One of the most time-consuming and possibly difficult thing to teach young ball players is Situational Cutoffs. In younger leagues, there may not be too many balls hit to the outfield and teaching players to get the ball into second base is an accomplishment in itself. How many times have you heard a coach or parent yelling to a young outfielder, “Throw the ball in! Throw it to second! PLEASE! Throw it somewhere!”
As the players move up to higher leagues and competition, the cutoff situations become increasingly important. Teaching the basics is critical. Every fielder needs to know that he has a responsibility with every ball hit (Ball – Bag – Backup) and teaching the correct play for every situation can be daunting. Young players have to begin to think ahead in their minds. “If the ball is hit to me in this situation, what do I do with the ball? Man on first, ball hit to left field, what do I do? If the ball is not hit to me, do I go to a bag? Do I backup? ” There is a lot to learn. But, once a player learns these basics, they are the same throughout any level he plays. So the sooner the better, right?
I found a great breakdown on QCBaseball.com. Don Edlin breaks down a number of cutoff situations with easy to understand diagrams for youth players. I plan to provide this information to my team. Take a look at these great diagrams HERE and give your young player a head start on learning the basics. Thanks for the great information Don!