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Advanced Catchers Blocking Drill

Advanced Catchers Blocking Drill (Don’t Let Me hit You in the Face)

 

 

It’s so important for us as catchers to block the ball.  To give the pitcher confidence! To give the coach or manager confidence!  That we are going to keep the ball in front.  Keep the double play in order.  That run is not going to score from third.

When we do the dropping drills if the catcher knows the ball is going into the dirt, its not really all that difficult to get down in front of it.

We need to raise the level of difficulty.  Coach Casey is going to throw balls at me.  Some of these are going to be in the air.  Some of these are going to be in the dirt.  There will be some strikes and I will catch them.  There will be some in the dirt and I will come down to block.

I’m still going to do the drill, but I am going to do it from my knees.  I’m eliminating the part where I’m dropping to my knees and just set up.  I’m going down or I’m staying right there and catching it.  You’ll see why I say, “Don’t let it hit you in the face.”

You can see, I have to react to the ball.  I can’t automatically go down.  I can’t just anticipate what it’s going to be.  You start adjusting and you are going to get hit in the face or the shoulder.

This raises the level of difficulty.  This is going to make you a more efficient blocker of the ball because, lets be honest, we don’t know when the pitcher is going to throw one in the dirt.  We’ve got to be ready all the time.  To become a more efficient blocker, use these drills.  Get down there and don’t let me hit you in the face.

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Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

Baseball and Softball Batting Drill- Fastball and Change Up Drill

There’s nothing quite the same as the game for a hitter.  Practice is never quite the same how we treat it. We can’t simulate the game.  What we want to do is try to get close.So, I have a front toss drill.  Casey is going to flip front toss to me.  The firmer ones are going to simulate a fast ball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  The softer ones are going to simulate a change up.

What we want to do is make sure we are always ready for the fastball.  We need to be always back in time for the fastball.  For most of us, we hit the fastballs better than off-speed pitches.

So, no matter what, I want to be ready for my pitch.  I don’t care that the pitcher has a great curve ball.  I don’t hit curve balls very well to begin with so I will look for my pitch.  I want to be in position for my pitch.

So, what I want to do is make sure that when I load, I’m in position and now I’m going to drive through the ball off his fastball.  When he throws a change-up and I don’t like it, I take it.  I’m making sure I’m back and I can recognize it.

Let’s take a look at the drill.

Both of those would be fastballs.  I’m getting back in time.  Now he’s going to show me a change up.  What I want to do is make sure and let it come to me.

I was in a much better position.  I stayed back.  I’m not going to tell him what I am looking for and he’s not going to tell me what he’s throwing.

I was back and ready for the fastball.

Change up and I wasn’t in a position for it.  I wasn’t quite there.  That’s what I want you, as a hitter to do.  If you’re not ready to hit that pitch, take it.

It’s okay.  It’s strike 1.  We got two more. Right?  We want to make sure we are making this as close to the game as possible.

Get back.  Look for your pitch.  Put a good swing on your pitch.  Use this drill.  Mix in the change-up.  You don’t have to them.  Make sure you are staying back.  This drill is going to help you become a more complete baseball player.

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Baseball Catchers Blocking Drill – Knee Drill

Baseball Catching Blocking Drills

 

            One of the key fundamentals of being a catcher is blocking the ball.  We need to make sure we are in a good position so that we are able to keep the ball in front.  This helps set up double plays.  It keeps the runner from scoring on balls in the dirt.  It gives our pitcher more confidence.

            When I do blocking drills, I like to take them apart; shorten what needs to be done by the catcher so he can build muscle memory of what needs to be done.  I want catchers to just focus on one or two things.  Let me show you.  Right now I am going to get ready.  Casey is going to throw balls at me.  And what I am going to do is just put the glove between my legs.  My bare hand, thumb tucked in behind my glove.

            The focus for this drill is to stay right here and my chin is going to go down.  That is all I do on this drill.

As you can see, all I am doing is staying right there.  My arms aren’t moving.  My glove is filling the hole between my legs.

            There is a next step to this drill.  Let me show you.  What I am going to do is give a target now.  Bare hand is going to be behind the glove.  Thumb still tucked in.  That’s how we protect from getting broken fingers.

            So we are going to focus on glove down, bare hand behind glove, chin to my chest.  Just like that.

            You can see, all I’m doing is coming from here and going down.  The mistake that is going to be made is that most catchers at first will go with their bare hand on the outside.  You can obviously see why this is going to be a problem.

           For these drills I use T-balls.  They bounce a little higher, but you get the same feel.  You get the same work without all the bruises.  Just make sure that it is bare hand behind the glove and down.  Here and down.  It is so important that my chin makes it to my chest.  If it doesn’t, we leave our throat exposed, and catchers can really get hurt.

            Use these drills. Become a more efficient blocker.  Build that muscle memory so when it happens we don’t have to think about it; we react.  Use this drill and become a better catcher.

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Baseball Hitting Timing Drill

Baseball Hitting Drills For Timing

 

Rhythm and timing are so important to a hitter. For a hitter to get loaded, we need him to get back.  We need to him to be in a good position.  The timing of that, and when does it take place.

I have a drill that can help with that.  It can take place in a cage or on a field, like we are right now.  But the idea behind the drill is that I am going to load back.  As I go back, Coach Casey is going to toss a ball into the air.  From here I’m going to drive down through the ball.  It’s really important that I get a good load, that I get behind this ball because you will see, as the drill goes on, the speeds will change.  Much like they do in a game.

So, let me show you what this is going to look like.

BALL HIT

That simulated a fastball with his toss.  They are down and away.  He’s not going too high with it.  I’m loading as his hand goes down.

BALL HIT

You could see that he tossed the ball a little higher right there.  That would simulate a change up.  As time goes on and you get better at this drill, you mix it up.

Kind of like what the pitcher does to you during the game.  Let’s take a look at a few more.

BALL HIT

That would have simulated a fastball.  The toss was low.  I got back in time.  I’m in position, and I’m driving down.  Let me show you what it looks like when you don’t know what’s coming.

BALL HIT

You could see that was a change up.  The toss was higher.  I have to be ready for the fastball still, and how I’m going to drive down at the ball, depending on the pitch.  It is so important that we get back behind the ball and be in a position to always hit the fastball number one, and we can react to a change up.

Let’s take a look at another.

BALL HIT

The lower pitch was the fastball.  We got to be back in time.  We got to be in position to hit the fastball every time.

Use this drill.  It’s a fantastic timing drill.  Tony Gwynn swore by it.  It saved seasons for me.  Use the timing drill.  It’s going to help you become a more complete hitter.

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How to Hit a Baseball Drills

Baseball Hitting Drills Using the Net or Fence

 

Hey guys, I got another tip for you. This is one of my favorite how to hit a baseball hitting drills called the fence drill. This drill saved a season for me, both off the tee and when somebody was actually throwing balls to me underhand from the front, obviously behind an L screen or some type of protective device. But we stand here at this distance from the net. So my bat is at my navel right here. This is the distance I want to be from the net. This is basically punishment if we dive too much or we over rotate and come in. We’re going to hit the net. This is going to force us to stay square. This is going to force us to let a ball get deep if it’s moving.

Like this off the tee right now, I would set up in this position and now I have to stay square to get through the ball. You can see I need to keep my hands tight otherwise I’m going to hit the fence. We need to find this distance right here and now I come down through the ball. The fence is going to deter us from reaching out too far with our hands, from diving too much.

If you have a problem rotating your shoulders, now when we come out I’m going to run into this fence. It’s kind of like punishment. It doesn’t hurt, but it lets us know, it’s automatically going to keep our hands. I set up in this position, now I come right to the ball. See how tight I was able to stay. Yes we may drag along the fence a little bit, but it’s going to keep us short.

So if you have a problem diving too much, over rotating, just not staying overly balanced, use this drill. It’s going to force your backside to get through. It will help you out. It’s called the fence drill. It will help you have a great game.

 

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