Baseball Defensive Situations ~ Think Ahead and Communicate With Your Teammates!
Baseball defensive situations, it's all about thinking ahead and communicating with your teammates.
The team at bat generally has many options at their disposal, within any given situation. They also have the advantage of choosing which option they wish to use, thus only preparing mentally for that one option.
Photo: Bill Stanton: Checkswing.com
Defensively, you need to prepared for anything the offense may opt to do and adjust on the move to what actually happens as the pitch is delivered.
You should be aware that the situations and the options can, and often will, change pitch to pitch. Just like "hustle" never has a bad day, think of defensive communication as "mental hustle". Defensive communication never stops.
The Ability To Focus On Every Pitch Thrown Makes Plays Like This Possible
Hitters focus on approximately 25 pitches per game. Fielders have to discipline their mind to be prepared for 100 or more. That's tough ~ it takes work.
(Dorfman and Kuehl, The Mental Game of Baseball)
Rolled up in those 100 or so pitches are the numerous situations to be dealt with on a continual basis.
A failure to think ahead and communicate can become a train wreck. At the very least, that failure to prepare makes everyone's reactions slow, which is never a good thing. Slow reactions cause players to be late getting to a base, or rushing a throw which becomes an error, as the players attempt to overcompensate.
Ty Cobb believed that a defensive play was at least 5 times as difficult to make as an offensive play.
With that degree of difficulty how does a defensive team equalize the odds in these situations?
Plan ahead and communicate with your teammates.
When defenses do that, it takes away the slow to react and indecisive factors, thus player's won't feel a need to over compensate.
Less stress, less rush, fewer mistakes.
Baseball Defensive Situation Tips ~ From the Dugout
In my experiences as a player and a coach, I found the most efficient way to teach baseball defensive situations is with game situation fungos. In my opinion, this is the most effective drill ever developed. You cannot go wrong here!
This drill allows you to work on any defensive situations you feel need work, as well as allowing player's to perform situations they may already be competant at, which simply becomes a team confidence builder.
The fungo hitter is in full command of what they want to work on, players are easily interchanged. You will fall in love with all this drill can do for you and your players.
When your players are comfortable within the situations they will be facing, they take on a different look and dynamic. Individual and team confidence is an important ingriedient of all successful teams, and athletes.
Defense usually doesn't make the headlines, but it goes a long way towards winning baseball games. There are a number of ways to make an impact during the course of a game, and playing solid, sound defense is one of them.
(Derek Jeter, New York Yankees)
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