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Nov 20, 2020
476
63
SW Missouri
Need some DFP assistance. Due to lack of a true secondary catcher DD's coach has started utilizing her to catch (along with P and 1B). She's a pretty natural athlete and has taken to the position well. And enjoys it. Obviously, she makes the beginner mistakes of someone who's never played the position. When to pick vs block, how to chase passed balls down, when to stand behind the plate vs in front based on the play, etc. I've helped her best I can in terms of trial by fire. Luckily, because she pitches, she has visually seen her catchers work and has a baseline. She has a strong arm so hard throws to the bases isn't an issue. But, getting them out fast and lower needs help.

So.....where can we start in terms of helping her get better from a fundamentals standpoint. Positioning, foot work, glove work, mechanics for throwing from a crouch or the knees.

If there's already a topic like this please point me in the right direction and I'll let this post die. I did some searching and couldn't quite find an "all-in-one" type post. And if it helps to get some video I'll do my best for when she plays the position again.

Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:
May 6, 2015
2,255
113
Need some DFP assistance. Due to lack of a true secondary catcher DD's coach has started utilizing her to catch (along with P and 1B). She's a pretty natural athlete and has taken to the position well. And enjoys it. Obviously, she makes the beginner mistakes of someone who's never played the position. When to picking vs block, how to chase passed balls down, when to stand behind the plate vs in front based on the play, etc. I've helped her best I can in terms of trial by fire. Luckily, because she pitches, she has visually seen her catchers work and has a baseline. She has a strong arm so hard throws to the bases isn't an issue. But, getting them out fast and lower needs help.

So.....where can we start in terms of helping her get better from a fundamentals standpoint. Positioning, foot work, glove work, mechanics for throwing from a crouch or the knees.

If there's already a topic like this please point me in the right direction and I'll let this post die. I did some searching and couldn't quite find an "all-in-one" type post. And if it helps to get some video I'll do my best for when she plays the position again.

Thanks in advance.
positioning on a play (meaning not a play on the batter going to 1B) is nearly always in front of plate, left heel on left front corner of plate, then adjust to throw (but dont move up line chasing throws from LF with runner coming, field the bounce, otherwise might be too far up line to tag).

another thing as P and C, will be important for her to learn how to conserve energy. let F3 and F5 get most foul balls. no one on, don't bother blocking at all, or leaping up to to sides to try and get really wild pitches.

even with strong arm, transition from receiving to throwing is critical. DD does NOT have a cannon, but good transition and good accuracy she nails her fair share of runners. and for thowing out runners, I hammered into DD that her target is that front corner of 2B. if SS does not like the low throw, too bad, sets up for quicker tag than waist high or higher.
 
Nov 20, 2020
476
63
SW Missouri
positioning on a play (meaning not a play on the batter going to 1B) is nearly always in front of plate, left heel on left front corner of plate, then adjust to throw (but dont move up line chasing throws from LF with runner coming, field the bounce, otherwise might be too far up line to tag).
Makes sense. Appreciate the left foot/left corner call out. This will help.

another thing as P and C, will be important for her to learn how to conserve energy. let F3 and F5 get most foul balls. no one on, don't bother blocking at all, or leaping up to to sides to try and get really wild pitches.
We had a 4-game single day tournament and our #1 catcher woke up sick (vomiting) that morning. Couldn't play. DD had to pitch AND catch (along with our other inexperienced, never caught before, catcher) throughout the tournament. Her legs were jelly by the end. Avoiding unnecessary chasing makes a ton of sense.

even with strong arm, transition from receiving to throwing is critical. DD does NOT have a cannon, but good transition and good accuracy she nails her fair share of runners. and for thowing out runners, I hammered into DD that her target is that front corner of 2B. if SS does not like the low throw, too bad, sets up for quicker tag than waist high or higher.
DD was blessed with a strong arm. But, we've never worked on a quick transition from a catchers position. We work on it from an IF perspective. Wasn't sure how similar it might be. Right now she keeps her throwing hand tucked to the outside of her thigh. My DD knows the target should be the the front corner of 2B, but not having worked on it is usually chest/stomach high. Something we'll work on. But, I was curious on stance differences between no runners, runner on 1B, and runner on 2B. And any help on mechanics which would help her not have to stand all the way up to make a quicker throw to 2B.

Thanks for the info! Even this much helps.
 
May 6, 2015
2,255
113
where to put throwing hand is contreversial to many. DD place it outside her right foot, almost tucking her thumb in her shoe

transition for C is different than IF or OF, becuase it involves moving out of squatting position. basically, my poor explanation is she is jumping up from squat forward and turning 90 all in one motion, then driving off back leg on throw. arm does not come as far back as most other throws (ball by ear, should be starting to transition mitt to ear on the catch). to get throw down more, tell her the goal is to take the pitchers head off their shoulders (Ps job is to get out of the way)

then of course there is throwing from knees
 
Nov 18, 2015
1,313
113
  1. Encourage her, especially with no runners on, to use a one knee down (1KD) stance. When I hear all the MLB catchers / catching coordinators discuss it, it sounds like they primarily go right knee down. I'm much more comfortable with my left knee down. They use both, depending on pitch call - for you, go with what's comfortable. I like LKD b/c it gets the knee out of the way on inside pitches. I don't have to worry as much about turning the glove over to get a low/inside pitch.

    1KD is also much more stable, gives the ump a better view of the bottom of the zone, and most importantly for the next 4-game one-day - it saves the legs!

  2. Try to always work under the ball - bringing the low pitch back to the middle. Always easier when you know where the ball is headed, but if you call a low(er) pitch, set the target at the knees, then drop the glove (to the ground is not uncommon), then bring the glove back up to meet the ball. It should be a smooth motion - the glove catches the ball when the glove is on the way up. Avoid moving the glove down to the ball.

  3. Stay in the legs to throw - don't stand up and THEN throw. Footwork is pretty similar to IF - left to right, right to target when going to 2B. Get comfortable working around the ball - her body can start moving a split-second before she catches it (point of emphasis - never forget that you still have to CATCH the ball!).

  4. Shorter arm-path - ball really shouldn't drop to the waist to throw - keep throwing forearm and elbow horizontal when pulling ball out of glove (bow and arrow type motion).

  5. For the plays at the plate as bmakj said - heel on front left corner (giving runner back half of plate) - but make sure her toes are pointing up the foul line towards 3B.
    • This keeps the shin guard facing the runner
    • If there is an impact, the knee can still bend in the way it was designed to
    • Resist the urge (and it will be a STRONG urge) to reach for the ball on a tag play. The ball is always faster than the glove.

  6. You've seen this discussion before - please leave the helmet on:
    • Pop-ups are very rarely as high as you'll see in baseball - less time to react
    • Field size is much smaller - you're more likely to stumble into a fence or gate post when you run out of foul territory
    • As an inexperienced catcher, she may be more likely to be drawn into an improper position on a tag play - the base runner will have a helmet AND a face mask on - no reason not to be similarly protected!
    • If you can see the ball well enough to catch a 60mph drop ball, you won't have any issue tracking a pop-up or throw from the OF.
  7. Glove work
    • If ball bounces b/w you and the back tip of home plate -pick it. Anywhere else - block it.
    • She probably already knows this as a pitcher - pitches in the dirt will generally stay low. A flip-change in the dirt may not even bounce up at all.
 
Nov 20, 2020
476
63
SW Missouri
1KD is also much more stable, gives the ump a better view of the bottom of the zone, and most importantly for the next 4-game one-day - it saves the legs!
Hopefully.....the dual role 4-game day doesn't happen again. Head coach learned his lesson because he heard it from me. All in all it worked out. But DD could hardly get out of the truck when we got home. I told her welcome to "leg days".

But, we will definitely try the 1KD with her. What are the drawbacks to 1KD vs a traditional catchers stance?

Thank you for all of the other advice/information. It will help greatly as well.
 
Dec 2, 2013
2,003
113
Texas
Wow! Just think I sold this DVD to another DFP for $10 which paid for shipping.
https://www.catchingcamp.com/


If you can find this DVD or attend a camp...that is THE way to go. Jay Weaver sometimes pops in here from time to time. DD did not become a catcher because she wanted to. She started out of necessity at 10U Allstars. She was my SS and I had 3 catchers already. When I realized that SS was only getting 2 or 3 balls a game and the catcher is way more important part of the game and can make or break a time...she became my catcher.
 
Nov 20, 2020
476
63
SW Missouri
Wow! Just think I sold this DVD to another DFP for $10 which paid for shipping.
https://www.catchingcamp.com/


If you can find this DVD or attend a camp...that is THE way to go. Jay Weaver sometimes pops in here from time to time. DD did not become a catcher because she wanted to. She started out of necessity at 10U Allstars. She was my SS and I had 3 catchers already. When I realized that SS was only getting 2 or 3 balls a game and the catcher is way more important part of the game and can make or break a time...she became my catcher.
Thanks OS. I'll definitely give this a hard look. For now....pitching is what she wants to do as a primary. But, you know very well how that goes. But if she enjoys catching (and everyone needs a good catcher).....might as well get started on helping her build a foundation! It's only money..............right?
 
Oct 1, 2014
1,523
113
USA
The NECC Catchers Camp video is the #1 place I'd start if a kid is interested in the position and you are serious bout learning the fundamentals. It absolutely will provide a foundation from which to build.

I think we still have a copy buried around here somewhere, need to find it and pass it along....

We also did the Packaged Deal clinics with Scarborough & Schroeder when my DD's were much younger and starting out with pitching and catching. My Catcher beast ended up going to one of Jen's Catcher camps also. Also spent some online training time with Jenny Topping. Several of the pitching coaches provided additional tips and instruction for her as she was catching her sister and others in lessons.

Start with a solid set of mechanics (such as those taught by Weaver and the NECC) and grow from there. Our very own Turbo aka RADcatcher on this site can be a great resource also! Good luck with it!
 
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