Source: Trent Mongero, Winning Baseball
Work through the following drills and practice ideas to reinforce good catcher mechanics.
Video: Catcher Drills (Winning Baseball) (9 mins)
Improves the mechanics and confidence of catching a pitch with control behind the plate.
A catcher should use every opportunity to improve his receiving skills, such as when a pitcher is getting his side work (bull pen work) or he is simply playing catch.
Block and Recover
Improves a catcher’s mechanics and confidence blocking balls in the dirt and then transitioning to quickly track down the ball to prevent the runner from taking extra bases.
Improves the mechanics of blocking baseballs that are off to the catcher’s side.
Improves a catcher’s mechanics of retrieving passed balls or wild pitches, and then throwing to the pitcher covering home plate for the tag.
Phase I: Improves the catcher’s ability to quickly transition the pitch from his glove to his throwing hand and get the upper boy into a power position.
Phase II: Improves the catcher’s ability to transition the ball from his glove towards his right ear, upper body turn, and release the throw to second base.
Improves a catcher’s ability to catch pop-ups around home plate.
Additional Catcher Practice
- Coaches can use a pitching machine (if one is available) to give catchers many repetitions to work on secondary receiving stances in which they must catch the ball and throw to second or third base.
- As catchers to put on full gear and get behind the plate during batting practice to become accustomed to catching and blocking the ball when a batter swings and misses, takes a pitch, or the ball is thrown in the dirt. This can also give catchers experience throwing the ball back to the mound.
- Coaches should encourage catchers to practice their receiving skills by controlling or “sticking” (moving the glove toward the pitch to meet it, and holding it firmly in place for a split second when the ball is caught) the baseball when they are performing their throwing drills or playing catch.
- Catchers should participate in practice games or modified scrimmages to learn how to receive the baseball and block the ball with actual hitters in the batter’s box.