|Avoid drifting when|
|Square up to|
Behind the ball. When an outfielder consistently squares up on fly balls, the next piece of footwork involves getting behind the ball. I mentioned above that when an outfielder squares up he stops his momentum away from the infield before he makes the catch. This saved valuable time. However, after the catch the outfielder still has to generate momentum before throwing. This is where getting behind the ball can solve this dilemma. An outfielder who has quicker footwork can not only square up to the infield on a fly ball but can also move back a few steps behind the ball. This allows the outfielder to move forward to catch the ball instead of catching the ball standing still. Moving forward to catch generates momentum towards the infield before catching the ball. The outfielder only needs to catch and throw without first wasting valuable steps to generate some momentum.
|Although the timing isn't perfect, Juan|
Pierre gets behind the ball and leads
with the proper foot to catch.
If you are an outfielder or a coach of outfielders, be sure to give the proper focus to footwork. Usually improvements are made pretty rapidly once you do.
Note: The same footwork - timing and proper foot forward to catch - applies to catching balls hit on the ground to outfielders as well.