How to Keep Outfielders Focused on the Game

The outfield can be a very lonely and daunting place given the amount of game action an outfielder gets or in many cases the lack thereof. 

One of the toughest elements of outfield play is being able to maintain focus on the task at hand. 
Outfielders may not get a baseball hit to them at all throughout the course of a game and then...Boom! The game is on the line and that given outfielder becomes the hero or the goat depending on focus.  
Note: Realize that it is impossible to be focused for the entire 2-3 hour contest while in the outfield.  You must approach your job with the ability to FOCUS "3 seconds at a time".  
Here is how to maintain your focus as an outfielder:
  • Find your alignment (How are you playing that given hitter?)
  • Establish and utilize a "pre-pitch routine".  I recommend to my IMG outfielders that they take a step with their left foot, a step with their right foot, and "pinch their knees" together.  (This is known as our "starter steps".  We "pinch our knees" to put our body into an explosive/fast-twitch position.)
  • Focus on pitch location, type and the hitter's bat angle.  These variables will give you a hint as to where the ball may be put into play.
  • If the ball is put in play, react.  If it is not to you directly, you must put yourself in position to backup the play.
  • If the ball is fouled off, offered at and missed, or not offered at....Relax!  Take a deep breath. You have a few moments to clear your mind before your next "three seconds" of focus.

The IMG Baseball Academy provides professional instruction to amateur and professional players in a comprehensive developmental program. The IMG Baseball Academy provides players the skills necessary to excel at any level of the game at the world’s most prestigious multi sport training facility.

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