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been a while since i've been on but thought i would propose this argument. most of the kids out there who catch are hammered day in day out with the philosophy that you have to have quick feet to throw people out. i think, however, people worry more about how quick they can transfer their feet into position instead of how quick they can transfer and get rid of with their hands.

you can spin or run or hop, but basically once the front foot lands, its a way to notify the body to throw now. when a pitcher or any other position player lands on their front foot then the arm is already coming through to release the ball. so why with catching are we so concerned with getting to the "transfer position".... this is the position where we are balanced in good position and almost posing for a camera. i think by getting to that position, you end up losing your lower half. if the lower half has to wait for the arm to come through then that means that in order to speed up the arm to catch up to the body, something would have to give.

in watching a lot of the catchers this past weekend in ft myers, i noticed that no matter the arm strength, they can be quicker. a number of kids transferred with their arm extended and the transfer happend in front of them at their chest. this is disagree with. when they transfer out in front, they get to a throwing position while their arm is still going back. the arm ends up dragging because the lower half was ready to throw but the upper body was late.

here is what i think. dont reach out to transfer for one, let the ball come in and receive deep in the zone. as the ball hits the glove, the front side starts to turn or close. the throwing hand stays even with the throwing shoulder and you basically transfer at the shoulder -not out in front. your front side closes and your glove goes in a straight line from impact directly to your throwing hand. as the glove goes to the throwing hand, the front side goes with it. once the ball hits your hand, your back foot can either pick up and put down or do some small jab step. the front foot follows with a step, however..... the upper body is actually waiting for the lower half or the front foot to get down so we can throw.

i believe instead of preaching you must have quick feet... preach your feet will be as quick as your transfer. if you just have them think "get it and get rid of it" they wont have to worry so much about their feet. if they are relaxed they will move quicker... if they are telling themselves "quick feet, quick feet" then they will try to be too quick and not only will their feet be heavy and slow, but their transfer and timing will be off.

this way should be able to shave off .10-.13. the people with baseballwebtv / skillshow had me do a coaching piece on this while in ft myers, so as soon as it is uploaded i will post the link.

let me know what you think!
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Biggest problem I see is when the kids actually start reaching for the ball instead of receiving it. They straighten the glove arm excessively and then have to bring the mitt back to even start the transfer. Looks like they grab at the ball ( a big reason I NEVER tell a catcher to "squeeze the ball",I believe that just promotes the tendency to grab).At that point, everything is out of whack.

Basically I don't ever want to see a mitt go forward
after the catcher sets his target. I also like the throwing hand behind the mitt in a steal situation and to catch the ball slightly in front of the knees, not between the knees to the chest (I see too many kids/pros not blocking very well when they're focused on catching the ball too deep...almost like they get a little passive). Much of the actual transfer I teach is what Catching Coach talks about on his site.

Coaches yell at catchers to "be a wall back there"; I prefer catchers to be aggressive pillows.

I preach being smooth in everything you do as a catcher. Shifting, receiving, transfer and throwing are usually quicker when done smoothly. Of those, how smoothly a catcher actually can receive the ball is the most important. I don't like herky jerky glovework...makes too many good pitches look like mistakes.

I like what you are saying about synching the transfer and footwork alot. Timing is everything. JMHO

I disagree with your statement that if you exchange out front your throwing hand will be late since the feet will be ahead of the hands. Bottom line is the hands are much faster then the feet.

I like my catchers to catch and exchange out front. The goal is to have the throwing hand back and up in the launch position when all of their weight has transfered back onto the right foot. The right foot should be positioned so the instep of the right foot is pointed at the target. When the left foot comes off the ground, the hips will naturally want to close.

The clip below shows this technique. Notice the exchange out front and how the throwing hand is up and ready when the weight transfers back to the right foot. This is even with a pitch that was well to his glove side. You will see he actually had time to over rotate the throwing arm a bit. He's since fix that issue.

Throw to 2nd
Last edited by Catching Coach
good point.. if you can see it from 60ft you can see it from 100+

regarding the video clip, your son blocked well (a little upright but bottom line is results)

it actually showed the point i was trying to make in the post. looks like you extended to catch the ball first, then there was almost a little pause so you could get your timing down on everything. i would say let the ball get a little deeper and start to rotate as the ball hits your glove. right now you are catching the ball, then bringing the hand up to the ball, then taking it out, then it looks like you almost hop a little to get some lower half into it.

i think you'll be quicker if you transfer deeper in the zone..... think of how quick you can get rid of it.
catching coach,
hope things are well. im looking at your clip right now so here is what i see in it.

- as the ball hits his glove the students arm is extended out to catch the ball. his body doesnt do anything until after impact, there is no momentum built up and he is going from a stand still.

- when he does transfer to his hand and bring it back to throw you can see him pause as his feet get set up to throw. that pause shows he is not really using his lower half, and even when he throws the ball it looks like it is all arm.

- even though its a drill, there is no explosiveness in his actions. his arm is short and looks like he has some size on it but there is also a lot of upper body effort in this throw. he looks more like he is just getting into a position instead of driving off his back side.

i dont see any urgency in this individual to get rid of the ball
Thank you all very much! A coach made a change to how he recieves and gets rid of the ball this fall and I have not been in favor of it since.This was not a drill but a game situation and I have telling him that it looks like it is taking him too long to get rid of the ball,he has always been very accurate on his throws so I never understood what the change was for.Maybe with some outside opinions he will get the point.
regarding Catching Coach's video...just how should the catcher change what he did based on that pitch location? How would catching the ball deep help at all based on the location? Only way I see to catch that particular pitch deep would be to literally step out or stick your arm out sideways.

Also explain what you call "deep in the zone" so everybody is on the same page....don't need this to be a "torque" type of discussion.
when the ball is out to either side you will have to wait even longer so the ball is almost next to you. If you reach or even slide out to the side with your body then all of your momentum is going out to the side. You will have to then stop that momentum and redirect everything back towards your target. Letting the ball get deeper on balls to the side will help maintain your direction and allow you to use your front side more.

The video up on baseballwebtv deals with a different way to receive (like Charlie Obrien-but that was a post from a couple years ago). I will check with tom this weekend in jupiter to see if the footwork feed is up. If you are in Jupiter you will see me doing extra work with our catchers and a couple others from other teams that have been with us over the year. I am managing East Coast PG Teal so feel free to say hi!
Saw your short clip....that's the Latin style we starting seeing in the late 70's and early 80's being taught in Latin America. Not used used by most college or professional catchers today...looks real **** when the pitcher is hitting his spots and alot of coaches are trying to reintroduce it.

Biggest issue I see is how coaches are trying to teach it...glove side elbow position often is a problem in how it is taught. Second to that is weight distribution getting too weight back on the heels.

Back in the late '70s we called this the "lazy man's way to catch" as most of the players we saw using it had real difficulties in blocking curves and balls off the plate to the throwing side. Wild pitchers made them look real bad. They just seemed passive behind the plate. Alot of them got into predictable pitch patterns with too many fastballs. With a man stealing, many had a tendency to move too much before they received the ball, costing the pitcher strikes. When the pitcher was on, however, it was a very smooth and quiet way to receive the ball which all catchers strive for.

As far as the umpire's view of the pitch, you get a mixed bag. Some like to see the caught caught out front while some do like it deeper in the zone. I worry more about the catcher just being comfortable, quiet and smooth and do what he does best and not to worry too much about the umpire.

i know what you are talking about, but i believe those people caught almost in a sign giving position.. as far as blocking goes, kids have problems getting there fast enough because their butts are sitting too low... they have to raise up before they go down... now matter which way is comfortable you have to get your butt up and anticipate....

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