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Who catches your pitchers in practice?

FastpitchFan

Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
476
0
Montreal, Canada
You might have noticed that once you get to a certain level, the girls are throwing harder, the ball moves more and it gets a little harder for people to catch these pitchers.

I have a 16U team.

I have 4 pitchers on my team - all of whom need to practice.

I have 3 catchers on my team - one of them is one of my 4 pitchers. And she's nursing a knee injury for a few months so has not been able to catch.

I have dads who catch their daughters.

However, I do notice that when dads or even some of my other athletes (not catchers) take turns to catch my pitchers, the pitches don't the same quality workout as they do when they work with our regular catchers.

It's just not the same. I don't want my 2 main catchers to be spending all their time catching pitchers for hours and hours even if they do it a lot.

I want to work on their catching skills, other fielding skills (they do play at least one other position).

How do you divide your practices?

How do you find it when other people for your pitchers?

Any tips to improve the quality of the workouts for the pitchers?

Marc
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
0
One of the things I like to do is make the pitchers repay the catchers by spending some time helping on catcher specific drills. My favorite is to have the pitchers (I usually have 3) each take a base and I will take a bucket of balls to the mound to work on throw downs (pick off at first, steal to second, steal to third) my catchers will be in full gear behind the plate and I will throw to them in their crouch and they will make one throw then get out of the way for the next catcher who will throw to the next base. This works great for 2 or 4 catchers because they always end up throwing to a new base every time, if I have 3 catchers I just rotate one base after about 5 throws each.
 
Jun 10, 2008
15
0
What we do is as the pitchers are warming up (i.e. not throwing from distance or speed) we have them throw to one another. During this time the catchers are warming themselves up and get to work on catcher specific drills. Then as both finish we come together again working together. So they do get time away from the pitchers but they will always catch the pitchers when they are throwing from distance and working on pitches.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,508
48
Tucson
I would rather the pitchers not even throw at practice if they can't do a complete workout. But, they are probably throwing to dad at home, so I guess it would be no different at practice. The dad needs to follow team rules though and wear head gear and shoes. (I am talking about the dads that show up in flip flops.)

If possible, maybe the pitchers and catchers could show up 45 minutes early, sometimes, and get in a really good work out. Sometimes, a catcher has to catch all 3 girls, but the pitchers line up and just go one after the other.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
The dads work for a time, but often if the daughter is working hard at her craft she passes Dad's ability to catch for her. At that point he brings in someone else.

In our practices, I like pitchers and catchers working together. We usually have them do it before or after regular practice -- the price you pay for being in those positions, I suppose.
 
Sep 3, 2009
675
0
This has always intrigued me. My DD has palyed for teams where the only catcher/pitcher interaction was warming up for the game, and during the game. I really think that because of the technical demands of these two positions, they should have an additional practice. THere are certain drills, pitcher covering home on a pass ball for example, that should really be emphasized. Also, there is a certain "bond" (don't know what to call it) between these two positions that needs to be developed.

My daughter and I will practice alot of scenarios in her personal workouts, throwdowns, pass balls, foul tips, blocking, etc. It would be really nice to have an actual pitcherthere. Let's face it, dad can't pitch :p I think the two positions can incorporate elements from both of their workouts, helping each other, while also working on the pitcher/catcher dynamic.

I would think that a 1 or 1 1/2 hr practice outside of the team practice for pitchers and catchers is a good idea.
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
0
I defintitely a believer in developing the pitcher catcher relationship and working catcher specific drills and pitcher specific drills.

At younger ages having the catchers catch the pitchers at practice is vital but there will come a point when having the catchers catch pitching practice doesn't make sense because

#1 The pitchers are pitching hard enough and with enough movement that every catch is an opportunity to glove it just a little off and take a pounding on your hand. Every catcher has to deal with this and play through the pain, but the point is to save it for the game and not waste it. I pulled this from another thread to give you an idea what kind of pounding I'm talking about.
Had a pitcher scaring 60 with some movement who ended up getting some money in D2. Only had one catcher capable of holding her and that catcher knew it. She caught five innings till someone noticed her glove hand was swelling up. Turned out she had two broken bones in there from before the game. Wouldn't tell anyone because she knew the second catcher couldn't hold this pitcher.

#2 There is a bad confluence of girls becoming more dedicated to catching and going through puberty and growth spurts at the same time which makes spending an extra 30-45 minutes 3-5 times a week in a crouch catching pitching practice a bad idea because again they should be saving that stress for the game. There is some value in doing it for the repetitions, but I would rather see a catcher do it for 15 minutes focused than 45 as a grind.

Last winter we were doing a clinic with a local college coach and he shared that because of the demands on his main catcher and his back up that he shares the practice catching load accross the rest of the team, essentially if your not a pitcher, your a catcher on his team at least for practice and warm ups.
 
May 29, 2009
38
0
The catcher on our team comes to my daughter's pitching lesson every week. That has helped her track the pitches and has definitely created a bond between them.

Before games, we usually have a parent warm up the pitchers...preferably not the parent of the pitcher as that pre-teen relationship is toxic before the game :D This is northeast 12U so the pitchers aren't going to kill un-geared-up parents too badly!
 
Sep 3, 2009
675
0
Ya know, I tried setting up some practices between my daughter and some pitchers. She did practice with one pitcher a few times, but that was before tryouts and the new season started.

The reaction I got from asking was very strange. I would have thought that there would be plenty of dads and moms more than willing to get off the bucket and watch from another perspective. I even called a few pitching coaches and offered my catcher for a few lessons a week.

You'd have thought I was selling ice in Antarctica or something.

I was pretty up front about what we wanted, just some seat time for my catcher. Was hoping to set up maybe a regular thing, once a week perhaps. Maybe pitchers and their parents are a secretive group? :confused:
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
Ya know, I tried setting up some practices between my daughter and some pitchers. She did practice with one pitcher a few times, but that was before tryouts and the new season started.

The reaction I got from asking was very strange. I would have thought that there would be plenty of dads and moms more than willing to get off the bucket and watch from another perspective. I even called a few pitching coaches and offered my catcher for a few lessons a week.

You'd have thought I was selling ice in Antarctica or something.

I was pretty up front about what we wanted, just some seat time for my catcher. Was hoping to set up maybe a regular thing, once a week perhaps. Maybe pitchers and their parents are a secretive group? :confused:
You wouldn't be from NorCal would you? I would DIE to get off the bucket! :)
 

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