In today’s blog post, we are continuing to talk about outfielder workouts and some great drills, tips and techniques for working the legs, building quick, light footwork and enhancing focus on catching the ball.
Over The Shoulder Outfielders Workout Drill
Our first drill is designed, number one, to continue to get the legs loose at the beginning of an outfield workout, but also to teach the players how to run on the balls of their feet, and how to watch the ball into their hands. And if they run light, they’re going to run a little bit faster. And if they run light, they’re not going to do quite as much bouncing which, in some cases, causes the ball to pop out of the glove a little more than we like for it to. So we want to make sure that we run light at a bit of angle and we want to watch the ball into our hands.
You want to make sure that your players call the ball. You want to make sure that you take them in both directions because an equal number of balls are likely to be hit over the right shoulder as they are the left. And again, make sure that they run light on the feet so they don’t bounce, which causes the eyes to bounce, which causes a dropped ball.
If they first practice with the bare hand, it really causes them to watch the ball into the glove, and then you can go ahead and put the glove on. This is obviously the way they’re going to do it in a game, so you want to make sure that you get that into the drill practice too. And then you will go through the same technique on both the right and the left.
Make sure they call the ball every play. And if they don’t, then just remind them to do that.
Outfielders have to communicate. A lot of injuries occur because of lack of communication in the outfield. The guy next to you has to know that you’re going to take the ball or that he’s supposed to get it.
That’s the over the shoulder drill with the glove. It’s important that you make sure that the athletes get an opportunity to do this drill on a daily basis or at least every other day. It not only works their conditioning level but it also teaches them to run light on their feet and to make sure that those baseballs that get hit into the outfield find a glove somewhere as opposed to finding the grass.
Quick Feet Outfielders Workout Drill
The quick feet drill is one of my favorites. It’s certainly an opportunity for us to work on our footwork and being able to change directions very rapidly, and what we hope to be very comfortably. Both from right to left and left to right. It also forces us to keep our eye on the ball, which I think is always a good thing. And we’re trying our best in this drill never to turn our back.
So on the quick foot drill we’re going to get going from one direction to the other as rapidly as we can and hopefully we’ll be able to run under the ball. If you can do this drill without a glove, I think that’s good initially. Watch how the athlete makes that cut from right to left or left to right, and see if they can do it right.
The same techniques which apply throughout any part of outfield, we want to apply here. We always want to run light on our feet, nice and easy, making sure that we track the ball all the way into the glove. And of course call the ball.
We always call it three times just to make sure that partners can hear you and we don’t end up with a collision. You also want to ensure that they are not turning their back. They’re maintaining eye contact with the ball, which is what we want to do in the ball game as much as possible.
For more great outfielders workout drills and tips, be sure to check out my Baseball Drills and Practice Plans series, complete with video demonstrations! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will discuss more important pitching mechanics!