Every catcher knows that passed balls can have devastating consequences. Strong blocking skills can be the difference between another shot at a strikeout and runs earned.
Whether you are looking to get loose before a game or practice your blocking technique, the three-ball blocking drill might be your answer. Former Division I softball player AJ Hamilton says this drill is a great way for catchers to practice on their own.
“This drill allows the catcher to check their own fundamentals without the impact of the thrown softball,” Hamilton says.
HOW TO PERFORM THE THREE-BALL BLOCKING DRILL
The three-ball blocking drill is convenient in that catchers do not need a partner to toss them the ball. As the name suggests, you simply need three balls. The steps for the drill are:
- Set up the three softballs on the ground in front of the plate. Place one ball in the middle of the plate and one on each side.
- Move from ball to ball, “blocking” each one. Make sure your hips, chest and head all stay behind the ball.
- For each ball, focus on centering it off your chest and keeping it in front of you.
For lateral pitches, keep in mind that your body should be angled slightly back toward the plate.
“By using this drill, the catcher is able to move at their own pace and hold themselves accountable to get into a successful blocking position,” Hamilton says.
For more tips on blocking, check out the six-ball blocking drill.