’t have the baseball in your glove
    • Slowing the game down and calculating the right moment to attack the baseball is key 
  • Get the big hop
    • Like the infield, we are hop hunting
    • If you see the ball spring up into the air, don’t wait around, go get it 
    • Chopping our feet, and hanging back will give us space to time the hops and our moment of attack 
    • When tracking a ball along the ground we are not running full speed at it all the time
      • Get close, find the right hop, attack the ball 
  • See the top of the ball
    • On a ball in the air position yourself so that you are always looking at the top of the ball 
      • This will mean you are far enough back and will require you to move forward as you are catching, to build positive momentum 
  • Keep your feet moving at all times
    • Cement feet give you no momentum and will make throwing runners out really difficult
    • Angle your body towards the base you are throwing to
      • As you catch the ball, make sure you are moving towards a base, not just towards the infield 
  • Catch the ball on your throwing side
    • When camped under a ball angle your shoulders and glove towards your throwing side
      • Imagine catching the ball on your throwing shoulder
    • This will make the transfer from glove to throwing hand much shorter and faster
      • Cutting down the time it takes to transfer the ball will give you half a second extra time to throw the runner out 

If you secure the ball cleanly, and keep your feet moving towards your target, you will throw more runners out, regardless of your arm strength. The name of the game is giving your infielders a chance to make a play, which they can’t do if you are constantly bobbling the ball.