Help! My fielders make a lot of errors when I pitch, how do I refocus?


#1

Do you have any strategies to regroup after a mistake or error in the field when you’re pitching?


#2

There’s only one thing to do—set up an intensive schedule of fielding practice, for both infield and outfield. Those players will just have to stop lollygagging and fooling around and get to work on cutting down on those errors, misplays, fumbles, what have you. They will have to do it the way it’s done in the major leagues! Only then will you be able to refocus on your pitching. I’m sorry, but there just is no other way to deal with this problem.


#3

A pitcher really has three jobs to do during a game:

1- Make good pitches.
2-Field his position and backup other positions
3- Be the kind of teammate that helps other players do their best with what they brought to the game that day.

If a grounder gets through remind your player that he will get the next one. Let him know you believe in him and force yourself to believe in him enough to continue to do your job.

But if you let his play, the bad mound, the bad umps, the rude fans or the poor walkup music keep you from pitching well it’s on you, not anybody else. A pitcher must have the mind set to walk out onto the mound and overcome.

So I guess my recommended strategy is for one to be committed to doing his job the best he can and to supporting his guys when they are unable to do theirs as well as they wanted.

Sounds easy.


#4

Mistakes are going to happen behind you. The younger you are, the more it will happen. You can’t let it get to you mentally. Errors increase pitch count, pitches per inning, fatigue and stress. Believe me, the guys don’t want to make mistakes any more than you want to miss your spot with each pitch. As long as your defense is focused and prepared, mistakes will be minimized. Most errors are caused by lack of focus and those are inexcusable and I would agree with @Zita_Carno about extra fielding practice.

I have two pickle buckets filled with 65-70 balls each. Each infielder gets two of these per practice. Attack the ball, gather the ball and yourself, get momentum toward the target, and get into throwing position or feeding position, then toss the ball into a pile just into the outfield grass. That usually keeps the error count down for my kids.

If your coach isn’t giving each infielder at least 100 ground balls per practice, he’s not helping his pitching staff. It only takes 8-10 minutes per bucket, so in about 15 minutes per player you can easily get in a ton of grounders. In 45 minutes, using both fungo circles, you can get through all 4 infielders and two reserves. This can easily be done during batting practice if you have a couple of screens.


#5

I would have killed for this kind of practice at my kids high school. The practices were so lax and unorganized there were times I saw each infielder get 4 ground balls…a waste of time. Just like having pitchers shag fly balls. When I see a team have pitchers shag it tells me they have no idea how to work with pitchers (still see this in college).
I would add really focusing on a kids particular weakness. Being able to identify each players weakness…fielding the backhand, digging the ball at first ect. and spending a few extra focused reps per day there can help as well.


#6

Really good points. That’s biggest difference between pro ball and high school…

In pro ball (and many good college programs) BP time is used effectively. Infielders take grounders. Outfielders take fly balls. Track the ball. Run routes. Pitchers take turns running and doing arm care or throwing bullpens.

In high school, BP is mostly the biggest waste of time and one of the many reasons a lot of kids think baseball is so damn boring, in my opinion.


#7

This is exactly the case. Most HS programs have a head coach and an equipment manager. We were fortunate to have 2 equipment managers who transitioned the field between drills based upon the practice plan time indices. The captains helped run the actual drills with the two coaches.
After BP we had PFP and outfielders worked on fielding and hitting their cuts.


#8

In my son’s case, his focus is that he loves pitching so much that he gets to be on that mound a bit longer now.
Don’t let ERRs bring you down just focus on your next pitch “one batter at a time”. My son had a crappy mechanical coach but he was great at the mental side, teaching him pitcher responsibility. Don’t complain about errs if your walking guys, keep pace of game up, don’t let your fielders get board out there, and pfps. Most important be a leader. If a fielder makes an err make your next batter the most important guy you face and get that K or that DP ball to pick him up.