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NFCA Coaching Tip Of The Week:

Things we need to know on defense:

1. Teach players about pop-ups in the infield when fly rule is in order. Some players may not quite understand.

2. Outfielders sprinting to back-up a base on an infield play, not just going through the motions hoping that the infield play will be successful.

3. Do or die groundball with the outfielders throwing to home. Same for the over-the-shoulder fly ball. Also, discuss the possibility of not catching an outfield foul ball with less than two outs and the winning run on third base.

4. Never leave a base uncovered even with a remote possibility of a play

5. If a runner is called safe on either a slide or by standing, maintain the tag until the player is granted time or it is apparent she is not coming off the base.

6. Communication on pop-ups to the infield and fly balls to the outfield after the ball reaches its highest point, particularly on a windy day.

7. Tags by infielders directly down on the dirt with glove turned in, protecting the ball. (No reaching.)

8. Cut-off person must wave her arms in a very rapid criss-cross fashion so the outfielder can find her. Remember, the outfielder is looking down at the ball and will need some visual help in focusing to throw.

9. If the infielders, particularly the firstbaseman, thinks there is no play, she must come off the base in the direction of the fielder, wave both hands above her head and loudly yell, "No throw! No throw!" Don't wait for the game, practice it two or three times weekly.

10. Remember, your first step is back on pop-ups and fly balls. Also, we need to practice getting the angle on those line-drive gappers to the outfield.

11. First baseman (first to second) and shortstop (second to third) are responsible for alerting the catcher on a steal by shouting, "Going."

12. All bunts and slow rollers must be communicated through our catcher; our catcher can judge distance and time while facing the play.

13. Pitcher can help the catcher on pop-ups by pointing in the direction of the ball.

14. Infielders can help outfielders on line-drives and fly balls by pointing in the direction of the ball when it is clearly hit to the outfield.

15. Close both the glove and the hand on a batted "spinning ball" while fielding it on the ground. In the air, be sure to close glove with both hands or the spinning ball may pop out.