Working on your receiving skills is necessary to dominate at catcher. Your glove hand should be strong and able to receive pitches at all locations. The barehand rapid-fire drill can help you fine-tune your skill set at an up-tempo pace. Former professional baseball player Dan Mooney has some tips on how to incorporate this drill into your catching routine.
BAREHAND RAPID-FIRE SETUP
The rapid-fire drill is set up similarly to the barehand receiving drill. You should be in a primary catching position with your chest up and glove hand forward, minus your mitt. Keep some flexion in your receiving arm and have your fingertips ready to catch the oncoming baseball. Your coach or teammate should have a full bucket of balls ready to toss. Have them line up just in front of home plate. Their tosses should be manageable but still have some velocity behind them to better simulate a game-like atmosphere.
REPETITION AND FOCUS
When performing the barehand rapid-fire drill, make sure to stay focused on each incoming ball. Receive the toss while keeping your receiving arm flexed. “The main emphasis we’re trying to do is keep flexion in the receiving arm,” Mooney says. Keeping your receiving arm flexed can help limit you from stabbing at the ball, reaching out and sacrificing your stance.
To discard the toss and get ready for the next, simply drop the baseball to the ground. Keep your focus on the toss and don’t worry about where the ball goes once you drop it.
The barehand rapid-fire drill can be a quality addition to your catching training. Follow these tips for a fast and fun training exercise for your next practice.
Follow up your rapid-fire work with the line footwork drill for a well-rounded catching session.