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DOES YOUR GLOVE WORK

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,370
113
Dallas, Texas
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...
My DD played on every dog run in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
 
Aug 1, 2019
151
43
...the boxes are glorified goat pastures with chalk outlines....
I taught catchers to be on the ball so most innings they can be the first one on the field and start landscaping with their cleats, smoothing out any divots they see in front of the plate and making sure the dirt is higher than the front lip of the plate to avoid that unexpected hop. If they want to be nasty, when they get that 3rd out, step right in front of the plate and cheer whoever made the 3rd out, then turn to put that divot right back in front of the plate for the other guy. :devilish:
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
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California
I taught catchers
landscaping with their cleats, smoothing out any divots they see in front of the plate and making sure the dirt is higher than the front lip of the plate to avoid that unexpected hop.






If they want to be nasty, when they get that 3rd out, step right in front of the plate and cheer whoever made the 3rd out, then turn to put that divot right back in front of the plate for the other guy. :devilish:
Excellent!
 
Jul 29, 2013
3,546
113
North Carolina
Great topic. I've had the pleasure of watching the catcher on Anna's college team this short season, she's phenomenal, just a treat to watch! She a "catcher" who picks balls on either side like it's nothing. Now this is a 100% turf field with permanent foul lines, batters box, and home plate, I'm sure that makes it easier.

She's a tall thin girl with pterodactyl long arms, her pop times are a consistent 1.6 / 1.7! Anna was telling me about her in their Fall workouts, Anna said she's probably the best catcher she's ever been around, which is a heck of a compliment!

RAD, I guess I'm in both camps, I want my catcher to be able to do both block and catch, and do them right! Honestly I'm not the best person to be giving catching advice, my DD pitched and primarily played SS. But I do know a very good, well rounded catcher in the first few seconds / minutes / innings of watching one.

I've learned to let a catcher or any player's skill / ability make some decisions for me.........last year, Anna's last year of 18U TB, they had two excellent catchers, one threw from her knees, the other popped and threw from her feet. Now from an early age I've always wanted catchers to throw from their feet, this girl who threw from her knees taught me there's not just "one" cookie cutter way to do the job correctly. Both of those catchers were very fun to watch, and there's no way I'd ever try to get the girl who threw from her knees to change, she was a 1.7 second pop time girl who made it look wayyyy too easy!
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
Great topic. I've had the pleasure of watching the catcher on Anna's college team this short season, she's phenomenal, just a treat to watch! She a "catcher" who picks balls on either side like it's nothing. Now this is a 100% turf field with permanent foul lines, batters box, and home plate, I'm sure that makes it easier.

She's a tall thin girl with pterodactyl long arms, her pop times are a consistent 1.6 / 1.7! Anna was telling me about her in their Fall workouts, Anna said she's probably the best catcher she's ever been around, which is a heck of a compliment!

RAD, I guess I'm in both camps, I want my catcher to be able to do both block and catch, and do them right! Honestly I'm not the best person to be giving catching advice, my DD pitched and primarily played SS. But I do know a very good, well rounded catcher in the first few seconds / minutes / innings of watching one.

I've learned to let a catcher or any player's skill / ability make some decison for me.........last year, Anna's last year of 18U TB, they had two excellent catchers, one threw from her knees, the other popped and threw from her feet. Now from an early age I've always wanted catchers to throw from their feet, this girl who threw from her knees taught me there's not just "one" cookie cutter way to do the job correctly. Both of those catchers were very fun to watch, and there's no way I'd ever try to get the girl who threw from her knees to change, she was a 1.7 second pop time girl who made it look wayyyy too easy!
Good read ANNASDAD!
Currently have a student like the one you described. Other teams called her 'Spidey'. Snagging everything :)
Agree with utilize different skill sets.
At times we need them all right?!!

Dirt pitches i like body behind the ball. On knee's in athletic position, so body is there on the giant bad bounce to block. With the optimum goal of controlling the ball with glove. Glove work fielding, quick transition, ZAP!

I also utilized fielding dirt pitches and threw from my feet.
( No knees, just field and explode,
Catching position= "extreme infielder" ;)
( think have seen some great videos on here of others doing that as well)

Reflecting on diversity of athletes i like knowing all shapes and sizes are capable of developing throwing from knee's or feet.
However for some one or the other may work best for that individual.

Quick
Strong
Long
Short...
How we use our body, and how we train our body, plays an essential role!
 
I think catchers are taught to block because the coach couldn’t get the catcher to keep their eyes open and facing the ball once it hits the dirt. If they can accomplish keeping their eyes open then sure catch the ball.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,370
113
Dallas, Texas
@RADcatcher

Very interesting topic.

Do you think catchers get too much work on blocking and not enough work on picking?

You have a point...we spend a lot of time working with the infielders on short hops, and getting the infielders to catch the ball correctly so that they can throw it. But, I haven't been doing that with catchers.

I need to rethink the emphasis on blocking over picking. You've given me some great ideas for working with our catchers.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
1,992
113
California
@RADcatcher

Very interesting topic.

Do you think catchers get too much work on blocking and not enough work on picking?

You have a point...we spend a lot of time working with the infielders on short hops, and getting the infielders to catch the ball correctly so that they can throw it. But, I haven't been doing that with catchers.

I need to rethink the emphasis on blocking over picking. You've given me some great ideas for working with our catchers.
Hey Thank you Sluggers for that !
Really my goal to encourage thinking about what we are doing!

( to your question, work too much on blocking not enough on picking?~ I really dont work on blocking much at all. Yep i said that! We work on getting body behind the ball to field it. Because body is behind the ball we are already prepaired if it takes a bad hop to block. Our glove is the best tool and glove range is utilized)

Can share
Developing glove work is part of every lesson i teach. Infact with every team also. Not just grounders but tranistion speed and the technical in the technique of glove work!

Every catcher gets high reps.
From on knees, strong athletic posture, work glove speed- snapping glove to the ground making the cave. Under chest. Not between legs.
Then add dirt pitches. Work infront and sides for range. Then dirt pitch maneuver. Then dirt pitch manuever to sides with glove speed and dirt pitches.
I throw dirt pitches with both of my hands alternating sides. With spin also!

Reps and intensity with great attention to correct mechanics.

Young kids quickly develop these skill sets...
Can honestly share many many catchers could never imagine why some coaches will tell them block.
Even young kids can understand they dont need to get hit by the ball.
Even catchers who were previously taught block everything, and then start training to field/pick, are baffeld why they didnt use glove already. Some have said "i did use my glove and it worked. But coach said block." Every player knows if we have to pick up the ball off the ground, we know that runner see's we dont have it. We know the sense of urgency it creates.

Field, Transition,Throw
Thats defense!
 
Last edited:
May 31, 2018
137
28
Allen TX
Love this post. We use the following rules (this might be wrong):

1. No runners on - pick.
2. Fast runner on 1st or 2nd - pick.
3. Slow runner on 1st or 2nd - block.
4. Any runner on 3rd - block.

We have a few other scenarios based on count, inning, score, but at 12u that isn't being recognized all of the time.

However, You have brought up something that we are not doing......we actually don't practice glove work with catchers enough. Both of my catchers are strong infielders as well, but it would certainly make sense to start to add this practice more frequently.

Thanks for the great ideas.
 

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