As catchers, we need to be very conscious of where our left, or stride foot is landing. There's really three things we need to key in on:
- Making sure the stride length isn't too long
- Making sure we're not drifting too far laterally to the left
- And, for the purpose of this tip, making sure we're not "throwing across our body."
What Catchers Should Avoid
In other words, if we drew an imaginary line from our back foot to our intended target, the left foot should never cross that line when it strides to throw.
Crossing that line is considered throwing across your body and is a big no-no.
Why Good Mechanics are Important
I've seen thousands of catchers and have yet to see a successful one who threw across his body. Shoot, I've never seen any player from any position (with the exception of a few pitchers) who did this effectively.
On the other hand, I've seen tons of guys who never even get close to square. Their shoulders may square to the target line, but often their left foot lands far left (or open).
This type of stride creates a tremendous amount of torque and can help maximize one's arm strength. In golf or hitting this is often referred to as the "X Factor."
What You Can Do
Pay attention when warming up and play around with where you stride. Although it may feel awkward at first, I'll guarantee you'll maximize accuracy and velocity by making sure that left foot never crosses the target line.
Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.