Oftentimes in the outfield, that one extra inch can make all the difference between an out and a base hit. And learning how to minimize any extra movement, being as efficient as possible with every step, is the best way to make sure that you don’t waste a second.
That’s where this outfield movement drill comes in handy. But before we get to that though, you need to make sure that your players fully understand the footwork of the angled drop step, crossover step, and straight back drop step.
This is the most simple, and perhaps most intuitive of the maneuvers your outfielders will need to learn. They’ll begin by dropping one foot back behind the other – while they’re learning, you can let them choose whichever foot they like, but make sure they get comfortable starting with either foot, as it’ll make it easier for them to follow the ball.
As they drop their foot back, they should be rotating their hips, opening up, but still keeping their eyes on the ball. Next they’ll complete the turn, bringing their front foot up and over their back, and beginning their sprint backwards, all while keeping their head on a swivel, never taking their eyes off the ball.
Angled Drop Step
The angled drop step is very similar, but with a less severe rotation by the hip,s dropping back just over 90 degrees instead of the 180 degrees were looking for in our straight back drop step.
If you have your players run the carrioca as part of their pre-practice warmup, then this will be very easy for them. They’ll start with an open step, with their outside foot, and then driving off as they bring their inside foot over and across their body along the same line. They’ll then continue, until they get underneath the ball and get the chance to square up.
When players are just first learning these techniques, let them focus on their feet, but if there’s one thing you need to drive home, is that they should never, ever, take their eyes off of the baseball!
If your outfielders have their footwork down, but are struggling with making catches by the fence, here’s a great drill to help them get more comfortable. There’s also our whole archive of fielding drills, which you should make sure to have a gander at as well! Don’t forget to comment or leave a question for me below!