By definition, a “Crow Hop” is a baseball term for a hop or series of steps that outfielders use to
make a throw back to the field of play. Some players are able to execute the move on their own, but most need to learn the proper way to do it. Coaches should understand the moves and body position necessary to do the crow hop and train all of their outfielders, and make sure they run drills for the crow hop during practices.
But why do outfielders use the crow hop? Well, there are several key reasons why using the
crow hop helps them to make better throws when there are runners on base. Because there is no need for a strong throw back to the infield with no runners on base, the crow hop is normally only used with a runner or runner(s) on any of the bases. Here are some of the important
reasons to use the crow hop.
To get the most into each throw, it is extremely important for the outfielders body and their
momentum to be moving toward their target. Using the crow hop, which involves a few steps
forward prior to the throw, provides much needed added momentum which results in a better chance to throw the runner out.
Power and Velocity
Another benefit of the crow hop for outfielders is the power and velocity it can add to your throw.
Getting your whole body quickly moving towards the target is sure to add speed to the throw.
And the quicker the ball gets there, the better chance you have to get the runner out.
When you combine the first two benefits, your momentum and your power and velocity, it only
makes sense that you will also add distance. An outfielder sometimes has short throws to make
depending on the base they are throwing to, but many times has to make much longer throws. A
throw to third base from a right fielder or a throw from a centerfielder to home plate require
added distance. Using the crow hop can help you with the extra distance and gives you the best possible chance of a good and accurate throw.
How to do a Crow Hop
The goal when doing a crow hop is to create momentum towards your target while also making sure that you secure the ball and line your body up in the direction of the throw. Here are some basic instructions for executing the crow hop.
First, always make sure you secure the catch. Whether it is a ball hit on the ground or in
the air, start by getting some body momentum going in the direction of where you want
the throw to go.
Once the catch is secured, players will take a hop or jump moving forward off of their left
foot if they are right handed or right foot if they are left handed. While in the air, players
should line their body up towards their target as they continue their momentum.
Next, the player will land on their back foot and while pushing off, make their throw
keeping that momentum going all the way through.
A few other things to remember about the crow hop is that the hop does not need to be a high
hop but rather more of a forward hop. Also, throws should be kept low and are not meant to sail.
They should be low enough so that the cut-off man can make a play if needed. Players should
also attempt to finds the seams on the ball and pull down on them when throwing. This can add
extra velocity and speed to the throw.
Finally, the great thing about the crow hop is that it allows players with average arm strength to
actually make better throws than players with stronger arms. By using their body speed,
momentum and technique, any player has the ability to play the outfield and make strong and
accurate throws. Coaches should make sure they are instructing their youth baseball players
how to execute the crow hop if they haven’t already done so.