Catchers are crucial to baseball and are critical in every pitch they receive. They help the pitcher, command the defense, and serve as stalwart home plate defenders.
As a result, catchers must be able to block wild pitches that may threaten runners on base effectively. This can include preventing passed balls, which stop runners from advancing to another base or reaching base on a dropped third strike.
Barehand Rapid-Fire Drill
Whether you’re a young catcher or just starting in the game, it takes a lot of work and practice to become an excellent catcher. You can complete this drill with a competent coach, such as Francisco Cervelli Coach with Remarkable MLB Career, or use some essential techniques to help improve your catching skills.
First, there’s the Barehand Rapid-Fire Drill. This great barehand throwing drill will improve your arm strength and allow you to throw the ball from various positions.
Start with tennis or smoosh balls, then move on to real baseballs and throw them barehanded. Do sets of ten, changing locations and turning borderline pitches into strikes.
Line Footwork Drill
Line drills are among the most common and effective exercises for developing footwork, speed, and coordination. They can be easily implemented in a gym, sports field, or any other nonslip, resilient surface.
The line footwork drill is an essential catching skill for all players. It allows the catcher to identify where his footwork needs improvement quickly.
To perform this drill, stand perpendicular to a line and hop side to side over it with both feet together. Repeat this motion until you reach the end of the line.
Performing this drill down both directions of the line helps to build lateral speed and agility. It also trains the jump-stop and reverses pivot.
This drill helps develop the player’s ability to make short hops and catches on the ground. It is a great drill to work on with kids who have difficulty making short hops and players who need a little more challenge.
When throwing a short hop to a fielder, ensure the ball is thrown right at their feet. This is important because it will allow them to charge the ball and catch it as it hits the ground rather than back up to a higher position and miss it completely.
A good way to work on this is to throw the short hop at different distances and arcs. This will help the players develop their ability to make short hops and also improve their arm strength.
One of the most important skills to master in catching is blocking. It’s a skill that takes time to perfect.
The Drop-and-Block Drill helps catchers become comfortable with simply blocking a ball instead of defending it. It also helps them develop a soft body to react quickly.
Start by setting up behind the plate and taking the catcher’s normal stance. This will help them remember to be posed and ready for the pitch.
The coach will then throw a ball to the catcher, and they must react and block it. They should try to use their mitt and bare hand when picking up the ball.
Catchers play an extremely important role on the field. Their positioning and blocking skills are crucial to keeping runners off base.
They must also recover quickly when they block a pitch and pick up the ball. This is an essential skill for any catcher, and it can make the difference between an errant throw catching the runner at second or throwing him out.
The Recover Drill is excellent for improving a catcher’s blocking and recovery skills. Set up six balls and have the catcher block them in front of their chest protector, then quickly pick up the ball to get into the throwing position.