Baseball is the sport that most Americans grew up loving, and it’s easy to see why: it’s a fantastic combination of fun, exercise, and skill. Since baseball games are played at different pitches and speeds, different skills need to be taught (and practiced) depending on how a pitcher or player pitches. The whole point of the game is for each player (pitcher or batter) to get two outs against a certain opponent, then get one more out against the same opponent, etc. It’s kind of like a very slow musical, where the melody is constantly changing–but in this case, instead of just one note, the pitch changes constantly, and a lot of skill is needed to keep it all together. Here are a few basic baseball skills that every player (including novices) should know.
First, hitters must know how to field a baseball and recognize what kind of plays are coming up before they even reach the plate. It sounds simple, but it’s something that most players forget to do, because they haven’t been taught how to properly field a baseball before the game starts. Therefore, if you’re playing catch in a game, especially on a fast pitch from a base runner, it’s essential to be able to recognize whether the ball has hit a wall or whatever else is in play ahead of you. This goes the same for a throw back from a second base runner: Knowing where you’re throwing to first base will help you identify whether you need to throw to the outfield or not, depending on the situation.
Second, catchers must be able to successfully tag balls. A foul ball is one that’s thrown to a player by another player–so basically, it’s a “foul” if you can’t catch a baseball. Catchers must be able to quickly get to the ball in order to throw it out, as well as to secure the throw and turn it in for a base hit. That means that a catcher must have mastered a variety of different athletic skills, including the throw, the catch, and the base run. Most high school baseball and softball coaches will teach these techniques to young players at an early age, but many players never pick up these skills.
Third, baseball fielders must also know how to field a baseball on grass or a artificial turf. These conditions present unique challenges to the batter, making it crucial that a batter be able to recognize when the ball is live (hitting the dirt) and when it’s not. Additionally, these conditions make it difficult for a batter to execute an accurate throw. Finally, the mound is another element of baseball that differs from the “natural” environment of the baseball diamond. Most fields located outside of major league ball parks are actually constructed with a unique type of soil and topography. The conditions of these places require a batter to be able to successfully execute his throw, since it’s often the basis for a successful play on the field.
Fourth, on the bases, there are many different types of plays. The first is called the “safe” play, which means that a runner can pick up the bat and attempt to throw a ball to a base runner without taking a chance of being tagged. This is known as the “safe” throw, because it doesn’t force a runner to put extra pressure on himself by running towards second base or third base. Other plays include the sacrifice, which requires the runner to put himself into a position that he would not normally be in if he had scored a base hit, and the double, which is a situation in which two runners try to advance from different positions on the field.
Lastly, there are various offensive positions in baseball. Pitchers, for instance, usually start in the outfield. Other offensive positions include second base, third base, and right field. Defensive positions include first base, second base, and the outfield. If you want more information on baseball coach instruction, your local youth baseball or softball team may be able to provide you with help.