Baseball Outfielder Tips: How to Catch a Fly Ball

The steps to take to secure an out when a fly ball is hit your way in the outfield.

December 21, 2016

When a fly ball is catchable, outfielders must make sure they’re able to get an automatic out. Your first focus is to sprint to the spot where the ball is going to land. As the ball is coming down, make sure to keep your feet active. In addition, make sure to get your glove extended and keep your eyes clear. This will allow you to see the ball coming down and then make the play. Once you secure the ball, use your body and move through the ball toward your target to make a good throw.

One drill that enforces this play is a simple toss drill. Your coach or teammate will get out in front of you and toss the ball up in different directions. You should react to the ball, sprint to the spot where it will land, while keeping your feet active underneath your body and securing the ball. The distance does not need to be too far, but the idea is for you to work on the footwork and hand-eye coordination to make the play. Repeat the toss numerous times, varying the throw, to build your range.

One of the most important parts of playing the outfield is to get to the ball quickly, secure it and then get it back into the infield. Work on this in practice and you can find success in games when it counts.

It’s also crucial for an outfielder to know how to properly handle a ground ball that’s coming their way. Learn how to properly get the out on a ground ball here.