Catching Fly Balls
Geeting a Good Jump
When the ball is hit, get a good jump on the ball. A good jump depends on your reaction time, which can improve through repetition. Watch the ball all the way to the plate and watch the swing of the bat. With a little practice you will find yourself starting to lean in the right direction before the ball is contacted.
It's difficult if not impossible to get a good jump without good footwork. When the ball is hit to your side, your first move will be a crossover step. When the ball is hit over your head to the side your first step will be a drop step on your throwing side.
One of the most difficult fly balls to judge is the ball hit directly at you. If you don't immediately recognize whether the ball is going over your head or going to drop in front of you, freeze right after your drop step. The worst thing you can do is guess. Simply freeze, try to determine where the ball is and listen. The other outfielders may be able to see the trajectory better than you and yell at you to go in or go back.
Get Behind The Ball
You will dramatically improve your velocity and the time required to throw the ball if you get behind the ball as it comes down and start moving in the direction of your target as you catch the ball.
Playing the Fly Ball in the Sun
It's important that you don't stare into the sun directly. Use your throwing hand to shield the sun. If you are using your glove to shield the sun, you will be blinded when you bring your hand down to catch the ball.
- Always catch with two hands. The ideal position is above the head and in front of the throwing shoulder.
- The first movement of your body is a short drop step back on your throwing hand side.
- Locate the ball and determine the angle you should take.
- When time permits, circle around the ball and take your momentum forward through the ball on line with the target.
- When you need to be quick, use a direct angle to the ball. Sprint to the spot for the catch and then turn to the target to throw.
- Always attempt to keep your eyes on the ball.
- Use quick feet to maintain balance.
- Run on the balls of your feet using good running technique. Don't extend your glove until the last moment.
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