Five Key Outfielding Skills In Baseball

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The outfield can be a difficult position to coach, especially at the Little League level. Many times, Little League Coaches simply throw players out into the grassy areas of the diamond and spend a significant amount of time launching fly balls in their direction. Once players get older and skill sets become more refined, the outfield can be a challenging position to play. A key to a young outfielders success will be to give them the tools and experience at an early age.

5 Key Outfielding Skills

Playing the outfield can be broken down into five unique scenarios.

• Being ready to field the position
• Fielding a fly ball
• Fielding base hits with the bases empty
• Fielding base hits with runners on base
• Backing up the infield

Being Ready
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One of the earliest obstacles to overcome when coaching young players to catch a fly ball is the natural fear of getting hit by the ball that children new to the game have. It is a good idea to start the process by using a tennis ball to give them the confidence necessary to field their position without hesitation. Once this initial fear is overcome, moving on to a baseball will be necessary since nothing can replace the feeling of catching a regulation hardball.

When training young players to play the outfield, you may notice that many of them have the instinct to charge a ball as soon as it is hit. This can lead to balls going over a player’s head if he has misjudged its path. It is important to emphasize that it easier to change your momentum if they take a step back once the ball is hit rather than have to turn around and chase a ball that has been hit harder than they had
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If a runner is attempting to move from second to third on a fly ball to left field, let your outfielder attempt to throw the runner out unless it is an incredibly deep fly ball. Chances are that a fly ball in a Little League game will be within a young players range, and he will be able to reach third base with a strong throw. The same can be said in a situation where a runner has decided to advance from the base closest to the outfielder and the player in the field has an opportunity for a double
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