How To Catch a Fly Ball Using a Drop-Step

by Tim Covey

How To Catch a Fly Ball Using a Drop-Step

This week is a quick, but important tip on how to catch a fly ball using a drop-step. While there are some other important aspects of fly-ball fundamentals as well, today I focus only this one aspect.

Click below to watch and listen this weeks tip of the week, and then read below for a summary of this weeks post!

When teaching your players how to catch a fly ball it is crucial that they learn this important footwork. 


When the drop-step is not used on fly-balls hit over their shoulders, these are the things that can happen:

  1. On a ball hit sharply over their shoulder, an inefficient (or partial) drop-step often leads to the ball drifting over the opposite shoulder.
  2. A poor drop-step on a ball hit to the side of the outfielder can lead to a poor angle to the ball. When a poor angle is taken, it leads to additional steps to get to the ball (and the ball more likely to get past the outfielder).
  3. A partial drop step will often lead to the player taking a “J” cut…which means they take a step to their side before they start to go back on the ball. Again, this leads to extra steps getting to the ball.
  4. NOTE: While drop-stepping plays a huge role in the outfield, it is also important for infielders to learn. Many “bloopers” are missed by the infield as a result of a poor drop-step.

Now that we know the importance of the drop-step, here is a quick review of the basics of this technique:

  1. As soon as the player identifies the ball COULD go over her shoulder, she takes a step “back” with the proper foot.
  2. The player throws her hips open in order to get her body positioned properly to take a great angle back to the ball. Some coaches use the phrase to “open the door” with the hips. The video shows a good example of the outfielder “opening the door” and taking a FULL drop-step in order to take a great angle to the ball.

Drop-steps are a key aspect that players need to learn when you are teaching them how to catch a fly ball. Be sure to work this into your practices and emphasize it with both your outfielders and your infielders this season!

Do your players struggle with this technique?  Have a question or comment?  Let me know in the comments below or over on Facebook!

Tim Covey
Tim Covey