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.