How to read the ball In the outfield?


#1

Can anyone give me tips on this? I’ve never had a problem, until recently. Today at my first high school practice, out of close to 25 hit over my head, I caught 2 and never got back for the rest, as I came foward (extremely embarassing). I am starting out stepping back, and running in. How can I prevent this?


#2

Wow 25! Sounds like an issue with depth perception. By chance do you have corrected vision?


#3

How long has it been since playing the outfield? Have you played outfield on the big diamond before? It’s easy to lose your feel for it.
Playing outfield in LL is over simplified since you really don’t have to judge the ball. It’s either in front of you, or it’s a home run.

On a full-sized field, in general, it’s easier to correct IN than BACK. Always go back hard keeping your eye on the ball until you are sure you have outrun the ball. You can also tell as the ball significantly slows down. Now adjust your movements to settle just behind the ball in line with your intended throw so you can step into the catch and throw it in one fluid motion.
The key with most skills is understanding skills are perishable and getting sufficient quality repetitions. Get out there and shaggy some flies. Start out in center because flies are easier to read from center. Then try the corner positions next.


#4

I have horrible vision (20-300), thanks genetics. I don’t think that is it however, but I’ll consider that


#5

Thanks! I’ve been playing outfield in the big field for the past two years. I’ll be sure to try what you’re saying. I think a big part of this may be how in years prior I was always able to cheat from having very good speed, which I did not have yesterday. I’ll be sure to do this today at practice!


#6

I tried this today and nothing went over my head. I did let quite a few balls drop in front of me, but it’s a start!


#7

What’s happening is that you are not yet used to reading the point where you know have enough depth, so you are going back too far. Most coaches prefer allowing singles versus allowing extra bases. As you get better through repetitions, you will not need to make such drastic inward adjustments at the end and you will catch those balls that are now falling in front of you.