Working Over The Shoulder & Fielding Fly Balls

You want your players to understand the concept that a fly ball will go up, and it will go down, virtually drawing an imaginary line in the sky. And you want your players to understand that they have to pick which side of that line they are going to run on to catch that ball. The mechanics involved in this decision are different, and you need to teach your players to be comfortable making this reaction decision of catching on their forehand side or their backhand side.

It’s not which side you choose that makes the difference, but the commitment that when you take your drop step back, you stay on and keep your eyes on the line of that ball the entire time. Any time that a player’s eyes have to go directly towards the sky, they lose their equilibrium and that is where the ball is difficult to catch.

Any drills that work on the mechanics of fielding fly balls (in the outfield or the infield) are considered over the shoulder drills or OTS drills.

OTS drills teach us to:

  • Drop Back
  • Get the Torso to Face the backfield area behind you (outward field of play)
  • Track Sprint with the ball
  • Stay on one side of the ball
  • Follow the ball all the way into the glove

You’ll find the most common problem is that your players cross over the line of the ball, or they don’t fully commit their torso to the fence/outward field of play.


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