Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Good outfield jumps are mental

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Outfield

One of the things I always stressed to my players, especially the outfielders, is that on every foul ball, I should see all seven fielders behind the pitcher move in the direction of the foul ball.  For example, if the batter fouls a pitch down the right field line, all seven fielders behind the pitcher […]

Don’t EVER make this mistake!

July 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

Turn the volume off on your computer (so you can’t hear the announcers) and click on the following link for a short MLB video clip.  What is the mistake the 3rd baseman makes?   http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/21753540/v914605983/arisf-crawford-singles-when-lamb-loses-ball-in-sun If you don’t notice the mistake right away, watch it again and stop it at the 00:15 mark.   See it […]

Know where the gloves are

July 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Outfield

Here’s a quick tip for helping your team get on the field faster after batting. Keep all the gloves, hats, sunglasses, etc. in one spot in the dugout Nothing slows a team of defenders down faster when it comes to getting on the field than players who for some reason forget where all their stuff […]

Different position = different ready position

June 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

Here is a great picture I found online that shows three different position players in three different ready positions on the pitch. Third base.  Because the distance to the batter is shorter as a third baseman, a grounder has a better chance of getting to you more quickly.  Add the fact that batters tend to […]

Fly balls in a twilight sky

May 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Pitching

Now that summer weather is approaching, more night games will begin to be played around the country.  Growing up, there were only a couple fields near me that had lights so playing at night was always quite a treat.  In fact, it wasn’t until I was in professional baseball that I routinely played games under […]

To the fence drill for outfielders (Part 2)

February 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

Part 1 of this topic was covered HERE.  I basically covered the concept of getting to the proper side of the ball before you touch it. In today’s video tip, I cover the process after picking the ball up.  Too often outfielders waste time trying to make a powerful throw back to the infield when […]

To the Fence Drill for outfielders

November 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

After the holidays is usually the start to the indoor workout season for teams in the colder regions.  When that happens, it’s usually outfielder work that gets screwed over do to the limits on space.  But it doesn’t have to be that way. Today’s video tip is the outfielder’s footwork of approaching a ball that […]

Should you teach young outfielders to step back on all fly balls?

November 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Coaching, Outfield, Video Posts

As I explain in today’s video post, a lot of youth coaches teach their outfielders to take a step back every time a ball is hit in the air towards them.  The reason is a sound one – Prevent extra bases even if you have to give up a few more singles in exchange. As […]

How to move away from an outfielder when called off

June 1, 2015 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

Today’s video tip is another one of those little things that most people watching will never even notice.  It involves infielders and outfielders on short fly balls when both go for it.  We’ve all seen both players stop and the ball bounce between them.  Today’s tip is meant to prevent that mistake.

The ball is not getting past me

May 18, 2015 by  
Filed under Catching, Infield, Outfield

There are a lot of plays in baseball when catching the ball is just not going to happen.  On a steal attempt, the catcher  makes a bad throw and short hops the shortstop or second baseman.  A rocket is hit down to the third baseman.  A line drive is hit just in front of the outfielder. […]

How to prevent infield / outfield collisions

March 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

If you have watched enough baseball games I’m sure you have witnessed or seen on TV at least one ugly collision between an infielder going back for a fly ball and an outfielder coming in on it.  It probably looked something like this … No matter what you do, collisions are going to happen between […]

An overlooked part of off-season throwing

January 15, 2015 by  
Filed under Infield, Off-Season, Outfield

Like many baseball players, when I came out of the gym and starting throwing for real on a field once the season started, my arm was quite sore for a few days.  After about a week, the soreness went away and my arm became accustomed to the rigor of throwing during outside workouts.  Players in […]

95 Pitching, Outfield, and Base Running Drills

November 17, 2014 by  
Filed under Base Running, Coaching, Outfield, Pitching

  “Thanks for the drills Coach! Perfect to keep on my clipboard during practice. Will save me lots of time with planning.” That’s an email I got from a reader a few days ago!   This past week subscribers received the latest offer of baseball drills.  The deal includes 40 Pitching Drills that range from basic to […]

A tip on catching the ball for beginners

June 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

The easiest way I have found to teach little kids how to catch a baseball is to explain the difference between and high-five and a low-five.  You “high-five” the ball when it’s above your waist like this … and you “low-five” the ball when it’s below your waist like this … When little kids are taught […]

The fingers go between the head and ball

June 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Catching, Infield, Outfield, Pitching

Changing the way a young man throws a baseball is probably the hardest thing to do when it comes to private instruction.  However, if there was one thing I could adjust with every young player’s throwing motion it would be to make sure his throwing fingers were on top of and/or between the ball and […]

Defense for beginners – The Three B’s

May 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

My son asked me to help out again with his 7 year old team this season.  Another dad who is helping out threw a phrase at the kids the other day that I had never heard off before.  He told them of the “Three B’s of Defense.”  Before getting into what that means, let me just […]

Keep the batter off second base

April 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Coaching, Outfield

In yesterday’s post I described a strategy geared towards outfielders to avoid giving up extra base hits late in the game when your team is ahead by just a run or two.  Today’s post is another common strategy also geared towards outfielders.  This strategy is to make sure the opposing team has a harder time […]

Nothing over your head

April 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Coaching, Outfield

If you watch coaches in the dugout late in the game when the game is close, you may see a coach whose team is winning wave his hand up and down behind his head.  This is the universal sign for outfielders that means “play deeper and don’t let any ball go over your head.”  Here […]

The toughest outfielder

July 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Outfield

Probably the toughest job for a third base coach is deciding when to send the runner home and when to hold him at third base.  I’ve done a couple written posts on that topic and even created a video or two as well.   This past winter I spoke at a coaching clinic where the […]

Step and catch timing

May 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

There are many situations in baseball where the fielder must step to the ball and make the catch.  Here are several I can think of: An outfielder getting behind a fly ball and stepping to the ball to make the catch. A shortstop turning a double play where he will need to step across the […]

Reading the ball off the bat

May 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

On a recent evening, I had the rare chance to watch a high school game.  From where I was sitting in the stands, my viewing angle was such that I could see the batter and a particular fielder in my field of vision at all times.  After a ball was hit to this fielder, something […]

Seminar – Outfield Drills

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

The following video is a 45 minute seminar I gave in February in Malvern, PA.  The link to it was sent out to my subscribers a week ago (that’s the benefit of subscribing!).  Now I’m making it available to everyone.  After today it will appear in the VIDEO section as well.  Because of its length, […]

Seminar – It all starts with defense (Part 2)

March 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Catching, Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

This is the fifth of seven videos from a coaching clinic I participated in at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. The clinics were presented to mostly Little League coaches.  The purpose was to pass on a basic foundation of the game to all the coaches.  I am posting all of the seminars – […]

Seminar – It all starts with defense (Part 1)

February 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

This is the fourth of seven videos from a coaching clinic I participated in at North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA. The clinics were presented to mostly Little League coaches.  The purpose was to pass on a basic foundation of the game to all the coaches.  I am posting all of the seminars – […]

Picking the ball up

February 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

You would think telling a player to pick the ball up would be easy.  However, during the course of a game, we’ve all seen a player screw up this very basic play.  Today’s video tip provides some simple tips for players of all positions who have to pick a ball up.

Best Outfield Drills for Indoors

February 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Coaching, Indoor, Outfield, Practice

A few weeks ago I gave a seminar at a Philadelphia area coaches clinic.  The topic was “An indoor/outdoor  approach to developing outfielders.”  I basically explained that in the colder states, the weather early on in the season forces teams to do a lot of practicing indoors.  Pitchers, hitters, fielders, and even base runners can get […]

Drop step – Hop Step for Outfielders

January 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

To improve your range in any position, start by working on your first step quickness to the ball.  Very few plays in baseball will require a straight sprint for more than a couple seconds.  That makes your first step even more important so it is crucial that step one and step two are explosive and […]

Basic tip for outfielders’ hands

January 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

A post over a year ago included most of this information but I was recently asked to do a video for it so here it is!

Fly balls: Squaring your shoulders correctly

January 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Outfield

When I work with little kids to improve their baseball skills, one of the first things I try to work on is catching the ball while they are moving.  No matter what position they play, they will have to go get the ball and catch while their body is in motion.  Not the easiest thing […]

Outfield mistakes

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Outfield

This past week, I have been reposting a series I did way back at the start of Baseball By The Yard that covers common mistakes players make by position.  New posts will begin again on Wednesday, January 2. Originally, I broke up these mistakes into three separate posts, one for each of the three outfield […]

Outfielders: Step in to catch

August 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Outfield, Video Posts

This video post was also explained in written form a while back.

Video: Run with your glove down

July 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

Infield – Outfield Communication

Video: Run to the spot

July 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

Today’s clip involves a more advanced way that better fielders can track down fly balls.  As the clip will explain, there are risks involved so it’s not something you can always do.  As always, it takes some practice as well. To check out all my video clips, go to the Baseball By The Yard YouTube […]

It should hit you in the head

June 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Outfield

I heard a good line on TV the other night.  Apparently, a new Los Angeles Angels outfielder had coasted after a ball instead of hustling to get underneath it.  After the inning, Tori Hunter went up to the teammate and said, 1) “we don’t do that here” and, 2) “if you miss a pop-up, it […]

Outfielders: knowing the pitch

October 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Outfield

One of the advantages infielders have is the fact that they usually can know or find out what pitch is about to be thrown to the batter.  Attentive infielders look at every sign from the catcher to the pitcher in order to get a better idea where the batter may be more likely to hit […]

Where do outfielders’ hands go?

October 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Outfield

This position is what you want outfielders to avoid in their pre-pitch set up. Ask any little league infielder where their hands go before the pitch and he’ll very likely give the correct answer.  “Down near the ground and out front.”  If he can’t say it, he’ll at least show you.  But how about if you […]

Remind them to "Hit the cutoff man!"

October 4, 2011 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

Raise your hand if you are sick of watching major league outfielders miss the cutoff man on throws to home plate.  I know I am.  Hitting the cutoff man is one of those finer points that should be easy for major league outfielders to accomplish.  They certainly have the arm strength and accuracy to get […]

Teaching little kids how to catch a baseball

October 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Outfield, Video Posts

Outfielders: Give yourself a chance

September 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Outfield

With a runner on second with two outs, outfieldersnormally have to “give themselves a chance.” The next time you watch a MLB game live or on TV, see if you notice anything different in the way outfielders position themselves with two outs and a runner on second base.  You will usually see (sometimes the announcers […]

Don’t leave scouts guessing about your arm strength

July 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Scouting

When I was in college, I was fortunate to play in front of a lot of professional scouts.  In my senior year we had four future major leaguers on our team roster so it was common to have many scouts there.  With my father’s baseball background, he knew a few of those scouts.  After one […]

Outfielders: Know the steps to the fence

July 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Outfield

A big part of playing the outfield positions is knowing how to handle a ball that is hit to the wall.  Unfortunately, when you watch outfielders on TV, you are rarely going to get a clinic on how to do this properly.  At the major league level, the corner outfield positions (left field and right field) […]

What can we learn from a chicken?

June 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Misc, Outfield, Practice

Ok.  So I occasionally look for stupid things online.  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective), I tend to see just about everything through the eyes of a baseball coach and usually end up asking myself “how can I apply this to baseball?”  You might say it’s a gift or, if you are my wife, […]

Sun balls

June 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield

A tough play that is rarely practiced is the fly ball in the sun.  Here are some suggestions and tips for players with regards to handling balls hit in the sun.  Suggestions: Get a pair of sunglasses.  Not all glasses are alike.  Try a variety of styles and lenses if you are able to in […]

Fast paced practice drills for defense

May 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Coaching, Infield, Outfield

The following are defensive drills that are great for keeping everyone moving and working on game-like situations.  Each sequence is intended to be run for about 5 minutes to keep focus high.  Some of the situations require a coach to either throw or hit balls but many can work by players rolling or throwing each […]

Footwork for outfielders

March 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Outfield

Avoid drifting whenpossible. When it comes to baseball instruction, I’ve always been a fan of taking a “ground up” approach.  That means everything I teach starts with the feet.  I believe most problems with hitting and fielding originate with footwork mistakes.  So when I discuss playing outfield, proper footwork is my first priority.  The following […]

Infielder tips for shallow fly balls

February 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Infield, Outfield, Second Base, Shortstop

We’ve all seen these plays … An infielder goes out on a shallow fly ball and collides with an outfielder charging in to make the catch.    or An infielder goes out, both the outfielder and infielder call for it, everyone stops, and the ball drops in between them. Communication is always important in baseball […]

Tips for Long-tossing and/or "Long-throwing"

January 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Infield, Off-Season, Outfield, Pitching, Practice

Disclaimer There is an on-going debate in baseball circles about the value of long-tossing. I know it’s shocking to think that anything in baseball is debated.   (Yes, that’s sarcasm if you weren’t sure.) Some love it, some hate it.  This post does not get into that argument. I’m in the “love long-tossing” camp and […]

Indoor drills for outfielders

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Coaching, Indoor, Off-Season, Outfield, Practice

Of all the positions on the field, the outfield positions tend to get shafted the most with regards to indoor practice.  I’m based outside of Philadelphia so we routinely have to spend many practice days indoors because of rain or snow.  Farther up north is certainly worse so don’t feel the need to shed tears for me.If […]