Catchers aren't always the most nimble players on the field. But when it comes to defending the bunt it's important backstops develop a quick first step and the presence of mind to defend the play.
Here are two drills to help young catchers boost their quickness and make them more well-rounded defenders.
Three Ball Drill
Place one ball near the first base line, one up the middle, and one near the third base line. Catcher will assume their stance.
Coach will stand behind and call out which ball to field. Catcher will attack the ball, field it, and make a strong and accurate throw to a base.
Note: This is great for teaching catchers to react, and not just think.
Over the Shoulder Toss
Catcher will assume their stance. Coach will stand behind the catcher with a ball.
The coach will toss the ball over the catcher's shoulder. The catcher will field it and throw to a base.
A variation can used by telling the catcher that the runner has great speed and they must hurry.
Also, the coach can throw it far enough that a throw to first would be late. The catcher will execute a full-arm fake and throw out the lead runner who may have drifted off a base.
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Jason Vittone is the head baseball coach of Brescia University. Jason has put together numerous clinics to give catchers of all ages a place to hone their skills.