Soft Hands Drill for Catchers
The Soft Hands Drill is excellent for building correct framing technique. The Framing pitch is something that all players have to be good at, because we have to do it on a regular basis. One way we can achieve this is to start with the bare hand. This will help you get the nice, soft hands so when the ball hits, it sticks.
The catcher has to have soft hands to be effective behind the plate. He has to have hands like fly paper – the ball hits the glove and it stays. You can work to develop that a little bit.
One of the ways that help catcher develop is to take the glove off, and practice catching soft throws with a bare hand, making sure that you hold it and block.
We’re going to talk a little bit about how to have soft hands and how to block pitches in order to keep them where we need them in the strike zone.
OUTSIDE PITCH TO RIGHT HAND HITTER
- The catcher is going to frame the outside of the ball
- The arm is extended away from the body toward the pitcher, so that when the ball makes contact, the catcher is going to block the pitch.
- “Freeze The Pitch” as soon as it touches your hand, and don’t let it go any further
- Do not take the pitch and run it back into the middle of the body
- Do not let the hand carry out of the strike zone after catching the pitch
INSIDE PITCH TO RIGHT HAND HITTER
- Block the ball and catch the outside of the pitch
- The same technique applies to a high pitch or a low pitch
- Make sure you don’t take a strike away from your pitcher. Carrying the arm out of the strike zone will take strikes away from the pitcher. This is an especially critical point when considering throwing breaking balls. If you’ve got older players/are an older player and we’re catching a breaking ball from a pitcher, catcher’s have a tendency to ride that breaking ball right out of the strike zone. Catch the ball as far in front of you as possible and block it.
- When running through the Soft Hands Drill, use good framing technique on every pitch.
- Challenge your players by throwing faster pitches.