One Knee Catch is a throwing drill typically done as part of the Throwing Progression (a routine to follow while warming the arm up). Depending on age, this progresson involves Two Knee Catch, One Knee Catch, and then Feet in Concrete. Thus, One Knee Catch is frequently combined with other throwing drills. Dugout Captain practice planning programming follows this logic often, following One Knee Catch with some sort of catch play or even long toss.
EXECUTION – One Knee Catch is executed with the thrower down on his throwing-side knee (right handed thrower down on right knee). The raised knee forces the throwing arm path to work top-to-bottom, acting as a physical barrier for any side-to-side or sidearm throwing. In that case, the throwing hand will literally bump into the raised knee.
Start this drill with broken movements first. Meaning, turn the body, extend the arms, and FREEZE! Athletes are to throw only on a coach’s verbal, and then also HOLD THE FINISH. Here, coach can check that the glove is still in front of the body (“chest”) and that the throwing arm follows through so forearm is across opposite (raised) knee. Use throwers and receivers, so that all are paying attention at all times.
- Glove – Glove arm extends (“Reach”) and then finishes in front of the chest (“Chest” or “Sheild”)
- Throwing Arm – Throwing arm extends (“Cobra”) and then follows through (“Opposite Knee”)
- Hold Finish – Look for “Shield” & “Opposite Knee”
- Widen Base for Balance – Increase the lateral space between front foot and back knee. As if straddling the foul line.
- Teach Arm Path – Congrats, you ARE now teaching throwing mechanics. Moving from the extended “ball-to-wall” hold… to a finish across the opposite knee IS teaching arm path.
- Keep Athletes on Knee – All coaches and volunteers fill pockets with baseballs to keep the kids throwing and the drill moving along.
Careful! One-Knee Catch can be dangerous with beginning athletes. The position is difficult for some to hold, and can limit an athletes ability to move out of the way of a poorly thrown baseball. Thus, be careful with the order of throwing progression drills. It may make most sense to start with a standing,Feet in Concrete drill. This “takes away the legs” as well, but still allows the athlete to move or step out of the way of an errant throw.
- BROKEN MOVEMENTS FIRST
- GLOVE - “REACH” & “CHEST / SHIELD”
- THROWING ARM - “COBRA” & “OPPOSITE KNEE”
- WIDEN BASE FOR BALANCE
- TEACH ARM PATH
- FILL POCKETS WITH BALLS TO KEEP ATHLETES ON KNEE
- Baseball Buckets1