Catchers: Tips, Drills, Information, Catching Equipment, Catchers Gear
Agility Drills Receiving Drills Framing Drills Blocking Drills Throwing Drills Fielding Drills
A catcher has to be challenged to approach every drill and every bullpen as if it's the most critical game situation he can be in.
Blocking Without the BallBefore you attempt to work on your blocking with a baseball, you first need to make sure you have the proper form. Proper blocking form will allow you to more easily block and control balls in the dirt. Purpose:
To develop correct blocking technique and improve quickness. Materials:
catchers gear. This drill can be done alone or with a partner/coach. Procedure:
Assume your normal ready position. Visualize a pitcher throwing the ball in the dirt and drop into correct blocking position. Do this a number of times, each time trying to be quick and in the proper position.
Now, repeat the same sequence working on blocking balls to the left and right. Remember to properly angle your body so you are funneling the ball back toward home plate. You can perform this drill with or without a glove. Sets:
Ideally you should do 3 sets of 10 reps for right, left, and straight down. Tailor the amount to meet your needs. Extension:
For a variation, have a partner or coach stand 10 to 15 feet in front of you and point either down, left, or right. You must react to the direction as quickly as you can while maintaining proper form.
Blocking With BallBefore you attempt to work on your blocking with a baseball, you first need to make sure you have the proper form. Proper blocking form will allow you to more easily block and control balls in the dirt. Purpose:
to develop correct blocking technique while getting used to being hit with the ball. Materials:
catchers gear, bucket of balls, someone to throw Procedure:
Assume the normal ready position. Your coach (server) should be anywhere from 20 to 30 feet in front of where you are set up with a bucket of baseballs. The server take one knee to prepare to throw pitches in the dirt. The closer the server is to the catcher the easier it is for the server to give good throws. Also, the server should NOT be standing. The server needs to try and replicate the angle at which the pitch will be hitting the dirt. Start by throwing pitches in the dirt directly at the catcher. The catcher should use correct blocking technique to deaden and control the pitch. The server also needs to be aware of the speed at which the pitch is delivered. Your goal should be a nice firm throw that is age appropriate. Next, work on blocking pitches to each side of the catcher. A good rule of thumb is to let the catcher know which side you will be serving to. Sets:
Ideally 3 sets of 10 in each direction. Extension:
For more advanced catchers, work on side to side blocking but do not tell them what direction if any the pitch is going. Let them react. Also, you can incorportate a pitching machine into this drill to better replicate the speed of the pitch and for accuracy purposes.
To develop lateral movement. This drill incorporates proper blocking techniques as well as agility and conditioning drills. Material:
catchers gear, baseballs, 2 cones, and a partner Procedure: Set 1:
Begin by setting up 2 cones about 10 yards apart. The catcher will begin at the center point between the two cones. The server will serve a series of balls directly at the catcher. The catcher, using correct form, will block and control each of the balls. Set 2:
The second set will consist of latereral movement. Again, with the catcher starting in the center have the server throw a series of balls to each side of the catcher. The server should let the catcher know what side the serve will be to. After each throw the catcher should reset in the center position. The server does not have to alternate sides. He/She may throw to the same side multiple times in a row. The catcher should concentrate on using correct form to block and control the ball back toward the center line or target area. Set 3:
The third set is where the pace and the fun factor really pick up. With the catcher starting in the middle position, the server will point at one of the two cones. The catcher must shuffle from side to side, get to the cone, block, and control the ball. As the server you should push the pace of the drill. Make the catcher really work to get to the cone on time. In other words you don't have to wait till he's there to serve the ball. The third set can be replicated as many times as you want. I suggest using 6-10 serves as the catcher, while in full gear, will quickly become fatigued. The catcher should remain low (crouched) when shuffling side to side and should be sure to NOT cross his feet when shuffling. One way to up the fun factor is to make this into a game. Make it a competition between two catchers and give them a point for every ball they block and a bonus point if the ball was controlled. This is obviously at the discretion of the server. Final Set: Cool Down
The last set is a cool down set. Repeat the first set with balls that are served straight at the catcher. This reinforces good technique.