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Knee health

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
What kinds of things can we, as coaches/parents, do to help prevent catcher knee problems?

When /where I played we couldn't start until the 7th grade.
There were no concerns regarding physical health of any of our athletes (late 70's)

I was a catcher from 7th grade right through High school...played from March to August......weekends were filled with 6,7 + games....

My knees are in terrible condition.

What can I do to help prevent that in the kids I coach now?

(PS: I could throw to 2nd from my knees quite easily..but never did in a game ... just fooling around at practice....I guess I just didn't want to chance a poor throw)

....and why do girls/catchers take so many steps before throwing?


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Here is a email I sent to my ezine subscribers a few months ago....

Injury-Proof Catchers

I got a question from my good friend Stacie Mahoe from http://www.allaboutfastpitch.com asking me about preventing knee injuries for catchers.

I thought this is information you would like to get.

Yes, catchers have a greater risk of developing knee issues just because catching puts more stress on the knees than any other position.

What can you do to prevent this?

1) Use the Knee Savers. These are support padding that you attach to your shin pads and that gives you good support when squatting down. It takes away close to 85% of the stress when resting before you get into your catching position.

Some people think it makes your catcher lazy. To me, you can't play with knee safety. However, I don't buy the laziness thing. A good coach will know how to properly train their catcher and if the catcher is hard-working, this is a non-issue.

Now, it is not mandatory to wear them but it can reallyhelp to prevent a lot of the stress placed on the knees.

2) Do Hindu Squats - old, silly-looking, martial art exercise that many personal trainers would tell you"It's bad for the knees" exercise because the heels are coming off the ground but guess what... every catcher has their heels coming off the ground.

It is actually a great muscular endurance exercise for catchers. I would do 50-100/day several days a week. After that, your catcher will have the best conditioned legs of any catcher in your league.

Check this exercise:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPSVpo4mzNI

3) I would also get them to do single-leg squats for strength and stability. They are killers but boy do they work.

Check it out:


4) Make sure you teach proper catching techniques; especially he basic catching position. You want to make sure that their weight is well-distributed. Teach them good fundamentals and you will take a lot of the stress away.

From experience, most softball players with knee problems are not catchers but former/current gymnasts, basketball or soccer players. Make your catchers injury-proof.

"Your Personal Softball Peak Performance Coach"

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