Catcher Body Position
Several factors come into play. A 'comfortable' squat, with the back straight is important. Catcher's position needs to be balanced, so they can move to the ball that is off the plate, or pop up to make a throw. Ideally the back/shoulders should be directly above the feet. This will allow that balanced position for quickness of movement. Leg muscles should be 'pre-loaded' as much as is comfortable for the individual, meaning they should raise their rear end up a few inches, if leg strength allows and keep their weight on the balls of their feet, all again for balance and quickness.
The hand-behind-the-back is a good way to start out new, young catchers, to help prevent throwing hand injuries until they learn more about the position. Later, beside or behind the throwing-side thigh will offer sufficient protection while keeping their hand closer to the mitt for quicker throwing and fielding of the low pitch. For the low pitch, stress having them go to their knees, then get the mitt down. Getting the knees down puts the gear-protected body in the best blocking position as quickly as possible. Then the mitt comes down to attempt to catch the ball, but if not caught, at least the chances are good that the ball will be blocked by the body and stay in front of the catcher.
Proper Position for Receiving a Throw to Home Plate
The proper position to receive the throw is in front of the plate. When awaiting the throw, the catcher does not set up to the side of the plate, nor does he straddle the plate. In most youth leagues, and also in high school play, it is illegal for the catcher to block the plate before he has the baseball in his possession.
To position himself for a normal tag play, the catcher should execute the following steps.
1) Always leave his mask on. The mask stays on for safety, and
because he will consistently
keep his head down on the throw and look the ball into his glove. With the mask off, catchers
are prone to flinch and pull their head off the ball. They react with more confidence with the
mask in place.
2) On any fair hit ball, move to the front of the plate and anticipate a throw. Like any other baseman, the catcher's job is to guard his base. He cannot protect his base by standing behind it. He needs to be in a good defensive position before any play at the plate begins to develop.
3) The catcher can be as much as one foot length in front of the plate and still be in excellent position to block the plate once the throw is received.
4) The direction of the throw will dictate the catcher's initial set up position. Use the front corners of the plate as guide points. Set up with left foot off the left front corner on throws from left field and center. On throws from right-center to right field, the catcher sets his right foot adjacent to the right front corner.
5) Stay low and relaxed. Knees are bent and butt is down.
6) Give the runner the back half of the plate. The idea is to let the runner have a clear shot at plate, at least the catcher wants the runner to think he has a clear shot. What the catcher gives as he prepares to receive the throw, he quickly takes away after he catches the ball. With correct footwork, this is easy to do. Remember, the catcher's first priority is to catch the ball.
7) After he catches the ball, he grasps it with his throwing hand. With the ball gripped tightly in his throwing hand, he places his hand inside the mitt. Contact with the runner is made with the back of the mitt.
8) Once the throw is caught, with his left foot the catcher takes a quick step onto the third base line. Both his toe and his knee are pointed directly down the third base line at third base. In this position, he has the entire plate blocked. This is also the safest stance for the catcher to assume prior to the tag. With his knee facing the runner, the risk of injury is greatly reduced. Any contact that is made will not buckle the knee from the side.
9) The catcher stays low and maintains good leverage. He tags the
runner, and then spins
around to face the infield, ready to throw to another base.
10) The sweep tag is a secondary tag. It is used when the throw is late or off line and the catcher has no time to move his feet into the normal plate blocking position.
This sequence of movements is the same for catchers who are 8 or 18 years of age. It is both effective and safe. Catchers are able to concentrate on receiving throws from any part of the diamond, and then quickly react to thwart a runner's advance to home base.
to build leg strengthen and to pop up quickly,
first squat down in catcher's position, next
you jump up as high as you can, continue to do
this to build up your leg strength and help in
stopping high pitches.
do this every night about 30 times to help your leg
The catcher holds something big in his glove like a foot ball and blocks the plate. Have a runner try to get to the plate.
The point of this exercise is to hold on to the ball and not drop it if he hits you over even.
also another drill is to sit at the plate, dive left get back in position then dive right. This will practice catching wild pitches. DO this CONTINUALLY so the wild pitches won't get by to much anymore
Catching Drill While Sitting Around the House
The exchange from the glove to the throwing hand is an important part of catching. While sitting around the house the player can sit with his glove and continuously grab the ball out of the glove making sure to grab the ball with the four seam grip. Keep the glove facing up-facing the player while exchanging to the throwing hand.
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