As a catcher, it’s important to ensure every detail is correct when throwing to a base. You should try to make the most of each movement in order to give yourself a chance at throwing baserunners out. Popping up from your stance and gaining ground while keeping your feet in-line can help you start the process off on the right foot. The line footwork drill can be a great tool for building these skills in a constructive, helpful way.
Former professional baseball player Dan Mooney has the tips and tricks to bettering your catching footwork with this training exercise.
THE LINE FOOTWORK DRILL
The line footwork drill begins by taking your secondary catching stance with your body centered over the baseline. You should be up and ready to throw, as if you’re anticipating a baserunner attempting to steal a base. If you don’t have a baseline handy, feel free to draw a straight line or use tape as your waypoint.
On your start, pop up from your secondary stance and turn your feet to simulate your throwing position. When popping up for the throw, make sure you’re gaining ground toward your target. Have both feet land on the center line.
Next, while holding the same location on the line, recover and return to your secondary catching position. You should be a little farther down the line from where you originally started the drill. Repeat your pop-up and throw, gaining ground down the line as you progress. Continue for your pre-determined length or until you reach the end of your line. Remember to land with both feet on the line.
The baseline helps you identify whether your feet need readjusted in your pop up. “It’s a self-teacher, it can instantly give you feedback and it is great for strengthening,” Mooney says.
The line footwork drill can help you instantly see where your footwork needs corrected. Use this helpful drill to gain momentum and better your chances of defending against stolen bases this season.
You can add to your catching training by perfecting your throwing stance. The handing ball footwork drill can be a useful tool to develop this position.