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Catching

Baseball Catcher Instruction on video by Chad Moeller, the online leader in catcher instruction and baseball catching drills.



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How to Catch a Pop Up

How to Catch a Pop Up

 

The key is we want to make sure that I’m getting my back turned, I’m getting in position, and I’m not rushing after this ball.You can see that we can move the tennis ball around from side to side, I want to make sure that I can attack the ball, always keeping my back to the field and letting the baseball come back to me.I want to make sure that I’m able to keep this 45 degree angle when I’m looking up at the baseball. I want to make sure the ball stays in front of me and I work my way into it. If I get underneath this ball, it’s going to be behind me, because the baseball always comes back to the field of play.

By using a racquetball, you can get the ball as high as any major league popup – you’ll find out how difficult these things actually are to catch! But it will make you an all-around better catcher, it’s going to help you on popups which can be a very embarrassing play. We don’t have baseballs landing in the stands, we don’t have baseballs out in center field, we don’t have to go see an oral surgeon if this goes badly This is a great drill and will help you improve and make you much better on catching popups!

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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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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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Catchers Gear and Protective Equipment

Which Baseball Catchers Equipment is Right For You?

 

So catchers are the leaders on the field. Were the only ones that see the entire diamond. We stand back here. We have a view of everything. We get to give signs. A lot of people like that part of it. The other part of it is we get to wear some pretty cool baseball catchers gear. We got our chest protector, our shin guards and our mask. Often called the tools of ignorance. It’s part of what sets us apart. We’re baseball catchers. We look almost like soldiers back here. That’s part of what made me want to be a catcher. We got all this on. We look great. We look even tougher than we might really be. So lets talk about the gear.

The Shin Guards

We have one on each leg. The name kind of says a lot. They protect our shins, our knees, our ankles and our toes. Their invaluable when it comes to kneeling down and blocking balls. Be awfully painful without them. If looking for a pair, I recommend something that’s lightweight. Something that’s comfortable. But make sure that there long enough. I’ve seen a lot of catchers with shin guards that don’t go up high enough. It leaves part of there knee exposed. There here to protect you. They need to at least get to the top of the knee.

Chest Protector

The name kind of says it all. It protects our chest. Also protects our stomach, part of our neck and both of our shoulders. It should fit nice and snug. We don’t want it hanging down low. We don’t want it hanging forward. It only works if it’s fitting properly. When we drop down to block, if it’s hanging all the way down it can’t do it’s job. So make sure it’s snug. Make sure it’s fitting tight.

Catchers Mask

When it comes to a mask. There’s two different types of mask. We have the traditional two-piece mask, which is what I wore for almost my entire career, and the hockey style mask. Both work. In a lot of youth leagues, the hockey style mask is required. Their forced to wear this mask. So it makes it simple, you don’t have a choice. They give you a slightly different view. The hockey mask is closer to your face. The two-piece sits a little further away but it’s much much lighter. So make sure you check the league rules before you purchase a mask.

Overview

Always make sure the chest protector’s long enough. Always make sure your shin guards fit. And lastly, do I even need to say it? Make sure if you get behind the plate, you always have a cup on. Coaches never let a kid get behind the plate without a cup on. And as a player I mean do I really even need to explain it. Also knee savers. Not mandatory when it comes to catching gear. A lot of catchers wear them now. They are more comfortable. They can put a little more stress on other parts of your body. Just look into them. And if you do wear them, make sure their put on the bottom of the shin guards, not half way up. We don’t need to see Yogi Berra coming back. We don’t need to see catchers sitting up here again. You want to be able to sit low. You need to be able to block from there. Knee savers sometimes can get in the way. So the next time you get behind home plate, go ahead put some good looking gear on. It’s what sets us apart out there. Were catchers.

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Baseball Catcher Stance

Baseball Catcher Stance vs Comfort Stance

 

So I was fortunate. I had a lot of great coaches in my career. One of my favorite coaches was Tony Pena. It was when I was with the New York Yankees. Tony was flamboyant. He was exciting. He’s one of the greatest catchers to ever play this game. He’s often remembered for one of his one baseball catchers stance. He would have a way of being on the ground, leg out to the side on a knee. Yeah that’s the picture. And when he would set up like this, you wondered how he’d even get up. But that was his comfort stance. And in today’s lesson were going to talk about your comfort stance. Well what is a comfort stance?

That is where there’s nobody on base. There’s not two strikes on the hitter. This is where we have to be comfortable as a catcher. This is where we want to spend our game. We want to sit here. We need to be able to sit here. We need to be able to have tee sitting here like this. So how do we get to this. First off we want our feet to be a little bit like a duck. Our feet are spread out and our rear end is basically resting on our calves at this point. If you can’t get down there I understand. It’s going to be different for each catcher. Not every catcher looks the same. But we want to be as low as possible. The reason is we want to give the pitcher the lowest target we can possibly give him.

The other thing is we want to make sure our glove is as wide and open because pitchers like to see a big target. Their not perfect but they want something to aim at that’s going to give them the best chance to succeed. And are job as a catcher is to give them that. Were here to help that pitcher do better each day. That is a major job of the catcher. So when were in our comfort stance we want to be as low as possible. Our chest is square to the pitcher. We don’t want to be turned to far sideways. We don’t want to be sitting to straight up. We want to be nice and low right here for the pitcher. Yeah just like that.

We also want to make sure are bare hand is behind our back. Here’s what I want you to do. Tuck your thumb in wrap your hands around it. It’s basically a fist. A nice loose fist with our thumb tucked in. Now put this behind your back. Because I can promise you. If this hands exposed and gets hit, it hurts. You don’t want to find out yourself although I’m sure you will. Keep this hand behind your back. Our target’s low at the knees. This way our pitcher has the best chance to succeed. So this is our comfort stance. Were nice and low. Were making him look good. That’s our job. Were catchers. So next time your behind the dish. Give the pitcher a low target. Give him a chance to succeed. And have a great game.

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