Player Positions Tips

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.

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How should I train for pitching?

Conditioning

Most young pitchers do not realize the importance of both strong legs and stamina. Long distance running is a mainstay for professional pitchers. You should add long distance running to your regimen if you are truly serious about pitching (run 3-5 times a week!)

   
What is the proper way to go after a fly ball?

Get Sideways

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.

   
Should a catcher take control?

The Field General

The catcher needs to exert him or herself as the field general. Communication on the baseball field is necessary and a good catcher will take control. The catcher has the view of the entire field and can make the proper call for throws to each base.

   
How can I anticipate where the batter will hit the ball?

Reading the pitch

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.

   
What are the three aspects of a fastball?

Three things to a fastball

People usually focus on one aspect of a fastball...speed. But, there are three things to a fastball that make it effective :
1. Velocity
2. Movement
3. Location

Having high velocity without the other two is just not good enough.

   
Do I concentrate on the game or this one pitch?

Pitching

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.

   
How can I determine hitter weaknesses?

Study stances

Study hitters' stances to determine weaknesses. Hitters who dive into the ball can be beat with fastballs in and under the hands. One who bails in the box may be vulnerable to pitches on the outside corner.

   
Should I use ice?

Ice

Take the time to ice your arm after pitching. Ice the shoulder and elbow for twenty minutes after throwing in any game or practice. Ice will reduce inflammation and a constant routine of icing will prolong your career. Make the time...you will realize the importance as you get older.

   
What is the most imporant pitch in baseball?

The fastball

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!

   
How can I improve my pitching?

The Pitching

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.

   
How can I become a better first baseman?

First Base Defense

First basemen are sometimes known to be lumbering fielders. But, don't discount the value of a solid first baseman.
Footwork separates the average fielder from the above average at first base. Work on your footwork around the bag in practice.

   
Should I throw a changeup?

Changeup

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.

   
What is PFP?

Pitchers Fielding Practice

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.

   
Should the shortstop be the leader in the field?

Be the leader

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!

   
How do you throw from the outfield?

Crow hop

Learn how to do a proper "crow hop" from the outfield. By using your forward momentum and doing a crow hop, you will be able to maximize your throwing arm.

   
Is stretching important?

Stretching

The most basic thing to learn at first base when fielding a throw is to NOT stretch too early. Only stretch upon seeing the trajectory and aim of the throw. Stretching too soon will only limit your range and tangle your feet!

   
How do you learn outfield positioning?

Positioning

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.

   
What is a good time for a catcher´s throw to second base?

Catcher Times

What is a good time for a catcher's throw to second base?
Anything under two seconds from glove to glove (from the catcher's glove to the shortstop or second baseman's glove) is exceptional.

   
How do you throw a curve?

Curveball

The curveball is the pitch that can be the most dangerous to the arm. Be sure you are schooled in the proper mechanics of a curve before attempting to throw at full speed. Learn the proper grip. A four seam curveball is the only way to go.

   
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