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Where to put throwing hand?

Aug 2, 2008
553
0
I was a catcher in my youth, I made a few all star teams so I must have been ok at it. We just received Catching Coaches DVD for my 10 yo daughter, I wish that was available 20 years ago, a good purchase for a young or struggling catcher. Anyway, his explanation on throwing hand placement for runners on (make a fist with the thumb tucked and place it behind the glove) makes sense to me. I have found some contradictory information on the internet that believes the hand should placed behind the back like I always used to do. We are going to follow Catching Coaches advice, because it makes sense and has good practical application. But I would like to here from others on why they think behind the back is better.

Mike
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
We teach behind the glove. I was a catcher and I was puzzled why they teach behind the back. Two reasons came up. At an earlier age catchers put it behind the back to keep the hand from being hit. They are not expected to call pitches so no need to have the hand in front of them. This changes as the get older, but they keep the habit of putting it behind them. If you go to a good college camp that teach drop and pop. These kids cannot do this drill with the hand behind the back. So when they catch a good drop ball pitcher they suffer. Just my two cents.
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
SBFAMILY,
What is drop and pop?

And: Do most upper level and college catchers put there hand behind there glove, and is it just when runners are on,or every pitch?

Thanks,
Mike
 
Aug 4, 2008
2,364
0
Lexington,Ohio
The college camps I have attended they have the hand behind the glove. Drop and pop. Is a college drill that has the catcher Drop down to block the ball and then Pop up to throw the ball. Do about 20 in a row and you will build up quickness. Hard to do with your hand behind you.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
A few weeks ago I attended the NFCA Coaching College on position play in St. Paul. The instructors were John Tschida of the University of St. Thomas, Bill Edwards of Hofstra University, and Allison Habetz of the University of Alabama. When they got to the catcher portion, they demonstrated the preferred technique recommended by the NFCA. It's the hand behind the shinguard. They did mention the hand behind the glove, but said the preference is behind the shinguard.

We talk a lot here about looking at what the best in the world do, and often reference MLB players. So I took a look around the Internet to see what MLB catchers do. I found that MLB catchers also put the hand behind the shinguard. I don't have all the names of the catchers since it's hard to find catchers in the receiving position by searching on them. I searched on hitters for the most part.

Here's White Sox catcher A J Pierzynski. His hand is behind the shinguard. I also have one with him hitting and someone else catching. Same thing.

Here's one with Derek Jeter hitting. I can't see exactly where the throwing hand is, but I can see where it isn't -- behind the glove. The same with this shot of Pujols hitting.

On this one of Alfonso Soriano hitting, the hand isn't behind the shinguard, but it's close. It may have been pulled out as he hit the ball.

You get the idea. I didn't find a single one with the hand behind the glove. Not saying they're out there, but I didn't find any.

Back in the day, all catchers put the hand behind the glove. Johnny Bench changed that in the early '70s. Seems like it's still the standard.
 
May 7, 2008
172
0
Hudson, NH
Ken,

At the clinic you were at did the coaches give a reason why they did not like the hand out front with runners on? What did they say was the down side of doing it?

Coach Weaver
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
As I recall it was the risk of injury. They also felt the catcher would be in a better position to throw with a transfer at the side instead of in front. I know you feel differently about both of those.
 
Oct 8, 2008
30
0
Long Island, NY
Mike
I do encourage my catchers to put their hand behind the glove with runners on base. The only thing I do a little different is the fist is not tight around the thumb. If I was to describe it your index and middle finger pads(where your finger prints are) should touch your thumb knuckle and nail. This give the hand a little give to it and also keep the catcher from tensing the throwing hand.
 
Jan 24, 2009
2
0
Here is the problem I see with the hand behind the glove. As a catcher myself for many years I have kept me hand behind my shinguard. With your hand behind the glove, as you are pulling to throw both of your hands are moving in the same direction which means your throwing hand is moving away from the ball or at least moving at the same speed therefore you have to stop the movement of your throwing hand (even if it is a split second) in order for the glove to catch up to it. We all know that this can is played and measured in milli-seconds so why would we ask the catcher to stop the movement of there hand even if it is only for 1 tenth of second. From your shinguard the hand meets the glove at the separation point and you can continue your forward motion with your throw. That's just my opinion of the hand behind the glove.

I also think it is a safety issue as well. If you have never caught before and/or never been hit by a foul tip off the bat, just imagine how it feels if the ball were to hit your hand as you moved to try and throw out a runner. That would not happen or at least not happen as easily if your hand was behind your shinguard.

Coach Mike
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,924
83
Dallas, Texas
I had a catcher who broke her finger using the "hand behind the glove" technique. Never again. Good catchers aren't a dime a dozen.
 

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