Baseball Outfield Throwing Drills
Baseball outfielders must maintain a high level of focus to get behind an incoming line drive or contain a pop fly ball, make a snap judgment as to the most effective place in the infield to deliver the ball dependent on the configuration of the runners, and then throw that ball precisely to where it needs to be. Baseball outfield throwing drills help build the instinct and muscle memory for a fast, accurate delivery.
Take Two Drill
The take two drill simultaneously works runners as they try to take two bases, and outfielders as they strive to throw the ball in quickly and cleanly ahead of the runner. Place three players in the outfield, infield players at short and third base, and line up the rest of the players at first base. The coach hits from near the batting box to the left outfielder, then the center outfielder, then the right outfielder in succession. At each hit, one of the team members runs from first base and attempts to make third base. Each outfield player catches the hit ball and then throws it to third base as swiftly and accurately as possible. When all outfielders and runners have rotated through, repeat the drill with the runners beginning at second base and running to home base.
Building Arm Strength
Outfielders can build arm strength with this simple throwing drill recommended by Tom Hanley, a Middlebury Vermont youth and adult recreational baseball coach and lifelong baseball player. Begin with sufficient stretching exercises to loosen all the major body muscle groups, especially the legs, hips and rotator cuff. Begin with short throws to a partner 25 feet away. Using proper technique and grip, throw softly, focusing on throwing to the partner's chest. Once the muscles are sufficiently loose, step back 10 steps and repeat. After every 10 throws, take another 10 steps back. Throws should always be on a line, with no high arcs, even if the throw reaches your partner on one hop. Focus on "long arm" throwing, arching the back and dropping the throwing arm low behind you, with your glove hand pointed to the target. Do not exceed 100 throws per drill. Repeat this drill every two days throughout the season.
Fly Ball Relay Drill
The outfield fly ball relay drill provides defensive practice, throwing work and a bit of conditioning running between positions. Using an expanse of outfield area, position three players aligned so that one player is out along the first base foul line, one player is in center field, and the third is in left field. Remaining players line up beyond the left field player. The coach, standing along the first base foul line but closer to the infield than the first player, hits a fly ball to the player in left field. This player throws the ball to the player in center field, who returns it to the player on the first base foul line. This player tosses the ball to the coach and runs to the line of waiting players while the remaining players move up one position and repeat the drill.
- Tom Hanley; Lifelong Little League and Recreational Adult League Coach; Middlebury, Vt.
- TheOleBallGame.com: Outfield Flyball Relay Drill
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