The multiple ways to set up in your outfielder stance

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The outfielder stance is less of a technical consideration than the infielder stance. Infielders need to be coiled and ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice.

Outfielders, on the other hand, can utilize a far more relaxed stance, as they tend to have more time to react to a batted ball than the infielders do. Essentially, the outfielder’s initial ambition is to get a good jump on the baseball.

The outfielder’s “ready” position.

As an outfielder, your outfielder stance can take a more casual approach than the typical infielder stance. You want to be comfortable in your crouch, needing to only bend your knees slightly, while having your throwing hand and your glove positioned on your knees.

Although comfortable and relaxed in your outfielder stance, be on the balls of your feet. This will help you get a good jump on the baseball as the pitcher releases his throw. If able to use information gathered when setting into your outfield position, you should be able to get a one or two step jumpstart – even before the ball has come off the batter’s bat.

While getting a good jump on the baseball is important, your primary concern should be on properly judging the hit to determine the best route you can take to reach it. Balls hit directly toward you can often be the most difficult to judge. Hold your ground, eliminating unnecessary steps, until you can determine whether the baseball is likely to force you in or out.

The multiple ways to set up in your outfielder stance

On balls hit to your side, unlike the infielders whose best route is often the banana route, yours is more likely to be in a direct line due to the expansive nature of the outfield. Drop your hands off your knees and cross your leg farthest from the ball over your opposite leg, while pushing off hard toward the ball.

Remember, do everything you can to keep that ball in front of you. Once behind you, if your fellow outfielder isn’t yet in position to back you up, the runner will be enjoying his trot around the bases.

Using the simple square stance for basic situations.

When not needing to throw the ball quickly back into the infield (i.e. there are no runners on base), you’ll want to use the square stance to field any fly ball.

The square stance consists of your shoulders being square to home plate while having both arms above your head. Your glove’s webbing should be open and your throwing hand, with palm open, should be up against the back of the glove’s webbing.

Having your throwing hand close to your glove as you catch the ball helps to prevent the ball from accidentally popping loose. It also allows you to quickly transfer the baseball from your glove to your throwing hand, saving time in the process.

Your feet can be positioned one of two ways, depending on your comfort level with either. The first method is keep your feet parallel while having your weight evenly distributed.

The second method is for your glove-side foot to be positioned approximately one step in front of your body, while your throwing side foot is be virtually aligned with your body and absorbing much of your weight. This puts you into a nice position to transition into your throwing motion.

Using the drop-step stance for quick throws back into the infield.

On sacrifice flys, or any play where the ball needs to be returned to the infield quickly, the drop step stance should be employed.

Remain a few paces behind the spot where the ball will be caught until the last second and then accelerates forward, using your forward momentum to add some velocity to your throw toward the infield.

Upon reaching the landing spot of the ball, your body, arms, and hands should be in a similar position to that of the square stance, with your glove-side foot out front and your throwing-side foot equal to or a step behind your body.

Your body weight should be largely transferred to your back foot when using this outfielder stance. Use your leg positioning and weight distribution as a springboard to launch yourself into a strong throw.