Baseball Outfielder’s Crow-Hop

One of many least understood and incorrectly executed actions is the Crow-Hop. This motion utilized by outfielders appropriately will enhance throwing accuracy and energy. So what’s a Crow-Hop? Mainly, it’s a motion the participant executes to supply steadiness and throwing momentum after the catch. The catch might be on floor balls or fly balls – however the participant should correctly use the Crow-Hop to provide him one of the best probability of constructing good throws. Steadiness is the purpose and the important thing to good outfield play.

The Crow-Hop

This subsequent sequence is completed in a single fluid movement. After catching the bottom ball, the outfielder ought to push off the entrance knee and exchange the entrance foot with the again foot. The easiest way to do that is to raise off the bottom, carry the again knee first, then the entrance knee, and put the again foot down roughly the place the entrance foot was. When completed appropriately, the back-knee/front-knee lifts and back-foot/front-foot alternate occurs rapidly. Whereas elevating and changing, the participant also needs to flip his torso and hips in order that his glove shoulder is pointing towards the goal. This movement known as the Crow-Hop.

The Crow-Hop is a motion that will get the participant finest positioned to throw the ball. The outfielder is creating steadiness, aligning shoulders to the goal, and loading up his throwing (again) leg for the throw. Loading the again (throwing-side) leg is a time period used to explain the start of the throwing movement. Merely put, it means many of the participant’s weight is on his again leg. Most means greater than 50 % and fewer than 100 %. Some instructors wish to pinpoint the precise proportion, however my expertise with 1000’s of ballplayers tells me it’s a little completely different for every participant. The common weight distribution is about 80-20 again leg to entrance leg.

Like most sports activities together with baseball, a participant should transfer in a single route to maneuver higher to the wrong way. Each hitters and pitchers do that as properly. It is a mechanism for steadiness and bodily power. Some gamers exaggerate the crow-hop by lifting their knees very excessive, nearly like a marching band. Different gamers drag their again leg in to a foul, or “quick”, place – and the again leg by no means will get utterly underneath the physique. Neither of those strategies is right.

The right method is to carry the knee excessive sufficient so the participant’s again leg helps the physique. This creates steadiness – and good throws. When outfielders get actually good on the Crow-Hop method it appears seamless and clean.

Warning: Sliding, Cha-Cha, and Gliding

Many gamers, me included in my youth, attempt to execute the crow-hop with out clearly changing one foot with the opposite. They only slide the again foot, leaving it in need of changing the entrance (glove-side) foot. First hand expertise reveals that this ends in unhealthy steadiness and poor throws. As soon as I realized to carry my knees and place my throwing leg beneath my physique, my steadiness and throws had been constantly good. Determine 2-6 illustrates the inaccurate Sliding Crow-Hop. You’ll be able to see that the outfielder has not loaded his again leg, is overstretched and off-balance. This throw is extremely more likely to be a poor one.

A standard state of affairs of the Sliding Crow-Hop occurs after his again leg has slid in need of full steadiness. The participant’s mind tells him he’s off-balance and he tries to right it by rapidly re-positioning his again (throwing-side) leg. His entrance leg continues to be within the air whereas his again leg is pumping up and down. This makes him seem like he’s on a pogo stick. He pumps his again leg two or 3 times to attempt to get balanced – and all of the whereas his momentum is carrying him ahead in order that he hardly ever will get totally balanced.

One other incorrect variation of the crow-hop is what I name the Babe Ruth Cha-Cha. The Babe would transfer up within the batter’s field to swing at a curve ball earlier than it curved. He did this by shifting his again foot behind his entrance, then striding to hit the ball. Loads of slowpitch softball hitters do that too. Once more, you see that the participant is off-balance. He’s additionally shifting parallel to the goal, taking his momentum off-target. Arm pressure and unhealthy throws certainly will end result. Many gamers use the Cha-Cha transfer to show their higher our bodies to throw. Whereas the transfer does align the participant’s shoulders to the goal, it additionally reduces steadiness and momentum.

The Gliding Crow-Hop appears like a mid-air scissor kick, as if a ballet dancer had been fielding the ball. The participant’s knees don’t carry; as a substitute he leaps up, brings each straight legs collectively, then strides out along with his entrance (glove-side) leg whereas his throwing leg hits the bottom. To most untrained observers, this appears fairly good. However gliding has very excessive odds of getting the participant off-balance. Most occasions, the participant’s momentum is shifting so quick that he doesn’t enable himself to correctly load his again leg for the throw. The Gliding Crow-Hop additionally by no means permits the outfielder’s again leg to get totally loaded. He’s so off-balance that many occasions he falls ahead to the bottom after the throw.

I hope this helps gamers and coaches know the proper and often-used incorrect methods to make use of the Crow-Hop within the outfield. You may be amazed on the enchancment in your fielding and throwing by correctly executing this vital motion. Thanks for studying!

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