One of the most misunderstood positions in both softball and baseball is outfield. Many people seem to have the impression that playing outfield is easier and less of a hassle than infield positions. While you may not see as much action, you must always be on your feet and ready to catch the ball. If you aren’t, those singles made by the other team will become triples or even infield home runs.
Hustle To The Ball
It’s oftentimes hard to tell just how far a ball is going to travel when it’s hit into outfield. Don’t underestimate the velocity of power of a traveling ball. Once you it’s hit, start running as fast as you can in the projected direction. You don’t want to give up a hit just because you waited to run.
Even if a ball hit looks like it’s going to be a home run, you should still hustle towards the direction of it. There’s always a chance the ball will bounce off the wall and come back into play. Prepare yourself at the fence or wall and wait in case this happens.
Practice Catching Pop Flys
You’ll quickly learn that most of your time spend in the outfield is done catching pop flys. If you fail to properly catch them, you’ll probably want to think about playing a different position. However, catching pop flys is a necessary skill that every position must possess.
One of the most important tips I can give for catching pop flys is to stand about 1 to 2 feet behind the ball when it’s about to land. This will give you a bit of room to work with in case the wind decides to throw it farther back. If you stand directly under the ball, it’s likely to go past you, which is more difficult to catch.
Practice Throwing The Ball
When the other team lands outfield hits, you’ll need to throw the ball back as fast and accurately as possible to prevent any further damage. Whether it’s at practice, home or before the games, spend some time throwing a softball as fast as you can. Doing so will increase your strength and ability to throw the ball back to your team infield.
These are just a couple tips on playing outfield in softball. Remember to always be on your game and stay focused when you’re standing out there. It may take a couple innings before a ball is hit your way, but trust me, it will happen and you need to be prepared for it.