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How to Crow Hop

By Christopher Michael

The ball's hit straight to you in the outfield. You hold your breath and ease into position. Catching the ball, you throw a one-hopper to the plate, trying save the game. Execute the crow hop correctly and he's out. Do it poorly and he's safe. A good crow hop puts the momentum generated by an outfielder's body into the throw with little wasted movement and can be done on pop flies or ground balls.

Step 1

Square up to the target as the ball is hit to you. Put a slight bend in your knees, keeping your feet a shoulder width apart. Don't be afraid to bounce up and down like a boxer in anticipation of the play.

Step 2

Catch the ball out in front of you. If you have time, get directly behind the catch-point of the baseball to get a moving start. Charge directly toward the target while timing your grab at the catch point.

Step 3

Cradle the ball with both hands, putting your throwing hand on the baseball inside your glove. Get a good grip. Put the pads of your index and middle fingers on one of the four seams for ideal leverage and ball flight.

Step 4

Leap off the ball of your non-throwing foot, using a long, low, lateral jump straight at the target. Turn your body during the jump, lining up your shoulders and hips with the target. Move your glove and throwing hand to the middle of your chest during the jump.

Step 5

Land on your throw-side foot while raising the ball behind you. Make an L shape using your throwing arm with a 90-degree bend at the elbow. Keep your glove near your chest to stay closed during the throw.

Step 6

Launch off your back foot laterally at the target, using another long, low jump. Project the wings of your hips, opening and squaring them up at the target while keeping your shoulders closed. Use your momentum to throw the ball while keeping the glove near your chest.

Step 7

Land on a stiff front leg, thus allowing your momentum to carry your chest over your front leg toward the target. Just before release, pull down on the seams to give the baseball air-cutting back spin. If you've generated enough momentum, the throw may launch your chest forward over your landing leg, causing you to tumble and roll.

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