Saturday, March 30, 2013

Becoming A Great Catcher


In order to transform from a Good Catcher to a Great Catcher, a player must have the internal fire inside to drive him to practice 8+ hours a day, day after day. He must have the realization that he'll never know it all and he'll never stop learning. With that in mind, let's look at some catcher skill drills.

The prerequisite for these drills is the ability, or the coaches' ability to development practical usage of racquetball skills, because the use of that little blue ball and small racquet will be one of your greatest teaching tools.

(1.) The ball is relatively soft reducing chances of player injury...

(2.) The velocity of the ball can be regulated from slow to extremely fast...

(3.) The ball reaches heights unattainable by throwing or tossing.

In order for a Catcher to develop Soft Hands, which are critical for holding onto foul tips and quick ball transfer for throwing, it's best to begin at the beginning... with the Bare Hands.

For this Bare Handed catching drill, the Catcher will assume his position behind the plate, preferably wearing his mask, but using no catcher mitt, while the Coach positions himself @ 30' to 40' in front of the catcher, in line between the plate and pitching rubber.

The Coach then hits line drives, simulating pitches, to the catcher who will catch them bare handed, using one or two hands and a hitting glove if desired. For real time action, have the catcher assume his normal receiving position, throwing hand behind his back or tucked into his shoe, then catch the ball with 2 hands.

The Coach can vary speeds as he desires, starting slow and working up to very fast. (It's a good idea to perform this drill inside or with the aid of a backstop, as Coaches have a tendency to skyrocket a ball every now and then.)

The second variation of this drill, which uses the identical tools, is the foul pop up drill.

(1.) It's important the catcher be in his catching stance in order to become accustomed to coming out of it backwards...

(2.) The catcher must use his face mask as he must learn to remove and discard it properly.

The catcher, assumes his position, the coach while standing to the side and slightly forward of the plate, within the line of sight of the catcher, will hit pop flies straight up into the air.

The catcher will have to locate the fly ball, orientate himself correctly in order to make the catch, which is bare handed, then discard his mask in the proper direction.

By using the racquet ball the coach can hit much higher fly balls than attempting to throw them. I'd also recommend using all of my catchers while performing this drill to curb fatigue.

There's always something to learn, a skill to refine, if there wasn't there wouldn't be catching coaches for major league catchers. They'd already know everything there was to learn.
Jim Bain, former Minor league baseball player and member of "Baseball Coaches of America" shares his advice on baseball coaching baseball drills on his exciting info packed website:
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1 comment:

Jason Knight said...

I love little league, I have been looking into coaching here in san jose, ca, but I don't know if I have the time, should I try it anyways?