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 should have moved a step or two at contact towards where the ball was hit.  If they did then I know each was ready on the pitch.  If not then someone’s mind was drifting away from the game.

You can instruct outfielders all you want on how to improve their first step, how to cutoff balls in the gap, and how to manage fly balls hit to the fence.  If the phrase “the ball is coming to me” is not being said by each outfielder before every single pitch – EVERY-SINGLE-PITCH – then all the footwork drills in the world will be pretty much wasted.

That’s why good jumps in the outfield are more of a mental thing than a physical thing.  Expect the ball and you’ll be ready.  Let your mind drift and the baseball gods will make you pay on a ball that should be caught.

The ball is coming to me.

Every pitch.  Every batter.  Every inning.  Every game.

No exceptions.

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