Rarely if ever does a baseball player make a throw in a game flat footed and stationary. But watch most teams play catch. Most of the time you will notice players catching the ball flat footed and take two or three steps and throw the ball back in a flat footed motion. You will also see non pitchers such as infielders, outfielders, and even catchers throw the ball back in a pitching style windup. You will also see another disturbing trend – over throws, wide throws and throws that come up short of the target.
Playing catch is not just for your arm, it is also training for your feet and training for your glove and transfer. For young players, a simple drill is to not allow your feet to stop during catch. When the ball is in the air – step into the ball with your right foot, catch the ball in the center of your body, step with your left foot and then repeat right foot – left foot and release the ball back to your partner. After you release the ball and finish your throw, work back your original starting point by shuffling your feet back and then attack the ball again with your right foot catch the ball in the middle of your body, left foot right foot left foot release and finish your throw.
- Stay on the balls of your feet the entire time. Work hard with your feet. Work hard with your feet to get your body into the correct receiving position. Don’t allow yourself to catch the ball away from your body.
- Work hard to get your feet moving to catch an underthrown ball before it hits the ground. If you realize that you cannot receive the ball before it bounces then work away from the ball and catch it on a long hop.
- Work hard to never allow yourself to catch the ball one handed.
- Every time you receive the ball get the ball out of your glove quickly and into the proper throwing technique.
Challenge yourself and your partner. If a ball is overthrown and gets by your partner then both partners need to rotate. The person who threw the ball must go get the ball and the partner who let the ball get by him must rotate. You will quickly see how much better your game of catch gets when there is a running motivation!
Most importantly, by moving your feet while playing catch you are training your mind and body for the game when things start moving faster.
Work Hard when you play catch and you will find yourself with much more success on the field.
Until Next Time,