The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Jun 18, 2015 6:30:00 AM

3 Tips for Young Catchers on Throwing to Second Base

Throwing the ball as a catcher takes a very unique skill set to be successful. Catchers need to have athleticism, arm strength, and great accuracy to be able to throw successfully. Without these skills, it’s very difficult to consistently throw runners out. Here are some tips that will help young catchers with their time to second.

Moving Forward

A problem that most kids have is that they have a tendency to step out towards their glove side with their initial step. This technique can have a negative effect on two things - accuracy and arm strength. When you start allowing your momentum to move in directions other than the direction you’re trying to throw, you’re displacing the momentum needed to throw the runner out. Your first step should be with your throwing side foot and straight towards second base.

Transfer

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Topics: baseball skills, throwing skills, defensive baseball, catching, throwing power, catching skills, catching fundamentals, catching tips, throwing issues, ball transfer skills, throwing accuracy

Kevin Hussey | May 12, 2015 8:16:46 AM

How to Handle Your Catchers in Practice Without a Dedicated Coach

Some teams do not have the luxury of having a coach at baseball practice for every position. Often times what happens is the coaches will be with the pitchers, infielders and outfielders, while the catchers are stuck catching balls for the infielders. If this is the case, you need to teach the catchers how they can coach themselves.

When catchers practice their skills, they shouldn’t practice anything for more than 10 minutes unless they‘re learning a new skill. The best way for a catcher to practice individual skills is 5-10 minutes at a time. Catchers can work on receiving, blocking and throwing, all for 5-10 minutes a practice. All of these skills can be practiced without the assistance of a coach. All that is needed is two or more catchers to work with each other.

Here are some drills that can be practiced every day:

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Topics: baseball practice, catching, practice organization, catching drills, catching skills, catching tips, team practice

Kevin Hussey | Apr 29, 2015 2:01:42 PM

Quick Tips for Catchers on Preventing Injury and Blocking Pitches

Physically speaking, the most difficult part of being a catcher is blocking pitches. Blocking pitches can be mentally and physically draining but also very difficult to do well. It’s important to understand how to block a pitch and how to protect yourself. Here are some examples of how to accomplish each.

Preventing Injury

When blocking pitches, there is always a risk of injury. Catchers' equipment is there to protect the important parts of your body like your head, chest and knees. But there are a couple parts of your body that are important that equipment does not protect - your throwing hand and neck. Since these body parts are not protected, your job is to protect them yourself. There are two ways we can protect our throwing hand when blocking a pitch. One way is to hide it behind your glove; the other is to leave it behind you. Ideally, when you block a pitch you should have your bare hand behind your glove because it’s safe and it gives you the best opportunity to block the pitch. When protecting your neck, it’s important to tuck your chin into your body, allowing your mask to cover the area. These two techniques will decrease the risk of injury when blocking a pitch.

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Topics: catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, catching tips

Kevin Hussey | Feb 17, 2015 1:22:00 PM

4 Simple Tips for Young Catchers to Follow

So you made the decision to become a catcher. The catcher position in baseball is a physically and mentally demanding position. A great way to try and deal with the different demands as a catcher is to learn some different aspects of the game and try and learn from other catchers' experiences. A lot of times there are no right or wrong answers but here are some tips that may be able to help you in the future as a catcher. Here are 4 simple yet essential tips for young catchers as they start out in the game.

1 - Heels on the Ground 

One common misconception for catchers is they’re supposed to be on their toes while in their catcher’s stance (doing so while giving your signs is ok). If this is something that you do, try catching with your heels on the ground. It may be uncomfortable at first, but once your body is used to this technique, it can make being in your stance a whole lot easier and keep you more stable, balanced and athletic to react to the outcome of the pitch.

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Topics: baseball skills, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, pitch selection, receiving skills, catching tips, pitch location

Rick Johnston | Jul 26, 2013 9:50:00 AM

8 Helpful Tips for Catchers Calling a Simple Game Behind the Dish

Catching: Calling a Simple Game

Let’s face it - a good catcher makes a better pitcher. A good catcher, who knows how to call a good game, can make average and good pitchers, great pitchers. 

Catchers have many characteristics that stand out from the way they catch and throw to the way they block and control the game as defensive leaders on the inner diamond. However, there is almost no greater characteristic a catcher can exhibit than his ability to call a good game. Hey, look around professional baseball. It is safe to say catching is one of the oldest positions by age. Those younger catchers may have the energy, physicality and overall skill that will jump out at most, but the older catcher is usually the wiser catcher and exhibits traits that go well beyond catch, throw, block and hit.

  • So just where does the catcher become the primary source of information for the pitcher? It begins with every new count, 0-0. It is critical the catcher calls the pitch that the pitcher is throwing most consistently for strikes. The pitcher must start the hitter out by getting ahead in the count. The probability of the catcher calling for a fastball is usually about 70%. 
  • If the pitcher falls behind in the count, it is now up to the catcher to bring that ship back to a neutral count and that usually means staying with the pitcher's best pitch or the pitch that is most consistently in the strike zone.

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Topics: baseball strategy, baseball coaching, catching skills, catching tips

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