Take A Look Around Before You Take The Ground
Before every game it’s important to survey the surface to know what shape it’s in. Carefully look around the playing field as a part of you active warm-up.
Check the grounds for broken glass, potholes, debris and other hazards that may be dangerous. Knowing where the fences and other obstructions are will help you not only avoid accidents, but also be prepared to play a better game too. This is the first thing to do when you arrive at the field.
Infield & Outfield
Gauge the distance you can run for a foul fly before nearing a fence, light pole or change in terrain. By knowing your field limitations you can charge the ball with confidence.
Often bare spots and holes are created where outfielders stand during the course of the season. These areas can get quite slippery particularly after a rain. These conditions can throw off your balance causing you to slip, miss the play or injure an ankle. Pick up grounders in front of these spots and avoid these spots on fly balls. Let’s face it, it’s easier to snag a hard hit ball when your footing is sure!
Tall grass vs. short grass.
A grounder has to be charged quickly if the grass is tall. If the grass is short, the ball is prone to take fast hops or high bounce.
Dry grass vs. wet grass.
Night games and dense terrain fields tend to make the grass damp. Be cautious because wet grass slows the ball and can be very slippery.
Check the home plate area for trash and debris. Survey the area around the plate to determine the condition of the batters box. Sometimes grooves and wedges in the batters box can offset your footing when you bat. Knowing ahead of time that your stance may need to be modified will help you prepare.