Softball Outfielder Tips: How to Read and React to a Ball Hit to the Outfield

Use this helpful drill to better your outfield tracking skills this softball season.

February 01, 2017

When a hit travels to the outfield, it’s your duty to read, react and secure the softball. Whether via pop fly or ground ball, you must be able to track and catch the ball to make the out. The four-cone drill can help you build the vision, footwork and route skills necessary for success.


To set up this quick and simple outfield drill, assemble four agility cones in a square roughly 10 feet by 10 feet. Stand in the center of your square and have a coach or teammate direct your routes. They should point to one of the four cones to signal which direction to go. Additionally, they should point toward the sky (indicating a fly ball) or to the ground (indicating a ground ball).

Once your coach or teammate has signaled, react by sprinting from your athletic stance to the intended marker. Keep your feet active once you reach the cone, pause and then return to the center. Repeat this drill for a few reps to improve your tracking skills and footwork.

To add more difficulty to the drill, you can add a softball to the equation and make a play at each cone. You can also expand the square and test your range.

Being proficient at reading and reacting to the ball can enhance your outfield skills. Use these outfield tips to better your tracking techniques this softball season.