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OF Drills

Dec 18, 2016
113
18
So my 14yo DD has played SS mostly for the past two years and has become pretty good at it. This year she went to a new team and they have a good SS so she probably won't see much time as #6. Initial practices have her at LF. Looking for drills for her to work on to be able to read and track the balls a little better.
 
Apr 28, 2019
1,222
83
So my 14yo DD has played SS mostly for the past two years and has become pretty good at it. This year she went to a new team and they have a good SS so she probably won't see much time as #6. Initial practices have her at LF. Looking for drills for her to work on to be able to read and track the balls a little better.
I like having the player stand about 20 ft in front of me and throw balls to each side and in front and behind her.
Also like having player start on one side of field and keep throwing balls until she reaches the other side of outfield and then work her back in the other direction.
1st step is always back and then read and react. Work on drop step always to ball side.
Work on balls approaching the fence. She has to be aware of her surroundings and feel for the fence and make the play.
You can use tennis balls and a racquet or regular softballs for all drills.
I’ve found the hardest aspect for the girls to learn is the ball over their head. They all seem to want to throw their hands up and back pedal rather than use the drop step and get to the ball quicker.
 
Jan 13, 2020
872
63
Some tips & drills

- Outfield -How to get in the Ready Position
- Outfield Fly Balls

- 8-Ball Drill for Softball Outfielders!
- Softball: Outfielders agility

- Twenge-Tips: In The Outfield
 
Jun 6, 2016
1,076
83
Chicago
The drills and tips people are posting here are good, and technique is important to learn. But the best answer is reps. Lots and lots of reps. Getting the right amount of reps as an outfielder is tough. It's more difficult to give the exact balls you want. It's a lot more tiring, and it just takes longer. You can get so many more reps in the same amount of time in the infield.

You don't really learn to read fly balls through drills. You don't figure out the angles, how and when to max out your speed, etc. until you have to just do it. So spend some time on the technique, but spend a lot more time just catching as many fly balls as possible.

Oh, and don't forget balls on the ground. Those angles are important, too. Don't forget about weird line drives.

One HUGE difference between IF/OF practice is there's virtually no point in hitting an infielder balls she can't catch (I don't mean challenging them; I mean literally impossible). But outfielders have to make a play on a ball they can't turn into an out all the time. Don't forget about these. Hit some sinking liners. She might play all of them on a hop, but that's important. It's important for her to learn when to charge hard, when to pull up, how to play a ball bouncing off grass and not dirt/turf.
 
Jan 13, 2020
872
63
The drills and tips people are posting here are good, and technique is important to learn. But the best answer is reps. Lots and lots of reps. Getting the right amount of reps as an outfielder is tough. It's more difficult to give the exact balls you want. It's a lot more tiring, and it just takes longer. You can get so many more reps in the same amount of time in the infield.

You don't really learn to read fly balls through drills. You don't figure out the angles, how and when to max out your speed, etc. until you have to just do it. So spend some time on the technique, but spend a lot more time just catching as many fly balls as possible.

Oh, and don't forget balls on the ground. Those angles are important, too. Don't forget about weird line drives.

One HUGE difference between IF/OF practice is there's virtually no point in hitting an infielder balls she can't catch (I don't mean challenging them; I mean literally impossible). But outfielders have to make a play on a ball they can't turn into an out all the time. Don't forget about these. Hit some sinking liners. She might play all of them on a hop, but that's important. It's important for her to learn when to charge hard, when to pull up, how to play a ball bouncing off grass and not dirt/turf.
Sounds like you need to conduct a fungo class :)
 
Sep 21, 2017
165
28
PA
The drills and tips people are posting here are good, and technique is important to learn. But the best answer is reps. Lots and lots of reps. Getting the right amount of reps as an outfielder is tough. It's more difficult to give the exact balls you want. It's a lot more tiring, and it just takes longer. You can get so many more reps in the same amount of time in the infield.

You don't really learn to read fly balls through drills. You don't figure out the angles, how and when to max out your speed, etc. until you have to just do it. So spend some time on the technique, but spend a lot more time just catching as many fly balls as possible.

Oh, and don't forget balls on the ground. Those angles are important, too. Don't forget about weird line drives.

One HUGE difference between IF/OF practice is there's virtually no point in hitting an infielder balls she can't catch (I don't mean challenging them; I mean literally impossible). But outfielders have to make a play on a ball they can't turn into an out all the time. Don't forget about these. Hit some sinking liners. She might play all of them on a hop, but that's important. It's important for her to learn when to charge hard, when to pull up, how to play a ball bouncing off grass and not dirt/turf.
100% right.

We drill, drill, drill, for technique, but I will always say the absolute best OF practice is getting reads off live on-field hitting. Set 3 outfielders up in normal positions, have them start in random spots to work on other angles, mix it up, but IMO there is no better substitute for live reads.
 
Apr 20, 2018
1,697
113
SoCal
100% right.

We drill, drill, drill, for technique, but I will always say the absolute best OF practice is getting reads off live on-field hitting. Set 3 outfielders up in normal positions, have them start in random spots to work on other angles, mix it up, but IMO there is no better substitute for live reads.
This is true. But if coach is good with the fungo bat and can hit line drives with backspin instead of just punching the ball out there with little spin it make it more realistic. (and harder)
 
Jan 13, 2020
872
63
Careful what you ask for. My wife used to make me hit to her for 2 hours at a time. Then she called me a wimp because my hands were bleeding 😭

Then my daughter was like mother 😭😭 All the bleeding paid off as they were really good out there.
 
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