Read these 19 Player Positions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Baseball tips and hundreds of other topics.
When moving to field a fly ball, remember the words 'Get Sideways.' By doing a drop step and remaining sideways on your approach, you will have a much better chance to field the ball cleanly. 'Getting Sideways' helps you avoid backpedalling, which often gets you in the most trouble.
Third base is a reaction position. Balls are hit so hard to third base that quick reflexes are of major importance. In addition, learn how to read pitches. Get the sign from the shortstop and learn how hitters hit certain pitches from your pitching staff. This will give you an anticipating reflex that will allow you to react even quicker.
Jim 'Catfish" Hunter, Hall of Fame pitcher who threw a perfect game in 1968, says:
1) Throw what the catcher calls and believe in every pitch. When a pitcher starts thinking, that's when he gets in trouble.
2) You've got to have every pitch working for you. When I threw my perfect game, every pitch I threw, I knew where it was going.
3) Concentrate on the hitter. The only guy who's going to beat you is the guy with the bat. If you get him out, you're going to win.
Tom Seaver once asked a crowd of reporters, "What is the most important pitch in baseball?"
He got a variety of answers : change-up, fastball, curveball, one wise guy even called out spitter.
He said it was the fastball.
He then asked, "What is the second most important pitch in baseball?"
Again he got a variety of answers.
And again, he said fastball...
The fastball is certainly the most important pitch in the game. It sets up and builds the foundation for all other pitches!
This is a great way to improve pitching form and ensure that a pitcher is striding towards the plate.
Tape down a strip of masking tape in your garage, the backyard, the driveway, anywhere where you have a decent amount of room - the strip should be about a foot long; this is the rubber.
Tape a strip from the middle of the rubber to a point 5-6 paces in front of the rubber. You now have a "T" shape.
Practice your pitching rotation without throwing anything... your front foot should be hitting the tape at the end of the "T" as you stride.
This will help keep you from over- or under-striding during the game.
The changeup is a valuable pitch and is an art within itself. There are several ways to throw a changeup, but the key is deception. The motion, the body, and arm cannot slow down or you will be giving the pitch away.
The circle or "okay" changeup is the most popular form of this pitch. Get properly schooled on this pitch. It will be a valuable part of your arsenal.
In the pros, Pitchers Fielding Practice is done every day in spring training. Pitcher defense affects the outcome of many games. Fielding a bunt and throwing to the right base, covering first on a ground ball, or making a good pick-off throw are important and should be part of your training routine.
The shortstop has priority over all other fielders. A good shortstop is also a solid leader. Always let your teammates know how many outs there are. Help in positioning, covering bags, etc. You don't necessarily have to be extremely vocal, but make sure you are the communicator on the field!
An outfielder needs to learn how to read the ball as it comes off a bat. You also need to learn how to read a batter's swing. Are they timing the fastball? Fooled by the curve? Taking good hacks or swinging late? By analyzing an opponent's swing and then getting the pitch from your shortstop you will be able to better anticipate how the batter will hit the ball.