Box Jumps – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an effective way to gain strength for quick movements, speed, and endurance.

This drill will require a 2 foot high box that is sturdy enough for you to jump on

The catcher will stand behind the box and another player will stand 2 feet in front of the box with a ball.

The player will toss the ball high and directly above the box.

When the player releases the box the catcher explodes up to land on top of the box and catches the ball.

Make 10 jumps and then rotate.

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Drop Third Out – Catchers Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an great way to ensure that when a drop third strike occurs in a game that the catcher know what to do and can execute the play efficiently.

Create a game like situation when the batter swings and the ball drops to the dirt first.

The batter will take off to first base and the catcher must find the ball and throw the ball to first base before the batter reaches the bag.

Catcher Observations – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an effective way to encourage catchers to make their own observations and gain experience in calling pitches that will benefit the team.

The coach will give all of the catchers the task of observing a select few of their teammates when they are batting without them knowing.

At the end of practice the coach will take note of each of the catchers observations.

The catchers will then meet with the coach together and discuss what would be the best approach to dealing with the batters that were observed in a game situation.

Do this once a week and chance the batters to be observed each week.

Backing Up The Throw – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is great for working on plays that often occur in games as well as building a catchers value and skills in the sport.

When there are no runners on base and the play is being made at home plate the catcher should always be ready to back up the throw to 1st base.

As soon as the hit is made the catcher should judge where the ball will be stopped and if that ball is going to be thrown to first base then the catcher should flip off her mask and head over to first base just in the case that a wild throw is made.

Too often do teams get an extra base from wild throws.

The catcher should always make backing up throws to 1st base a habit in those situations.

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Wall Sits – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This is a great, classic exercise to build muscle strength in the lower body and increase endurance.

The catcher can either do this with or without gear. (with gear for more advanced players)

Lean against a wall or fence forming a 90 degree angle at your knees

Hold this position until you feel a burning sensation in your legs and then try to hold for another 15 seconds.

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The 5 x 5 – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is great conditioning for a catcher while practicing basic catching skills

The coach will stand about 5-10 feet in front of home plate and the catcher will wear full gear and take his/her stance behind the plate.

The coach will throw the first 5 balls in the dirt and the catcher will have to block them

The coach will throw the next 5 balls far out to the sides and the catcher will have to move and block the balls only with his/her body

The coach will throw the next 5 balls high and the catcher will have to pop up to catch them.

The coach will throw the next 5 balls at random

The coach will finish with throwing pop-ups right after one of the balls is caught.

This drill will be great to do with 2-3 catchers take their turn at the drill one of the catchers can help shag balls and the other can take a small break before going through the drill again.

The Grip Drill – Catching Drill

Fastpitch Drills

This is an easy drill that a catcher can do at anytime to make sure that he/she is gripping the ball correctly directly out of the glove.

The catcher can be doing anything and will only need a ball and his/her glove.

The player will lightly toss the ball up and catch it in his/her glove and then, without looking, grip the ball in a 4 seam grip.

This drill will help players get a feel for what the ball should feel like when throwing and it will become more natural in games when quick accurate movements are required.

Hip Exercise – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is great for warm-ups to avoid injury and build strength in the lower body

Place 2 sturdy boxes about 1 foot high shoulder width apart.

The player will stand between the 2 boxes and lift his/her right leg and step on the box to the right

Then back to the center

Then the player will lift his/her left leg and step onto the box to the left.

Repeat this drill until you reach 20 steps

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Pitcher Throwback – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill will break the habit of a catcher always dropping to their knees when throwing back to the pitcher.

The catcher will be in full gear and squat into the catching position and throw back with remaining mostly in the same position.

This is a difficult habit to break but a catcher must not be in the habit of dropping to their knees when runners are on base or else the runners will see that as lazy and attempt to steal more often.

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Catcher Crossfire – Catching Drill

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is great conditioning for a catcher as well as accuracy in throwing.

The catcher takes their stance behind the plate. The pitcher, third, and first baseman will take their position half way from their base and home plate.

This drill will utilize 2 balls

The balls begin with the pitcher and the first baseman.

The ball will be lightly pitched to the catcher and the catcher will pop up and lightly throw to the 3rd baseman while the first baseman throws the ball to the pitcher and continues the drill.

This is fast paced and will cause the catcher to become tired.

Begin with 10 throws and then increase by even increments to build endurance. Make sure to take breaks in between!

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Relay To The Catcher – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an effective way to practice players hitting the appropriate cut-off when a ball is hit to the outfield.

Have all infielders in their positions and have 6-8 outfielders spread out evenly 10 feet in front of the outfield fence.

The coach will give a game situation and then call out one of the players in the outfield.

The catcher must direct the girls to line up the cut-off throw as straight as possible to make the play. (The catcher makes the directions because she has the best view of the entire field)

This will give the catcher experience and confidence to make quick decisions in game situations

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Catcher Conditioning – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an effective way to build muscle and speed for catchers.

The catcher will be in full gear, with out a glove. \

The catcher will take his/her stance with both hands behind their back.

In a very fast paced motions the catcher will drop the right knee, then the left knee, pick up the right knee, and then pick up the left knee, and be back in his/her catching stance.

The catcher should not squat any higher than the position that they originally started at.

This drill is quick and should begin with about 10 knee drops and then slowly build up to more at a time.

The Pick Off – Catching Drills

Fastpitch Drills

This drill is an advanced alternative to picking off the runner leading off at first base.

This drill will require all infield except for the third baseman, and one base runner.

The pitcher will pitch the ball and the shortstop will shift towards second base (In case the runner decides to steal)

The catcher shoots the ball to the second baseman, either preventing the runner from stealing or tagging the runner as she attempts to steal.

With more advanced teams the second baseman will either throw back to first for the tag on the dive back, throw to second for the tag on the steal, or move to tag the runner herself.

Repeat this drill with live runners to perfect it. This will surprise other teams, as it is not a typical drill for picking off the runner.

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