Fielding Drills

Catching Philosophy and Drills

Philosophy

  1. Our catchers will be the leaders of the defense.
  2. Our catchers will be selfless and relentless.
  3. Our catchers will be catchers first, hitters second.

Gear

  1. Chest protector and shin guards tight to body
  2. Clips on shin guards facing out
  3. Pocket on mitt should be tight
  4. Pinky and Ring finger in the pinky hole (use middle, pointer, and thumb to catch the ball)

Skills and Drills

EVERYDAY CATCHER’S ACTIVE WARM UP

“What we want we cannot expect if it does not happen day after day”

Hurdle Routine

            Step Over

            Step Over w/ Rhythm

Single Leg Swing

            Double Leg Swing

            Side Ways w/ Rhythm

Strength, Mobility, and Agility

            Bridge with Reach

            Spiderman with Reach

            Quick Squat

            Block-Pop-Jump Squat

            Squat Walk Outs

STANCE

Signal Stance

            -take signs from coach from a standing position so you can step into location

            -balanced and comfortable with heels up

            -knees tight

            -glove hanging from left knee

            -fingers in tight between the cup and right thigh

            -eyes on pitcher, batter, and 2nd base runner

            -one set of signals, with runners on or without (first sign indicator)

Transition

            -quiet and balanced

            -pre-pitch routine (anticipate the pitch)

            -key word

Universal Stance

            -every catcher will be different depending on height, flexibility, and mobility

            -QAB- Quickness, Agility, Balance

            -square to pitcher and as wide as possible

            -target below knee

            -throwing hand tucked in on the belly button, thumb inside fingers (loose)

           

RECEIVING SKILLS

Body

            -as quiet and still as possible

            -only reason to sway would be to keep the ball within your body

            -eyes follow the ball to the mitt, but the head does not

Hands

            -glove drop when pitcher is at release to keep forearms and wrist loose

-always keep the thumb down

-catch the outside part of the baseball (this will depend on location)

-use the middle, pointer, and thumb to catch the ball

Low Strike

            -thumb underneath

            -quarter turn and show the back of the mitt to the pitcher

High Strike

            -thumb underneath

            -quarter turn to show the back of the mitt to the pitcher

Glove Side Strike

            -thumb underneath

            -have to extend left elbow to create room

            -beat the ball to the spot

            -heel of hand to 3rd baseman

Arm Side Strike

            -thumb underneath

            -beat the ball to the spot

            -fingers to 1st baseman

RECEIVING DRILLS

No Glove

No Glove with Ball in Hand

            -hold ball in pinky and ring finger and catch ball with middle, pointer, thumb

No Glove Rapid Fire

No Glove Heavy Ball

Regular with Glove

Receive and Freeze

Rapid Fire with Glove

3 Angle Drill

Pitching Machine (High Velo or Curveballs)

Receive with Squat Walk

Frisbees and Hockey Pucks for Low Strikes and Thumb Under

Receiving with Bunt Throughs

BLOCKING

“To be an effective blocker, you must anticipate every pitch in the dirt”

Straight

            -glove to the dirt first, show inside towards pitcher

            -the knees will follow the glove

            -throwing hand goes from belly button to behind the mitt

            -widen the shoulders

            -see the ball into the chest

            -absorb and smother the baseball

            -chin tucked into chest protector

            -open mouth if have trouble keeping eyes open

Glove Side

            -glove to where the ball in aligned, show inside of mitt to pitcher

            -drive the right knee towards the left knee

            -angle left side of body back towards pitcher

Arm Side

            -glove to where the ball in aligned, show inside of mitt to pitcher

            -drive the right knee towards the left knee

            -angle right side of body back towards pitcher

Curveballs

            -bounce back pitcher’s arm side, do not over slide

BLOCKING DRILLS

In Block Position Short Hops

Roll Ball

Shadow Drill

3 Ball Drill

Block Down the Line

            -Forward, left, and right

90s, 180s

Block and Freeze

Block and Recover

Circle Blocking

Block or Receive

Block or Transfer

THROWING

All throws from a catcher must be quick and compact.

2nd Base

            -Footwork

                        -Right, Left, Throw

                        -right foot perpendicular to 2nd base.  Instep towards 2nd Base.  Gain ground.

                        -left foot steps in front of plate. (Do not step ON the plate)

-Transfer

-rotate catching wrist to give ball to throwing hand

-pinky to pinky

-get throwing hand into glove as quick as possible

-should be transfering as footwork is going

-think of Bow and Arrow

-above the belt, over the bag

-connection is more important than overall speed

-finish with front side arm in a set position every time (left hip)

3rd Base

            -Footwork

                        -Right, Left, Throw

                        -right foot goes behind the left leg.

                        -line up right foot instep with 3rd base

                        -left foot creates direction to 3rd base

            -Transfer

                        -same as to 2nd base

1st Base

            -Back Pick

            -From Knee

                        -Drive left knee towards right knee

                        -Land on left knee

                        -transfer always the same

                        -create direction with shoulders by getting left shoulder towards 1st base

            -Out of Stance

                        -Right, Left, Throw

                        -Important to create direction with lead shoulder

THROWING DRILLS

Progression

            -Standing to pitcher’s mound

            -Standing to ¾ to 2nd base

            -Stance to pitcher’s mound

            -Stance to long hop to 2nd base

            -Stance to full to 2nd base

360 Rotation

Down the Line

Call the Number

Shoots

Receive or Transfer

Without Glove

BUNTS

All Bunts

            -fire out of stance low

            -glove sweep

            -create direction with front shoulder and right instep

Bunts to 1st

            -Zone 5-back to 3rd base, step back to create throwing lane

            -Zone 4-back to 3rd base

            -Zone 3-back to 3rd base

            -Zone 2-back to 1st base

            -Zone 1-back to 1st base

BUNT DRILLS

6 Ball Drill

Down the Line

            -first base line

            -create a lane to throw

TAG PLAY

Footwork

            -left shin guard up the 3rd base line

            -leave the left foot in place if possible

            -square shoulders to baseball

            -athletic position

Tag

            -ball in hand, hand in glove

            -drop the left knee on the runner

            -spin on the left knee to pop up and look for the next play

Leave mask on for plays at the plate

Pick and tag, do not block unless the runner in definitely safe.  The pitcher will back up.

TAG PLAY DRILLS

Throws from Different Angles

Fungos from Different Angles

            -create tough hops

Foot in Bucket

Tag the Fungo

Bad Throw Tags

FORCE PLAY

Footwork

            -right foot in middle of plate

            -square shoulders to thrower

            -left foot strides to the ball like a 1st baseman

            -right foot needs to fire off the plate to prevent break up slide

            -make sure of 1 before we look for 2

            -create a throwing lane while firing off the plate looking for double play to 1st

Hands

            -throwing hand up next to mitt, ready to transfer

FORCE PLAY DRILLS

Throws from Different Angles

Fungos from Different Angles

POP UPS

Know your backstops (overhang, far/near, angles, nets)

Mask off

Locate the baseball

Once baseball is located, throw the mask so it cannot possibly interfere

Turn your back to the infield and play it like an infielder

Remember the ball will always spin back towards the infield

This is the only position where you can drift to a pop up, because of the back spin

Forget about the fence of any overhangs and pretend like they are not there

POP UP DRILLS

“Ball” Toss Drill

Tennis Racket Pop Ups

            -easier to control

Pop Up in Outfield

            -more room to run

Dicks Sporting Goods