As a baseball catcher or a softball catcher there is no shortage of skills to perfect. Throwing, blocking, receiving, framing, etc. there are an endless amount of catcher fundamentals to focus on, as you perfect your game behind the dish. Here are a few catcher drills to incorporate into your practice to help you hone in on your skills.
Catcher Blocking Drills
Blocking is another important skill for any catcher to focus on. This catcher drill will help you decrease the amount of passed balls in games.
- Three-ball Drill – Put three balls in front of the catcher. Show how to move in order to successfully block each one. In one swift motion, the catcher should fall on his knees, lower his glove between his knees, place his bare hand behind the glove, and tuck his chin to his chest.
- Tennis Ball Chest Bounce – Beginning catchers tend to turn away as a throw comes in. This drill teaches you to be aggressive with incoming throws. Using tennis balls, have your coach or partner bounce the balls off your chest. The key is to keep your eyes on the ball all the way to your chest. Keeping your eyes focused and your head straight allows the face mask to protect your neck as it’s supposed to instead of exposing your neck when you turn your head away.
Framing is important, because as a baseball catcher or a softball catcher one of your main jobs is to make your pitcher look good. This drill focuses on framing the pitch and moving the pitch ever so slightly back in the zone.
- Have your catcher take off their mitt and get in a crouch behind the plate.
- Next, have someone toss the catcher tennis balls, outside, inside, down the middle, low, etc. Have them focus on receiving the ball with their barehand and framing it perfectly by moving it ever so slightly back in the zone.
Catcher Receiving Drills
- Barehanded Tennis Ball Catch – Gather a few tennis balls and have your baseball catcher or softball catcher get in their position behind the plate. Toss the tennis balls to your catcher one at a time so they can practice catching them with soft hands. No glove required for this drill.
- Short Distance Catch – Stand 10-12 feet away from your catcher and throw balls and focus on receiving each throw properly.
The position of a baseball catcher or softball catcher is more important than most people think. The catcher drills above should help you hone your skills and improve your game behind the plate. By incorporating these catcher fundamentals you can help tweak and improve you game.