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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baseball Catcher Drills

Baseball Catcher Drills
By guest author: Kenny Buford

Crucial Catching Skills

In baseball, the catcher is one of the hardest working players on the field. Also the catcher's position on the field is unique, meaning that catchers require a separate set of drills that allow them to develop the skills that are exclusive to their position. Use any or all of the following baseball catcher drills to sharpen your catcher's abilities and focus, which in turn will aid your team's overall defensive position.

The first of the baseball catcher drills teaches catchers how to block pitches that bounce in the dirt in front of them. For this drill you will need two plastic cones set up on either side of the catcher, who should be equipped with full gear. The coach or assistant stands about 30 feet away from the catcher.

The coach begins throwing pitches towards the catcher, varying between pitches that bounce in the dirt and regular pitches to help the catcher work on their ability to read the pitches that come their way. Each time a pitch passes through the goal without being stopped by the catcher, it counts as a point. After 10 throws, count the number of points.

Repeat the drill twice more to see if catcher's scores improve. The purpose of the score is so that catchers can track their progress over a series of weeks.

Two for Flinching

If your catcher flinches as the batter swings at the oncoming pitch, try this two-part drill that helps tame the catcher's reaction to the ball. For the first part of the drill, have your catcher in full gear stand about 5 feet away from the coach. The catch interlocks their hands behind their back as the coach throws balls towards the catcher, aiming predominantly for their mask.

After catchers have mastered the first part of the drill, then have them try the second part, in which the catcher in full gear assumes their usual position on the field, behind the batter's box. The coach stands about 15 feet away, and another coach or assistant assumes the batter's stance with a bat and helmet.

The coach throws pitches towards the catcher, aiming again for the catcher's mask. Meanwhile the other coach swings the bat trying their best not to hit the pitch. Catchers are to catch the pitches without flinching.

Hit the Dirt

The next of the baseball catcher drills teaches catchers to follow the trajectory of the pitch to predict where it will end up. For this drill, have the catcher in full gear assume their position behind the batter's box. This drill also requires a full infield including pitcher. All other players are base runners that vary their positioning on the coach's instructions.

Have the pitcher throw a series of pitches at the catcher making sure to include at least one pitch that bounces in the dirt per five throws. When the pitch hits the dirt, the runners are to read the situation and react accordingly. For example, with a runner on first only, they are encouraged to run since this is usually an easy steal, even if the catcher successfully blocks the errant pitch.

However, with runners on first and second, the steals increase in difficulty, so your runners will need to decide how aggressively they'd like to act in their base stealing actions. This drill will help your catch at their blocking skills when pitches hit the dirt as well as give them a chance to work on their long throws to second and third base that can be crucial in a game-play situation.

About The Author

Kenny Buford has coached nearly every level of baseball in a career that spans several decades. You can get instant access to his championship baseball practice plans by visiting his website:

For a limited time, all coaches who visit Kenny's site will also get a free copy of his special report: "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Baseball Coaches Make". Go get your free copy today!

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick