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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 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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Catcher Blocking Drills

Catcher Blocking Drills


These catcher blocking drills will help you to be a complete player.  So you want to find out who wants to be a catcher? A lot of guys think it’s cool to put the gear on, maybe flash a few signs. Some even may want to try to throw to second base. But if you want to find out who actually really wants to catch, start blocking. Blocking for a catcher is one of the major fundamentals. It’s not normal to jump in front of a ball in the dirt. These baseballs hurt and we must jump in front of them. If you’re not willing to jump in front of these balls, this position’s not for you. Are you willing to jump in front of a ball over here in the dirt, have it go off your forearm and then on the next pitch do it again? That’s a question you better ask yourself before you start catching because this is a major part of our game.

So how do we do it? Blocking always takes place from our stance with a runner on base. So we’re up off our calves, we give a good target. There’s two ways that we want to block. One, were going to drop straight down forward onto our knees. From here, our chest is over the ball, our chin is always down to our chest, our glove fills this hole between our legs and our bare hand, still closed around our finger, is tucked underneath. This is the position we want to find ourselves in. Now here’s where you get hurt. When we drop down and our head comes up, our throat is exposed. This is where it can become dangerous. We always want to have our chin down.

The other part we have to be careful of when we’re blocking is that our hands come up. As a baseball player, were always taught to field a ball with our gloves, but as a catcher, we drop, we want to field it with our chest. If our hands come up we leave a wide open hole between our legs. Now that’s embarrassing. We get a ball go between our legs. We’ve done everything right. We got down to the ground. We’re ready to block it and then it went between our legs. That cannot happen. So fill that gap between your legs.

Here’s the other choice. I just showed you the fall forward here. The other technique that’s used is called the kickback. This was actually the technique I used most of my career. I felt I could read the ball a little bit longer. Here’s what it looks like. We’re up in our stance and my knees are basically going to replace my feet. So from here I’m down and that’s it right there. So from that stance we can cover the ball a little bit better. Let me show you again what it looks like. Our feet are out. Our glove’s behind and we’re down. Our chest is automatically over. That’s what I like about this stance and blocking with the kickback technique is it always kept my chest over the ball. My chin was always down to my chest and I could read the ball a little bit longer. So the next time you get behind home plate and you’re going to block, figure out which technique. But no matter what don’t let that ball get by.

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