Communication is key no matter which sport you play. Talking with your teammates can help keep everyone focused on a common goal and make sure your team is in sync on the field. Communication plays a pivotal role on the baseball diamond, particularly in the outfield.
Champion Youth Baseball Coach Branndon Pezzelle stresses communication to all of his athletes. “The more people that you have moving toward the same goal, speaking out, letting each other know where they’re at, communicating with each other, the better off you are.”
You can help train your outfield communication skills just as you would your fielding skills, and practicing them indoors can be a great pre-season drill to work on before the sun, wind and other elements come into play.
To work on your communication in the outfield, have two players (three if your gym has enough room) spaced out roughly 50′ from one another. A coach or teammate will then toss a fly ball into the air and give the players room to communicate with one another so they can safely and effectively record the out.
Pezzelle notes that during the drill, one player should take the helm in speaking out. This duty is usually saved for the center fielder. “He’s usually the captain of the defense, so the centerfielder is going to call out whether he’s going to take the ball or the right fielder or the left fielder would take the ball.”
“In calling it out, that’s three strong calls. ‘I got it. I got it. I got it,’ as loud as you can get. That way everyone knows to disperse,” Pezzelle says.
Infielders and other players can be included in the drill too since a fly ball can pop up anywhere. And don’t be afraid to mix up the height of the tosses. Adding variety to your fly ball trajectory can give more of a game day feel and help prepare you even more for talking on the field.
Throughout your practice, don’t forget to stress your vocals and really emphasize your communication. “We’re stressing that we want to communicate with each other, who is going to get the ball and how they are going to get it,” Pezzelle says.
Give a shout and speak up to your potential with this outfield training drill to help improve your communication skills this season.