Website Manager

Oswego Baseball & Softball Association

Content

CATCHER FIELDING BUNT DRILL

Coach stands behind catcher and simulates bunt by rolling ball down first or third baselines or directly in front of catcher.

 

For right handed catcher make sure for bunt down third baseline that ball is fielded with back to pitchers mound. Catcher "scoops" ball into glove with both hands then rotates and throws to first using a good crow hop. Bunts in front of plate or down first baseline are fielded with left shoulder facing first base. Again scooping ball and using crow hop.

 

An added variety to this drill has the coach calling the base to which the catcher is to throw. This makes the catcher react to the call.

 

CATCHERS DROPPED 3RD STRIKE DRILL

Coach stands behind catcher who assumes a normal crouch position. Coach will roll ball to different places behind catcher and will then yell "ball"! Catcher must go into blocking position then come up quickly, locate the ball, and throw to first base. The first baseman will read the location of the ball and will call 'inside' for a ball to the left of the first baseline or 'outside' for a ball to the right of the baseline. If this drill is practiced often enough it will virtually eliminate a catcher panicking on a dropped 3rd strike.

 

Another variation of this drill has a runner on 3rd base (less than two outs). The catcher looks the runner back to 3rd, delivers the throw to first, then positions himself for a throw back to the plate. Baserunner decides if he should attempt to go home.

 

FLINCH DRILL

The catcher assumes the ready position. A coach or another player stands 2 feet in front of the catcher with a ball in each hand. With a flick of the wrist, one ball is thrown directly at the catcher's mask. At the same time, the coach/player lobs the other ball into the air. The catcher locates the pop-up and catches it with two hands. The ball also can be thrown away from the catcher to work on diving catches. It can also be used to work on foul balls close to the fence.

 

This is a great drill for young catchers but will work for older catchers also. The catchers must learn to trust their equipment and not pull their heads back and leave their throats exposed (which is a very common and dangerous error on the part of young catchers). They must also learn to keep their eyes on the ball when it comes off the bat or skips off the dirt.

 

Great for teaching concentration, agility, and reactivity.

 

 

FOUL BALL DRILL

The catcher assumes the crouched position while a coach or player, standing directly behind the catcher , throws a pop fly . The catcher first turns his back to the field , locates the ball , discards the mask and makes the catch with two hands .

 

***NOTE***

The catcher should not take off the mask until they have located the foul ball and is in position to catch it . A catcher who takes the mask off too early may trip over it .

 

GLOVE TO THE BALL - KNEES TO THE GLOVE DRILL

I think the two primary skills for high school catchers are blocking and throwing effectively. These two skills take the longest to develop, and therefore are the two we spend the most time working on. I would like to share our techniques for developing blocking skills. The basic process cue is : "Glove to the ball - knees to the glove". The difficulty is that most try to do it the opposite way. The teaching process is this;

 

1. In a catcher's stance, no glove, 3 balls arranged in a shallow triangle. The first ball is dead center behind the plate, the second to the right and forward, the third to the left and forward. Balls 2 and 3 are even with each other. Catcher falls forward to the ball on his hands, then brings both knees to his hands. Do this with each of the balls, emphasizing that the angle of the body must deflect the ball onto home plate.

 

2. In a stance, with glove. Catcher puts glove to the ball, then brings knees to the glove. Do with each ball position 'til the move comes easy.

 

3. Full gear, throw soft balls (tennis or indoor balls). Catcher blocks by glove to ground/ball then knees to ball. We are short tossing at this point.

 

4. Full distance soft ball toss. Same process.

 

5. Hard balls, short throws.

 

6. Full distance throws medium speed to called area.

 

7. Full distance throw hard to called area.

 

8. Full distance throws to varied areas.

 

Once we are satisfied with the technique development, we work regularly in bouts of 50 blocks, 10 at a time. Catchers work in pairs. In season we cut back to 25 blocks What we have seen is that catchers will cup over the ball naturally using this technique. They become active players, like infielders charging the ball, rather than targets for missiles. The final step is to add block the ball then get up and recover it. This is the best and quickest method I've seen and/or used. Hope it helps.

 

CATCHER BLOCKING PROGRAM

1)Shadow Blocking (No ball)

Coach stands behind the catcher. Catcher assumes their stance. The coach tells the catcher what pitch is thrown and where. The coach will give the catcher a few seconds to get ready. When the coach claps their hands, the catcher will assume the blocking position and hold. The coach or other players will check their form to make sure the catcher is in a good position. The drill can be varied by giving the catcher less time between pitch and location and the clap, or the catcher will go on verbal commands only.

 

2)Sit and Get Hit

Coach gets on one knee from a short distance. The catcher assumes the blocking position. The coach will throw the ball in the dirt and off the chest of the catcher. The catcher gets the feeling of balls coming off their body.

 

3)Medium Toss

Coach stands half-way between the mound and home plate. The catcher assumes their stance. Coach will throw balls in the dirt and the catcher will block, retrieve, and get their body in a position to throw.

 

4)Standard Toss

Coach stands on the mound. The catcher assumes their stance. Coach will throw balls in the dirt and the catcher will block, retrieve, and get their body in a position to throw.

 

5)Up-Downs

Lay out five balls five feet apart. The catcher will shuffle to each ball, assume the blocked position, get up and shuffle to the next ball. The object is to work on quickness down to the ball and up from the ball. Make sure the catcher's hands are moving in the correct position on the way up. The drill can be varied by having the catcher not only go down all five, but moving to the other side and returning to where they started.

 

6)Hands Drill

The catcher should start in the down position with a ball placed in front of them. When the coach says go, the catcher fires their hands out to the side and away from the ball, gets to their feet quickly, rakes in the ball and gets their body in a position to throw the baseball.

 

7)Zone Blocking

Acceptable activity for when practice is getting monotonous and the catchers need a change of pace. Assign three zones and points for each (5, 3, -5). The first zone should be 3 feet by 3 feet starting at the catchers feet, the second zone should be 5 feet by 5 feet starting at the catchers feet, the third zone is anything outside zone two. Catcher assumes stance while the coach stands on the mound. The coach will throw balls in the dirt. The catcher should block, retrieve the balls in a zone and then get their body in a position to throw. Each catcher gets an established number of trials. Add up points and assign a winner.

 

8)Batting Practice

There is no substitute for blocking live during an established period of time during batting practice. This prevents the catcher from sitting back and creating bad habits during batting practice.

 

9)Bullpens

The bull pen should be utilized not only by pitchers preparing to enter the game, but also by catchers as well. The catcher should report to the bullpen in full gear and have their game face on. No balls should ever get by a catcher in the bullpen. Take pride in your abilities.

 

CATCHER FRAMING PROGRAM

1) Shadow

Catcher starts out in their stance. Coach holds a ball in front of the catcher and moves it around the strike zone. The catcher follows the path of the baseball and frames the area. The catcher should work on body movement and catching the ball in halves.

 

2) One Knee Underhand Toss

Coach gets on one knee five to ten feet from the catcher. The coach will underhand toss a ball to the catcher. The catcher will work on body movement and catching the ball in halves. The benefit of this approach is that the coach is close enough that they can be more accurate with their toss and work all areas.

 

3) Medium Toss

Coach stands up and throws pitches to a catcher from 40-50 feet. This allows the catcher to track the ball from a longer distance. The catcher will still work on body movement and catching the ball in halves.

 

4) Catching Batting Practice and Bullpens

This is as close to a live game situation as a catcher can experience. It is very important that a catcher not go through the motions when catching batting practice or a bullpen. This must be a highly intense environment and must be taken seriously.

 

CATCHER SIGNS PROGRAM

1) Mirror Drill

Catcher gives signs in front of a mirror. The catcher will be able to see what the pitcher sees. This gives the catcher an idea of how easy or difficult they are to read.

 

2) Practice Setting

When catchers are working on other skills, have them go through the entire sequence of events, starting with sign giving. This gives the coach or partner an opportunity to witness and critique any problems.

 

FIELDING BUNTS PROGRAM

1) Three ball.

Place one ball near the first base line, one up the middle, and one near the third base line. Catcher will assume their stance. Coach will stand behind and call out which ball to field. Catcher will attack the ball, field it, and make a strong and accurate throw to a base.

 

2) Over the shoulder toss.

Catcher will assume their stance. Coach will stand behind the catcher with a ball. The coach will toss the ball over the catchers shoulder. The catcher will field it and throw to a base. A variation can used by telling the catcher that the runner has great speed and they must hurry. Also, the coach can throw it far enough that a throw to first would be late. The catcher will execute a full arm fake and throw out the lead runner who may have drifted off a base.

 

THROWING FOOTWORK PROGRAM

1) Catcher with ball.

The catcher starts out with the ball in their glove. Coach will be in front of the catcher. The coach will instruct the catcher to use either load and throw or jump pivot. The catcher will execute the footwork and throw to a partner. Make sure to work both methods of throwing footwork.

 

2) One knee partner/coach toss.

Catcher at home plate. Partner or coach a few feet in front on one knee. Partner or coach will toss ball to catcher who is already in their stance. The catcher will catch the ball and execute proper throwing footwork and throw to another partner. Being on one knee and tossing the ball will allow the partner or coach to put the ball exactly where they want to work. Also, this will assist the catcher in working on both types of throwing footwork.

 

3) Medium/Full toss.

Coach will stand half-way or on the mound and throw pitches to the catcher who has already assumed their stance. The catcher will execute footwork determined by the pitch and throw to a partner behind the coach.

 

CATCHER TO SECOND BASE TIP

When making the throw to second base, your right foot (if you are right-handed) should barely move. All that is needed is a slight step, just up and back down, is sufficient to get yourself in the correct position to throw, and it's quicker than taking a step forward, and easier on your arm than just a throw as soon as you get the ball.

 

CATCHING PITCHERS TIP

The catcher's position is the most demanding in baseball. During the course of a game, the catcher is the busiest player on the field crouching behind the plate, blocking balls, keeping track of the count on each batter, repositioning teammates defensively, and so on. So select a sturdy, smart, and strong youngster to be your catcher. A catcher's mitt is padded and rounded so that the ball easily lands in the pocket. The extra padding also helps ensure the safety of the player using the glove.

 

Basic Position:

The catcher assumes a comfortable crouching position about 2 feet behind the plate. The catcher uses his glove to give the pitcher a throwing target. The catcher can move the target around the plate to give the pitcher an inside or outside target. Have catchers protect the throwing hand from foul-tipped balls by placing it behind the back of the leg. With the legs shoulder-width apart, the catcher keeps the weight on the balls of the feet so he is ready to move in any direction for a poorly thrown ball. Staying low helps the catcher avoid being hit by the swing of the batter and allows the umpire to see the baseball as it crosses the plate. When a ball is pitched in the dirt, the catcher should try to block the ball and keep it in front of the body.

 

Throwing out Base Runners:

With runners on base, your catcher should be in the up position; Feet shoulder-width apart and the right foot slightly in front of the left. The glove hand should be extended away form the body, providing a large target. The back should remain parallel to the ground. This position will allow your catcher to receive the pitch and throw to a base quickly. When a runner attempts a steal, the catcher should lean into the ball just before catching it, making sure not to come forward too soon, which could lead to an interference call if the batter swings and hits the catcher. While catching the ball, the catcher should quickly move the glove-side leg forward into the throwing position , rotate the shoulders parallel to the batter's box, and bring the glove hand near the ear, where it should meet the throwing hand. The catcher can make the throw by transferring weight from the back leg to the front leg, rotating the shoulder, and following through. The follow-through involves bringing the throwing hand to the opposite knee while stepping towards second base with the throwing-side leg.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Oswego Baseball & Softball Association  |  Privacy Policy |  Terms of Use  |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In