There’s a lot of moving parts in a catcher’s throwing process. From popping up from a secondary position, to gaining ground toward the base, to getting your arm to the right slot for maximum efficiency. Having the right form and footwork can help you make consistent and effective throws from behind the plate.
However, breaking down your form and getting to the root of the process can be tricky with all these layers. That’s why the handing ball footwork drill can be a beneficial training tool to give you a better look at what drives your throws from the catcher’s box. Former baseball pro Dan Mooney offers these tips on how to use this drill to its maximum potential.
WHAT DOES THE HANDING BALL FOOTWORK DRILL DO?
To better focus on your footwork and throwing stance, the handing ball footwork drill eliminates the catch and exchange. This helps you streamline getting into the proper position and can allow for a more detailed breakdown. Taking away the catch and exchange can also control the drill more. You don’t need to focus on catching the ball then popping up; everything is ready to go.
PERFORMING THE DRILL
Begin the handing ball footwork drill in your secondary catching stance simulating runners on base. According to Mooney, your coach or teammate should be off to the right of the catcher’s box with a baseball in their hand.
When you’re ready, pop up into your throwing position. As you move into your next stance, grab the ball from your coach or teammate. They should hold the baseball in a location that allows for a seamless transition from secondary stance to throwing position. From here you can focus on breaking down your form in a detailed manner.
“Couple key points to keep in mind: we need a strong base, we need flexion in our legs,” Mooney says. “We want to make sure our actual throwing arm is in the proper position. Make sure that the ball is [facing] away from our body.”
Having the ball turned away from you can help you as you deliver the throw on base. “We must start in the proper position in order to end in the proper position,” Mooney adds. Repeat this pop up for multiple reps until you feel comfortable with your form and footwork.
Breaking down your positioning can help you fine-tune every facet of your throwing game as a catcher. Use this in-depth training tool to tighten up your pop-up and keep baserunners at bay.
Perfect your throwing process with more training from behind the plate. Use the line footwork drill to take a step in the right direction with your player profile.