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A baseball catcher's job description has three main components: receiving, blocking and throwing. Sure, they must also hit and handle a pitching staff (perhaps calling pitches), but on an individual basis, those are the main three.
In a previous article, I talked about receiving drills. The next step in the progression is blocking. Below are four baseball catcher drills to help you block better. Incorporate these drills into your training, and you'll be controlling the running game without even making a throw.
Shadow Blocking Catcher Drill
- Face partner in secondary stance—balanced on balls of feet, glove out, butt down, ready to receive a pitch
- Alternate dropping into a blocking position—straight down, to the right and to the left
- One partner leads, the other shadows
- Once you make your initial movement, quickly return to secondary stance and repeat in different direction
- Occasionally block in same position to keep partner honest
- Take turns leading the drill
Flat Glove Blocking Catcher Drill
Too many times a catcher will focus on trying to catch the ball when blocking instead of getting in front of the ball to make the play.
- Assume secondary stance using a fat glove
- Have partner stand 10 to 15 feet away and throw balls in the dirt in various locations
- Block and control ball toward home plate
- Square up to ball and prevent it from skipping away
React and Recover Catcher Drill
After working on blocking the ball with the previous drill, perform this drill to finish the play.
- Start in blocking position
- Have partner stand behind you and toss balls in front of you
- Using only your lower body to explode off the ground, recover and make throw to second base (see below for throwing variations)
- Perform this drill using your hands to assist getting off the ground
Block and Recover Catcher Drill
This drill takes the previous drills and puts them all together. Assume the base runner is attempting to advance on a ball in the dirt.
- Start in secondary stance with partner 10 to 15 feet away
- Have partner throw ball in the dirt in various locations, which you must block
- Once you block ball, quickly get to your feet (recover) and make throw to second base
Typically, all throws go to second, because it is the longest throw to a base. But in a variation, make throws to third base as well. For an increased challenge, have partner call out which base to throw it to, varying the calls so you have to react quickly. If you contain the ball close to your body, your partner may call for a throw to first base to work on throwing behind the runner.
Find more baseball catcher drills on STACK's Catcher page.