If you want to be a top baseball player, then catching a fly ball is one of the first things which you should learn. It is quite easy. It just needs a little bit of concentration and focus. Here are some tips on how to catch a fly ball in baseball:
1. Initial position:
If you want to catch fly balls successfully, then your initial position is the most important thing. The best position is the ‘ Ready Position’, with your knees slightly bent. If you stay in this position, then you will be able to catch the ball both on your right side and left side. You should also take 2 or 3 steps between the pitches. Even during delivery, you can take 1 or 2 forward steps if you want. It will keep your legs light and flexible. And always prepare as if the ball will come to you. Never lose your concentration even for a second. Even if the striker is not good and rarely times the ball well, you still shouldn’t lose your focus.
2. Keep your eyes on the ball:
In order to catch a fly ball, you should watch the ball closely. Right from the moment the pitch is delivered, till the time the striker hits the ball towards you, your eyes should always be on the ball. The ball often spins in the air. Hence, even if you lose your focus for one second and look sideways or backwards, you may end up dropping the ball. Also, don’t stand idle in your place. Try to move towards the ball. You may also need to run backwards in some cases. It is a bit difficult to keep an eye on the ball while running backwards. Your balance is also very important.
3. Run on your toes:
Your footwork is also very important. The way you run matters a lot and if you manage to get your running techniques right, then it will help you a lot in your career. While running towards the ball, most people make the mistake of hitting the ground with their heels. When you hit the ground with your heels, your eyes will bounce and you will lose sight of the ball for 1 second. In baseball, even just 1 second can end up making a lot of difference. Hence, it will be better if you manage to run on your toes. It will not impact your eyes much and it will be much easier for you to track the ball.
4. Dive carefully:
In some cases, you may need to dive to catch a fly ball. Diving is a difficult skill and unless you do it properly, you may also end up hurting yourself. When you run towards the ball, lower your body and bend your knees with every step you take. Also, don’t run too fast. Otherwise, it will be difficult to time your dive well. And while diving, rotate your arms immediately after catching the ball, so that the ball doesn’t touch the ground. However, you should avoid diving as much as possible. Dive only when it is really necessary and there is no other option to catch the ball.
5. Buy a proper glove:
This is probably the most important tip. The quality of your gloves play big role in determining your success. Also, make sure that the size is perfect and it fits in your hand perfectly. For an adult, the average size is around 12 inch. And for a kid, the average size is around 10 inch. It also takes some time to get used to your glove. Hence, you need to practice with it for some time, before using it in your match. When the ball is coming at you above your waist, then you need to extend your arm upwards. And when the ball is coming at you below the waist region, then you need to slightly rotate your arms.
Thus, we see that catching a fly ball is not a very difficult job. It may take some time initially, but once you get a bit of practice, it should be quite easy. And buying the right kind of gloves is also very important. It will make your job much easier.
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