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.