The Ole Ball Game

Outfield Warm Ups: Using An Active, Between Innings Routine, Will Help Keep Them In The Game!”

Outfield warm-ups are often the most misused of the between innings activities, in all of youth baseball.

Quite often it consists of the 3 players, all playing catch together across the field. A modified long toss, more often looking like long chase. If they manage to arrive at their positions with a baseball, or in time to get any throws accomplished, those throws tend to lack a purpose.

While it is true that they will generally make fewer throws than infielders in games, the need is still there to loosen up between innings. How they go about this activity will have a direct bearing on keeping them focused, their feeling of being prepared to make that one, all important throw, that can be needed at any time.

The between innings routine is about staying loose; but much more about staying mentally in the game. Outfielders, particularly at the youth level, often do not feel their defense is that important. I have talked with players who believe they are an outfielder because they weren’t good enough to be an infielder. Nothing should be farther from the truth.

Provided with a routine to work on a specific skill, rather than simply toss a ball over to another outfielder, will help change that image in their mind.

When an player loses focus, bad things happen. There is no one behind them to back them up, except the fence.

When they overthrow the cutoff man, it generally means one to two extra bases plus a run or two. When they are unprepared for a ball hit to them, thus freezing and holding the ball, runners sprint around the bases amidst the screams of everyone in attendance.

Using an active between innings routine will help keep them “in the game.”

Between Innings

Equipment Needed

  1. 3 players, plus 1 designated substitute player.

  2. 2 baseballs, one for CF and one for substitute player.

  3. RF and LF need only their gloves.

Outfield Routine

  • All 3 players and the extra warm up player keep their gloves and baseballs together in the dugout.

  • When their offensive inning ends, they grab their gloves and baseballs and hustle out to their positions.

  • The extra warm up player will be throwing with either the right fielder or the left fielder. That is determined by which dugout you occupy that day. The extra player goes down the 3B line if you are in the 3B dugout, 1B line if 1B dugout.

  • CF throws with the remaining LF or RF.

  • Using a good crow hop, long toss throws as well as one hop long hops are good warm up throws, providing an additional purpose besides just warming up.

  • When the catcher throws down, both warm up balls go to the extra player, who keeps them with his glove, in the designated spot for all the outfielders. This extra player can also get the 3 infield balls, thus eliminating baseballs rolling in from all directions, putting them in the infielders spot.

Outfield Warm Up Tips ~ From the Dugout

outfield warm up tips ~ from the dugout

Working on the one hop, long hop throw is sometimes hard to get kids to do. They'll say; but I can get it there in the air.

While that may be true, the long hop is much easier and efficient for the infielder to tag with, than a ball in the air. It is an advanced skill they are working on, which leads to being able to throw the ball THROUGH the cutoff man, not over him or to him, as well as accurately control a throw.

CF is responsible for the other warm up ball because he is the outfield, group leader. Just one small part of taking responsibility in that role.

As with the infielders, the need to hustle out to their position is essential, bringing out gear for anyone left on base at innings end. A TEAM FUNCTION THAT IS A PART OF TEAM UNITY.

Your outfield looks and feels like they have a plan and know what they are doing. They do! Their confidence level goes up! Their mental game goes up, their enjoyment increases.

Outfielders are a bit more of a challenge to keep focused, given their inherent distance away from that centerpiece of baseball, the hitter/pitcher confrontation.

The addition of a purposeful between innings routine will go a long way in helping to maintain, or rejuvenate, that focus.

At times it may also help take their mind off of the awful at bat they just had, an at bat that has traveled out to left field with them, where they somehow manage to find time to stress on it.

Providing them a routine to focus in on may keep them from adding a defensive mistake on to that bad at bat.

return from outfield warm ups to the ole

Baseball on green grass


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