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Blocking the plate

Feb 5, 2009
I am a 2nd year travel team manager, and I am still learning on the "go" Currently, I am in my first year of 14u and I have 5 girls that move up next year and 6 prospects.

My DD is my #1 catcher.

What is the proper footwork for a force play and a tag play at home plate?

Anyone have a good video of blocking home after the catch?

This is a great forum!


Wannabe Duck Boat Owner
Feb 21, 2009
New England
Plate blocking link & recommended catching resource

Use this link

The New England Catching Camp - Online Camp: Forces At Home Forces Double Play

to get to Catching Coaches' NECC website "On-line Camp" for a description of how to handle a force play at the plate. The website is a great catching resource and, as noted in an earlier thread re Catching Videos, the NECC catching video (which is a steal at $40 for a 3-hr catching coaches clinic covering the fundamental aspects of the position) is EXCELLENT and includes plate blocking techniques.

As a former college BB catcher, NECC's video (and live sessions) let me happily take much more of a 'remind and support' role rather than be the primary catcher instructor for my DD and our travel teams other catchers. After all, what does Dad know (or maybe more accurately, remember)? If you have the opportunity to attend a live NECC clinic you'll see that Dave is both an excellent catching technician AND outstanding teacher - hard to beat that combo.

Good Luck
Dec 28, 2008
The catching coach that I use the most for my training camps teaches girls to stand in front of home plate if the ball is coming in from the field for a play at the plate. This "invites" girls to head directly to the plate because their brain sees that the front door is wide open. She then teaches them that once they have the ball they need to pivot and drop to their left knee, closing that frond door, and then exploding through the runner instead of just absorbing the impact from the runner. She sets up a rubber trash can for them to practice exploding through and they keep working on that until the catchers literally send the can flying all of the way to the backstop. Her philosophy is that if the catcher looks like she's going to block the plate the girl will try to avoid her and go around, and if the ball doesn't get there in time the catcher will get hurt; but if it's wide open the odds are strong that is exactly where the runner will be heading. and she'd rather have the runner surprised than the catcher.
Feb 5, 2009
Thanks for the responses. My number one concern is that I correctly teach my catchers proper footwork for safety purposes.

I did some looking around and found some good videos on youtube by Coach Hill from Pacific U. I also borrowed some dvds from a freind of mine by Breanne Nickle Smith "The Boss" to help further my education.

I like the idea of using a garbage can to teach exploding through the runner instead of waiting back for impact....great tip!

Coach Joe
Sep 15, 2009
@ druer, That is what I teach my catchers as well. It helps prevent the catchers from getting hurt, Before I learned that method I had a collision at home where the girl collided with me taking my knee and pushing it past the locking position and then took my knee and twisted. I ended up tearing my LCL and luckily I was fortunate that it healed quickly. But teaching this way is best. I do the same drill and also work on slide by working on my catchers putting a forceful tag on the runner. I use a bucket and make them knock the bucket out.
Nov 12, 2009
Kansas City
While we see several pro catchers take collisions at the plate, I don't ever recommend a youth to block the plate. It is very important to have the footwork right to avoid injury. Several other factors must also be considered. I also teach that the catcher set up inside the baseline and "bait" the runner to come straight in. Then the catcher must decide the best way to get the out depending on whether the runner comes straight in upright, slides straight in or hook slides. It is also important to KEEP THE MASK ON for the play at the plate. (I can send you pictures) Also important is to remember once the tag is made.... go after another out! The best way to learn and understand the footwork is to purchase Coach Dave Weaver's (Of The New England Catching Camp) video "A Coach's Guide To Training Catchers VII" It is the best money you will ever invest on your DD if you (and her) are serious about catching.

Chaz @ Advanced Catching Concepts

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