Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Not sure where I got this drill but it was probably off of here. Great place to come for help. This is a drill designed to help stretch out how far you can block a ball.

Get three balls and put them in a line in front of you. Line up on the one to the far left - this is your down the heart of the plate pitch. Take your hands to it and the body will follow as cneagles says.

Reset back and then jab step with right foot and shift / slide over to the middle ball. Make sure you are turning towards what would be third base.

Reset back and then take a slightly bigger jab step and reach out for the ball to the far right. Making sure turning towards what would be third base again.

Shift over and do it from the other side. Great way to work on covering ground.
To block effectively you have to beat the ball to the spot. Only by being there first can you be in a good enough mechanical position to control the ball.

I've seen lots of high school catchers who move to the ball almost as if in a panic, lunging at balls in order to block them. I'm not sure if they do this because they are not physically quick enough to get to the spot, or because they don't anticipate well enough, or perhaps because they don't know their pitcher's tendencies (such as how their curve ball breaks.)

The blocking motion should be under control and smooth, but to do that requires quickness. I think most people have little idea as to the quickness and overall athleticism required to block effectively.

Mechanics are very important, to be sure, because without proper body position the blocked ball won't stay in front. But don't forget to work on quickness (especially lateral) and anticipation, because you HAVE to beat the ball to the spot.
Agree with Rob have to get there to block. Always think hands first and then practice. Every phase of catching entails beating the ball to a location, be it blocking or receiving the ball.

Blocking a fastball versus a curveball was taught to me a lttle differently. Curveball...move forward to reduce/control the height/direction of the bounce.Spin can be a crapshoot. Fastball...hold your ground, get down fast and absorb the impact. Fastballs don't bounce like curves; they tend to skip lower. Don't be a wall, be a pillow. Moving forward to block a fastball adds energy to a already high energy pitch and increase the distance a ball may deflect off your chest protector/body.

There is mixed opinion on blocking pitches to the side. Some teach keeping the body square to the pitcher, some teach turning the body towards home plate. I teach towards homeplate as I believe it helps you control the pitch and pitch's angle better. Seen way to many 30ft deflections off HS/college catchers trying to stay square.

Understand that staying square is what I have seen being taught at some college camps in the past couple of years...I just happen to disagree. The reasoning that I heard was that a deflection will go down the first base line, shortening the throw to 1st on a 3rd strike. Once again, I disagree as watching catchers chase anything down is usually a losing proposition from my experience.

Biggest part of blocking is pitch recognition (just like hitting); is it in the dirt or not,etc. Experience and practice....then practice some more. Good luck.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.