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DOES YOUR GLOVE WORK

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
Does your glove work?
Then use it!

Yes this is about everyone using our glove including the catcher!

To the conversation that some think catchers should always block. (get hit by the ball) when its in the dirt.
Why?

I Encourage dirt pitch recovery fielding the ball, ( pick )

Why block everything ?
Wouldnt it be better to want the catcher to use our glove to field the ball and immediatly have control ?

Sharing to recognize these points~

Blocking has down time.
Pop times (briefly) are measured in tenths of a second.
Would it be better to have a
2.2 or 2.0 pop x? or....
2.0 or 1.8
1.9 or 1.7
Of course the lower # is faster!

Every player on the field develops glove work. It is an expectation defensively to use our gloves. Defensive players are trained repetitively on fielding grounders and charging high bounce to field short hop to cut off the grounder. Defensive players covering bases are required to and expected to, field and recover short hops and put tags on. ( AKA when Runners are stealing and back pics. ) Defensive players are trained to trap a ball on the dirt rather than let it bounce up at them. A lot of these drills are done as bucket drills. Also with live fielding. Add to this, catchers are also required to receive throws at the plate to tag runners out. Critical to be able to field shorts hops at times to make this play.
This same technical glove work is exactly what it is utilized behind the plate with catching.

Adding to this a catcher has far more repetition receiving the ball then most defensive players because we are catching pitches routinely. The average pitching workout is between 80 and 100 pitches.
Add the game time pitches. These opportunities training glove work and reacting to moving pitches, and in the dirt, adds to training technical skill sets.

To add further. In softball a pitcher's delivery being released at the knee (trajectory of the ball and spin) the majority of pitches in softball stay closer to the dirt. In fact most of the time they skim the dirt. Staying low greater than they do bounce up. Also, do to the spin, pitch will hit the dirt and can spin either left or right . Making it more important to have glove range and to have the glove slightly in front
(under chest) and not in between our legs so that we have greater ability to defensively recover the ball.
( glove in between legs leaves knees sticking out for the ball to hit and narrows glove range). Knees should be under us , not infront of us!

Add also that base runners are taught to pay attention to what is happening when the ball is coming into the plate. When base runners see a catcher 'only blocking the ball' when it goes into the dirt they know there will be down time. We also know there will be times the ball completely gets away from the catcher. We know ANY downtime gives the runner a better opportunity to steal and be safe at the next base. There does not need to be extra downtime just because the pitch is in the dirt!
Runners will know when the catcher is controlling the ball!

*I am not saying that there will never be a time the ball will bounce up high into the chest protector... but the majority, 95% will be low in the dirt that we can field and recover dirt pitches!

*Not here to tell people what to do. Rather share the success of decades behind the plate and catchers have trained. With the phylosophy of control the ball to control the game!

Catchers are a defensive player behind the plate with the added pleasure of framing.
Lets use our glove!

Enjoy!
 
Last edited:
Dec 6, 2016
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18
I love your thinking! I've thought the same thing for years. In softball, the trajectory of the pitch is lower than that of a baseball pitch, so the bounce is going to be relatively less and be way more predictable. Sure, there are times to block, but for the most part, I believe this would be a much better way to field a ball in the dirt.
 
May 20, 2016
330
43
While it's sounds great i am willing to bet that the percentages greatly favor blocking as opposed to trying to pick balls in the dirt. Catcher has maybe a tenth or two more of a second than the batter to make that decision. I know from personal experience, which is a small sample size mind you, that i'd much rather see a block that i am 50% sure that a runner will hold up as opposed to a 100% chance base runner is moving when the ball gets to the backstop.
 
Dec 11, 2010
2,878
113
In most cases a runner with any kind of decent speed who gets a decent lead should get a base whether its blocked or at backstop.

Made it bold because of course there are no absolutes.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
While it's sounds great i am willing to bet that the percentages greatly favor blocking as opposed to trying to pick balls in the dirt. Catcher has maybe a tenth or two more of a second than the batter to make that decision. I know from personal experience, which is a small sample size mind you, that i'd much rather see a block that i am 50% sure that a runner will hold up as opposed to a 100% chance base runner is moving when the ball gets to the backstop.
The catcher see's right away the pitch trajectory to react.
The batter has to make a decision.

Not sure what is meant by 100% hitting the backstop?
That just sounds like a wild pitch far away from catcher.

However i do understand that perhaps blocking is only 50/50% chance of helping stopping a runner.
Which means a stealing runner has a
50% greater chance at being safe.
 
Last edited:
May 20, 2016
330
43
Not sure what is meant by 100% hitting the backstop?
Meant if the catcher tries to scoop and misses the ball.

And as to the catcher seeing the trajectory that's a tough one. My DD pitches and i catch for her regularly. She has a lot of movement to her pitches so even though i see where a ball is going, it doesn't always match where it actually is when i go to catch it.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
Thanku joe720
for engaging in a chat.

Catchers routinely catch and frame moving pitches.
In other words catching moving pitches is normal.

Just as you mention the ball movement. It can move farther away the more room it has to travel.
Cutting it off with our glove cuts down on the ball/pitch moving away.

Can cut the distance down with glove by a foot and up to two feet depending on how far ball needs to travel back to hit catcher.

Heres another interesting point.
At younger ages a hit ball & grounders usually or can travel faster than most pitchers throw.
The feilders need to react IF its comming their way.
The catcher all-ready knows the pitch is comming.
Young catchers are able to field dirt pitches from a crouch...because it is very near there athletic position. :) its like lobbing them grounders.
( older trained catchers can from crouch also and go directly into throw)
At a young age developing the instinct to use glove removes the fear of getting hit by the ball!

* Prefer going to knees TO protect against high bounce.
Stay in athletic posture on knee's to recover dirt pitch.
 
Last edited:
May 20, 2016
330
43
Should have added i don't disagree with the premise. If possible should try to scoop it. Just not an all or nothing kind of thing in my opinion.
 
Jul 31, 2013
747
43
We teach our catchers to immediately rotate the wrist, drop the mitt, center and drop when the ball breaks at a specific point; basically the point in which the catcher knows the ball will hit the dirt. I agree with your thoughts that all balls should be able to be caught/picked. Perhaps if the catchers played on the same, properly maintained box all of the time they could do so. But around here, the boxes are glorified goat pastures with chalk outlines. In those conditions, it is the catchers responsibility to block all balls when a runner is on (in fact, we teach blocking even without runners on. It gives your pitchers confidence that you can when needed). On a rough box, a pick will get through due to a misread of the bounce.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
My softball experience has been pitchers are more confident when catcher controls the ball. In other words, the ball is not rolling on the ground.

Lol fields are like a goat pastures 😄
Some like that here too!
Some the outfield could use some goats.
How about when part of the plate is missing...
 

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