Baseball Catcher Technique, Part 1 | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Baseball Catcher Technique, Part 1

February 21, 2014

Must See Baseball Videos

If you want to succeed behind the plate, you need to practice your catcher technique to set up and receive pitches until it becomes second nature. Here are some pointers.

Signals

Relax the mitt off the front of your knee. Make eye contact with the pitcher to be certain he's engaged with the rubber. If he's not, but you give the signal anyway, that is a balk. In most situations, you'll give the signal with your throwing hand and relay it to the pitcher on a number sequence. Place your signal hand directly against your cup. Make sure the pitcher keeps his eyes on the signs until you complete all signals for pitch and location. The pitcher will then give a non-verbal indication that he is ready to start the delivery.

In some situations, a base runner will see and potentially relay your signals to his teammates. Thus, you must mix up the signals so the other team doesn't know what pitch you're calling. Many signals are variations of your pitch-calling sequence, including touches to the mask for fastball. A change-up could be a touch to the chest protector. Some catchers paint their fingers or fingernails so the pitcher can see the signals easier during a night game.

Receiving Stance

Your receiving stance should remain constant if you're going to set the same target for every pitch. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your throwing side foot slightly behind your glove foot. Your hips should be parallel to your knees in a comfortable position. You should be able to move laterally to block a pitch and move to field a bunt or a pop-up hit close to the plate. Place your glove directly in front of your sternum to see the pitcher over the target. Your elbow goes over the top of the knee, and the palm of your glove hand faces the sky so the pitcher can see the mitt as a larger open target.

When you're setting up in a receiving stance, place your fist behind your knee with your fingers wrapped over your thumb. This will protect your fingers and thumb if the ball comes in contact with your hand. Keep your hand in this position throughout the pitch, even if you need to block the ball. The thumb will pop up the two "power" fingers to grasp the ball so you can throw it back to the pitcher or to a fielder during a stolen-base attempt.

Read More:

Brian Smith
- Following his collegiate and professional baseball career, Brian Smith has spent over nine years coaching at every level of collegiate baseball—DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and...
Brian Smith
- Following his collegiate and professional baseball career, Brian Smith has spent over nine years coaching at every level of collegiate baseball—DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and...
Must See
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 82,575
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,559,968
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,091,082

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,181
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,385
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,246
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,853,131
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,321
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,256
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,789,434
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,853,131

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

A solid pre-season and in-season point guard workout can go a long way to developing a successful basketball player. At most levels of competition, the...

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills