As a catcher, you have to be on high alert at all times. Not only do you have to work in unison with your pitcher, you also have to keep a watchful eye on potential base stealers. When you see someone making a dash for second, the ability to execute a proper throw is crucial.
A key component to throwing to second is your footwork. Strong footwork will help make sure your energy and strength aren’t wasted.
“When executing the footwork for a throw to second base, catchers want to be sure their momentum and body are going toward their target,” AJ Hamilton, a former Division I softball player, says.
Catchers can fine-tune their footwork – and their throwing accuracy – by practicing the ladder drill.
“The ladder drill allows us to create enough momentum to move forward and ensures that the catcher stays on target,” Hamilton says.
HOW TO PRACTICE THE LADDER DRILL
The ladder drill begins by placing a training ladder in front of you. Get into your catcher’s stance and prepare to receive the ball. From here you’ll perform the following movements:
- Step with your throwing-side rear foot into the first box.
- The next step is a stride step where the front foot lands in the next ladder space.
- Make sure both feet are in line and return to a receiving position.
Repeat these steps until you have worked through the entire length of the ladder. Start slow to ensure proper form and gradually move faster with each drill repetition.
Footwork is just one key piece to executing a strong throw. Improve your technique further with the rapid-fire transfer drill.