Kevin Wheeler is a former college player, All-Star Performance Instructor, and sports radio personality. Additional educational resources for players, coaches and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.
Catching: it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. When things go wrong, all eyes are on you, so we’ve compiled our favorite drills for nailing the basics, and ensuring that you make as few errors as possible. This is a multi-part series, so tune in next week for more drills.
This drill trains catchers on proper body positioning for basic, no-man-on-base situations, but is broadly applicable, and a great starting point for all catching technique. Starting from the feet up follow this checklist:
- Heels just outside hips
- Toes at shoulder width
- Knees in alignment in a V-shape
- Feet flat on the ground
These drills are for young catchers, and two key mistakes they often make are letting their knees buckle inward, and balancing on the balls of their feet, rather than keeping their heels on the ground.
This drill develops a high alert body position; anytime there are runners on base, or a two strike count—anytime a runner or batter can advance—your catcher needs to be on high alert. This means:
- Knees in a square shape, rather than a V-shape
- Feet at shoulder width
- Toes point straight toward the pitcher’s mound
- Hips and butt raised, shoulders forward
- 90 degree angle at the knees
These changes allow for better lateral movement, and a quick transition in to a throwing position.