Baseball is not a silent game. The crack of the bat. The pounding of leather. The hustle of cleats around the basepaths. There’s plenty of noise to take in. To add to the sounds of the stadium, there’s constant communication amongst players on both sides of the foul line.
For outfielders, it’s important to be vocal. A quality line of communication can help set up defenses and keep everyone in the game. Former professional center fielder Marlon Byrd stresses the importance of talking amongst outfielders.
“I know a lot of people talk about communication with balls coming in the outfield, but communication before the pitch is also key,” he says.
Use these tips and tricks the next time you take the field.
EVERY AT-BAT, EVERY PITCH
Because a game’s momentum can change with one swing, it’s important to stay on your toes with each pitch. This means being in the proper alignment for every batter. Talking with your teammates becomes a critical part to getting in the right defensive position.
“Not one pitch goes by where you’re not taking peeks,” Byrd says. “Knowing where your outfielders are. Even if you’re a left fielder. Even if you’re a right fielder. It does not matter.”
Before every pitch, take a quick look and scan the outfield. If you see someone out of place or think someone is misreading a batter, let them know. Having strong communication skills can help ensure
proper outfield alignment throughout the game.
Talking amongst your fellow outfielders can also make it easier to make adjustments on the fly. For example, if you have a batter that typically hits to their pull side, your initial lineup should match that. But, in this particular plate appearance, they’re late on pitches taking everything toward opposite field. If you’re vocal in the outfield, you can quickly adjust to make sure you remain in your best defensive setup.
Find your voice within the game and ensure your outfielders are on the same page for every pitch. Take these tips and speak your way to victory.
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