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Baseball and Softball Catcher Receiving Drill – Soft Hands

Baseball and Softball Catcher Receiving Drill (Soft Hands Drill)

 

 

The number one job of the catcher is to catch the ball.  This is our mitt. This is what we use to catch the ball.  But for this drill we are not going to.  For this drill we are going to take the glove and toss it to the side.

Coach Casey is with me again.  He is going to throw tennis balls to me.  All I’m going to do is catch the ball and drop it.  Soft hands drill. I want to make sure that my hand, pending on the pitch is starting off in the V to the sky position.  My thumb never goes lower than 3 o’clock.  I’m turning and receiving the ball.  I want to be as soft as I can with this.

TOSS BALLS

Now let me show you some of them on the left side.  Turn just like that.  If my elbow starts to go up, I can go this way with the drill and get into trouble.  We want just our hands to rotate.

TOSS

You can see the idea with this.  The drill is being soft.  If you want to improve, use this drill.  It is going to make you a much better receiver of the baseball.  You can also make it go a little faster.  Have him toss 7 balls.  Get 7 balls in his hand and they come pretty quick that way all you are doing is reacting.  No time to think and we really need to be soft with our hands.

Use the tennis ball drill.  It is going to make you a much better receiver of the baseball.  It’s all about the hand mechanics.  Being soft with our hands.  Letting the ball come to us.  The drill is going to make you much better.  And make you enjoy being a catcher that much more.

 

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Catcher Stance – Framing the Baseball

Catcher Stance and How to Frame the Ball

 

So most of my career was made because I made the pitcher look good. Not because I swung a giant stick. Not because I was the smartest guy on the field. I made the pitcher look good. So how do we do that? When were setting up behind home plate, we want to make the pitcher look as good as he possibly can. By doing that, we want to make sure that strikes remain strikes. That’s right it seems simple, but you’d be surprised watching catchers catch balls and their gloves going down and coming up. Going down and coming up.

One of my pet peeves is when we talk about framing the ball for the pitcher. We’ve been told turn the glove in. Get on top of it. Hold it in the zone this way. It drives me nuts when I see that. I apologize if you’ve been taught that. i was taught that too. But I’ve talked to a lot of umpires, a lot of pitchers, and I don’t think it looks good. So heres what I want you to do. Yeah squat with me thats right. Now show me what it looks like to catch a pitch down the middle. Yeah just like that. That’s a strike. So I want to make every pitch look like that. So if I have a pitch up high, I just squeeze. I just squeeze and sink. Squeeze and sink. If I catch a pitch on the corner, I just squeeze. I Squeeze and sink. If it’s on the corner, i just squeeze and sink.

What your doing when you turn your glove in like this or you turn your glove in like this. You automatically just told the umpire, I thought it was a ball and I’m trying to make it look better than it was. Make him at least figure it out. Catch it well. Catch it like a strike. You don’t have to sell a whole lot. When were catching the low pitch make sure you get below the ball. From here I can catch coming up. The ball is going to be coming on a downward trajectory. I want to get below the ball and catch it coming up. By doing this. I can stop the momentum. If I’m above the ball and Im not low in my stance, its going to take my glove down and go up. And every time that happens, the umpire’s going to say ball. We don’t want to hear that. We want to help our pitcher succeed. If it’s a strike, we want to keep it a strike. If it’s borderline, we want to get that pitch.

So here’s what we do. We sink. We sink. We sink. It’s done in the elbow, it’s not done with the wrist. We don’t want to see this. No one wants to see this. We sink. From here were bringing balls into the zone quietly. Their subtle movements, not these giant turns. It doesn’t look good. No one catches a pitch like this. Were trying to make it look better. No we just sink. Same pitch right here like that. So the next time your behind home plate, don’t make it obvious for the umpire if it was a ball or a strike. Be quite. Be subtle. Don’t change the way the glove looks. Use that tip the next time your behind the dish.

 

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