Monday, August 9, 2010

Learning the Proper Receiving Position For a Baseball Catcher

So many times, the catcher is often the most abused position on the play field. I can't begin to tell you the number of coaches I've met that don't really understand what's required for a good catcher. They simply take the fat kid on the team who they don't know what to do with and stick him behind the plate. Then, after he's given up the 10th run of the game because he's let ball after ball get by him, he hangs his head in shame and frustration. This is no way to run a ball club or treat your players.

Proper catching starts with a fundamental concept called receiving. Believe it or not, catcher's don't catch, they receive. I like to use this term instead because it enforces the fact that catching the ball is only part of the process. They have to catch the ball, make the ball look like a strike (although not deceptively), present the ball to the umpire for inspection and always be ready to make the next out.

Proper receiving technique starts at the feet. The feet should be shoulder width apart with toes turned towards 1st and 3rd base. Once the feet are properly placed, the catcher should squat directly down pushing the knees out in front of them. If done properly, the entire base of the foot will remain in contact with the ground (or, at the very least, the complete insteps). I always explain to my catchers that you don't hit on the balls of your feet so why do you catch on the balls of your feet.

Once the catcher is in a full squat, the glove side arm should be fully extended and brought back just a bit so there is the tiniest bend in the elbow. The glove side thumb should be pointed to the three o'clock position and the fingers towards the sky. The whole hand should be held at about the knees of the batter and the catcher should be far enough away from the batter so they can't touch them with their glove. If they can, they need to move further back in the catcher's box.

Proper receiving mechanics will give your new catchers a great foundation on which to build their form. Once they (and the coach) understand this, their catching game will start to improve tremendously.

Steve has been writing articles for 4 years now on a variety of subjects. You can visit Steve's latest website at to find some great information on the Garmin Nuvi 360.

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