How to Make a Clutch Throw From the Outfield

Sometimes an outfielder just "has" to make a play.

The most stressful play that an outfielder can face through out the course of a game is known as--The "Do or Die" Play.

The "Do or Die" play is defined as:

  1. There is an imminent chance for an assist on the play
  2. The batted ball gives the outfielder an opportunity for forward momentum to complete the play
  3. There is a base runner at 2nd base and the batter hits a base hit on the ground through the infield
  4. There is a base runner at 3rd base with less than two outs. The batter hits a fly ball to the outfielder and the outfielder can get "behind it".

The "Do or Die" play is defined by the game situation. If the score is close in a given contest, then the play is imminent.

If the defense is "counting outs" due to a large lead or deficit then the goal of the outfielder may be to keep the batter-runner off of 2nd base to keep the double play in order.

The key to success during a "Do or Die" play revolves around footwork. The proper footwork allows for the outfielder to field and throw in a MAXIMUM of two steps! The two styles that are appropriate are as follows:

The Crow Hop

The Crow Hop - ball on the ground (Right Hander): The Right Handed outfielder should field the ball off to the side of his left foot. The ball should be brought to the throwing slot in a quick, controlled motion to generate forward momentum. The right foot should be turned perpendicular to the body, hopped upon one time and the ball should be released through the halo of the cut man with a long hop mentality to secure the assist.

The Crow Hop - ball on the ground (Left Hander): The Left Handed outfielder should field the ball off to the side of his Right foot. The ball should be brought to the throwing slot in a quick, controlled motion to generate forward momentum. The left foot should be turned perpendicular to the body, hopped upon one time and the ball should be released through the halo of the cut man with a long hop mentality to secure the assist.

The Crow Hop -ball in the air (Right Hander): The Right Handed outfielder should make every effort to get at least two steps behind where the batted ball will land. With timing and momentum, the outfielder should receive the baseball with the right foot forward, catching the baseball over the right shoulder. After catching the baseball, the outfielder should turn the right foot so that it is perpendicular to the body, hop on it one time, and the ball should be released through the halo of the cut man with a long hop mentality to secure the assist.

The Crow Hop - ball in the air (Left Hander): The Left Handed outfielder should make every effort to get at least two steps behind where the batted ball will land. With timing and momentum, the outfielder should receive the baseball with the left foot forward, catching the baseball over the left shoulder. After catching the baseball, the outfielder should turn the left foot so that it is perpendicular to the body, hop on it one time, and the ball should be released through the halo of the cut man with a long hop mentality to secure the assist.

The Jump Step

The Jump Step - ball on the ground (Right Hander): The Right Handed outfielder should field the ball off to the side of his left foot. The ball should be brought to the throwing slot in a quick, controlled motion to generate forward momentum. As the ball is brought to the throwing slot, the outfielder should generate momentum towards the field. The footwork is defined as “Field the ball with the Left foot down, Right Stride, Left Stride and Throw”.

The Jump Step - ball on the ground (Left Hander): The Left Handed outfielder should field the ball off to the side of his right foot. The ball should be brought to the throwing slot in a quick, controlled motion to generate forward momentum. As the ball is brought to the throwing slot, the outfielder should generate momentum towards the field. The footwork is defined as “Field the ball with the Right foot down, Left Stride, Right Stride and Throw”.

The Jump Step - ball in the air (Right Hander): The Right Handed outfielder should make every effort to get at least two steps behind where the batted ball will land. With timing and momentum, the outfielder should receive the baseball with the left foot forward, catching the baseball over the right shoulder. After catching the baseball, the outfielder should stride forward in a “Catch left, Right Stride, Left Stride, Throw” method..

The Jump Step - ball in the air (Left Hander): The Left Handed outfielder should make every effort to get at least two steps behind where the batted ball will land. With timing and momentum, the outfielder should receive the baseball with the right foot forward, catching the baseball over the left shoulder. After catching the baseball, the outfielder should stride forward in a “Catch right, Left Stride, Right Stride, Throw” method.

Remember the key is utilizing momentum and body leverage to deliver an accurate and strong throw. All we can ask for as an outfielder on a "Do or Die" play is a chance to get an assist. The utilization of "Do or Die" footwork gives an outfielder the best opportunity possible to achieve this goal.


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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