Baseball Catcher Technique | STACK

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

Baseball Catcher Technique, Part 2

March 24, 2014

Must See Baseball Videos

A great receiving catcher can make an average pitcher look good. Many coaches use the term "framing," although the most efficient way is just to catch strikes. Each umpire has his own strike zone, and catchers have to learn the one in use for every game. Here are some baseball catcher drills to help you do a better job of receiving pitches.


If the pitch is inside your body frame, you can use quadrants to catch the ball. The intersection of the quadrant is at your sternum. Move the mitt through the quadrants as if you're steering a vehicle, with only your glove hand. In quadrant 1, catch the ball with the mitt turned slightly to the right. Quadrant 2 will be a slight turn to the left. Quadrant 3 will be a hard right, and Quadrant 4 a hard left, with the palm turned toward the sky.





When you receive the ball, your mitt should be in front of your body with your elbow outside or above your knees. Certain pitches, such as high off-speed pitches, need to be caught closer to your body. The backside of your catching shoulder should stay strong and "stick," or keep the ball where you catch it. Don't let the ball take the mitt with it, which could potentially move the mitt out of the strike zone. Practice this by removing the mitt and learning how to catch the ball bare-handed. Have someone throw you balls gently from 10 to 12 feet away.

A catcher's footwork depends on whether the batter is right-handed or left-handed. For this article, we will discuss a right-handed batter. As the pitcher approaches his release point, step with your right foot toward the left-handed batter's box, landing directly behind the ball. This will allow you to pivot on your right foot as you catch the ball. Your left foot should land between your right foot and second base or third base.


If you're great at blocking, you'll increase the confidence of your pitchers, because they'll know you won't allow a ball to get by. Use different catching techniques to block different types of pitches. If you're a younger player, you can stay focused on keeping the ball in front of you by using your knees instead of your feet. Drop to your knees and go straight down in front of the ball. Your throwing hand, still in a fist position with the thumb underneath four fingers, should drop directly between your knees. Your mitt will drop directly in front of your throwing hand and open up in order to fill the "hole" between your knees. When the ball hits the ground in front of you, keep it in front, but, more important, don't let it hit you in the throat.

If you're a high school pitcher or above, you can use the same catching technique on fastballs. You also need to block off-speed pitches that move as they hit the dirt because of spin on the ball. For example, if a right-handed pitcher throws a curveball in the dirt at your right knee, it has the potential to hit your left shoulder. So when blocking errant off-speed pitches, use your shin guards as skis and slide forward to reduce the distance between you and the ball. This limits the chances of the ball changing directions and skipping past your shoulder.

When blocking laterally, lift your lead foot (the one closest to the ball) a couple inches off the ground and push off with your other foot. This allows you to stay low and move laterally. Use the same technique for blocking this pitch, as your hand and mitt will fill the hole between your knees.

After you've blocked the ball, the runners may advance. Use a fist into the ground to get up quickly. This will cut down on the chance of the batter stepping on your finger.

Here's a great catcher drill for athletes of all ages.

3-Ball Drill

Place three balls in front of home plate—one directly in front of you and the other two just outside each knee. On coach's cue, move as if blocking the ball coach calls out. Coach will be able to see whether you have your knees, hands and head in the proper places to block the ball and reduce any chance of injury.

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
NFL Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Outworks Everyone
Views: 22,766,091
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 16,154,763
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,251,445

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Wisconsin Views: 224,260
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 117,335
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 388,894
Load More


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


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

The NBA has a rich and storied history of incredible athletes and talented players; but every so often a great player will develop a move that defenders...

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

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

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

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

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

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

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

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

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move