LESSON #4 – CATCHER THROWING
Dugout Captain’s How to Coach – Catching #4 is led by Brent Mayne. Coach Mayne is a 15-year MLB veteran, former 1st round draft pick, author of the book The Art of Catching, and an advanced scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This how-to-coach series is designed to provide an instructional foundation that you can use to work with your own athletes. Coach Mayne packs loads of instruction into the videos, and Dugout Captain has worked hard to break it down to teachable chunks. It is included here in outline format:
PART I – REVIEW
While playing catch, review lessons #1-3 as appropriate:
PART II – DISCUSSION
Coach Mayne likens a catcher’s catch/release to that of the hitter’s swing. Rhythm and timing are huge! The challenge is to sync the right foot plant with the catch… and the left foot down with the throw. This is accomplished as the body moves around the baseball to quickly catch, transfer baseball from glove to hand, and throw. The best descriptive term is to “surround the baseball” and try to catch the baseball on the right side of the body.
Fundamentals are broken down into three areas: Footwork, Transition, and Throwing.
- Footwork – Beginners can start with a slower rhythm: Catch –> Step — Throw. Then, move to a movement-based catch/throw. Right foot plants withe the baseball. Left foot gets down to throw.
- Transition – Hands receive the baseball near the midline of the chest, as the body moves around the baseball. The glove stays in front of the body.
- Throw – Coach Mayne recommends allowing the upper body to take care of itself with proper footwork. Fundamentals to remember are the grip and target. Arm path, or arc, should resemble a bow and arrow.
PART III – REPETITIONS
Once ready to make throws, start with the feet already in position. These are called “Batter’s Box Throws.” Then move back to the blocking/throwing stance and practice the full throwing motion:
- Batter’s Box Throws (5 throws) – Stand the catcher in the batter’s box. Assume the athletic stride/load position of a batter and catch the baseball with the left leg up in the air. In a slow, rocking motion, pick up the front foot to catch the baseball. Then transition, plant, and throw.
- Throw to Second Base (10 throws) – From the blocking/throwing stance, guide the athlete through full throws to second base.
- Allow Ball to Travel – Just like hitting an outside pitch, the body must stay in rhythm. Be careful not to get the feet in front of the hands.
- Loaded Power Position – At the point of catching the baseball, the body resembles the athletic (loaded) position similar to a hitter or a pitcher.
- Catch Play – Playing catch is now much more important! A focused game of catch drills muscle memory with regard to receiving the ball, working to surround, and catching as the right foot plants. Ten minutes a day engrains positive catcher habits.
- Transition – Work an efficient transfer from glove to hand. Catch the ball in front of the chest. The glove stays in front of the chest, never crossing the chest’s midline. The arm arc is short, but athletic.
- REVIEW - CATCH PLAY
- DISCUSSIONS - FOOTWORK, TRANSITION, THROW
- REPETITIONS - LIVE THROWING
- DISCUSSION - FOOTWORK, TRANSITION, THROW
- LOADED POWER POSITION
- ALLOW BALL TO TRAVEL
- LOADED POWER POSITION
- Baseball Buckets1
- Catcher's Gear1