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Fielding Bunts: Time-Saving Techniques for Catchers

When fielding bunts, time is of the essence. You want to make sure your catcher has proper footwork to reduce the amount of time taken to release the ball to first base, ensuring that the bunt is indeed a sacrifice, and not a base hit.

To perform this drill, use cones to divide the area in front of home plate into two triangular sections: one section is formed by the points home, shortstop, first base, and the other section is home, shortstop, and third base. The section in which the ball is fielded determines the type of footwork your catcher will perform.

  • Balls bunted in the first base section should be approached directly, with your catcher getting around the ball to the left, closing the shoulders and shuffling the feet toward first.
  • Balls bunted in the third base section should also be approached directly; however, your catcher should step past the ball with the right foot. This allows for a natural spinning motion, which occurs seamlessly with practice, and allows for a quicker delivery than readjusting the body angle for a more traditional shuffle step.
  • Note: when the ball is dead, your catcher should drive DOWN through the ball into the ground to secure his grip. When the ball is moving the glove and bare hand should sweep together to secure the grip.

Kevin Wheeler is a former college player, All-Star Performance Instructor, and sports radio personality. Additional education resources for players, coaches and parents are available at gamesacademy.net.

From GameChanger and Kevin Wheeler.