We have a variety of outfield drills that we use to help teach our players how to be good outfielders. In many programs at the younger levels, outfield play is neglected. We start them young with the fundamentals and then progress up to the advanced stuff.
Outfield Footwork Drill for Fly Balls
This drill focuses on teaching our players how to jump step and go back on balls. This is one of the biggest weaknesses for younger players from high school on down, so we spend a lot of time on this drill. It is usually one of the drills we do right after our throwing program to get their legs loose a little bit more and clean up their technique.
Re-Direction Fly Ball Drills
We have our outfielders go straight back on a ball, but we hit the ball slightly away from where they are running towards. The idea behind this drill is to help our outfielders make adjustments when they are going in the wrong direction of the ball. This happens quite often at the high school levels on down, so we need to be able to re-direct and get back on track to make this catch.
Infield / Outfield Fly Balls with Tennis Balls
We use this as a station in practice or pre-game. It’s a great way to get a lot of reps in a quick amount of time. Set up a line of shallow guys which will simulate infielders and a line of deeper guys who will be outfielders. Hit a ton of fly balls, make sure they communicate, have them switch lines and move onto the next part of practice or pre-game.
The sun can be brutal. We like to use tennis balls and put them right in the sun. They need to work on blocking the sun, getting a different angle when possible and keep fighting until they can see the ball and make the play. It isn’t easy, but when worked on consistently, your players will be much better at sun balls.
Line Drives at You
Reading line drives directly at you is one of the harder things to do in the outfield. We do this with baseball and tennis balls, but in the video below, we are using tennis balls and a racquet. You can get a lot of reps in quickly this way and get your outfielders feeling more confident on these plays.