Turning the right way and gaining the proper position are key steps to mastering this all-too-common play.
Any play during a game can be unpredictable, so you have to prepare for it all. Maybe a batter snaps the ball so that it pops up in the air and you have to catch it from below.
Because your mask cuts off upward visibility and your glove is designed to catch flat, this situation can be a bit challenging. So, how can you prepare to handle pop-ups? Let’s take a look.
When a pop-up goes in the air in your vicinity, it is important that you work behind the baseball, with your back to the mound. Keep your center of gravity low, catching the ball above your eyes as the revolution of the baseball is taking it back toward the mound.
This is crucial on any pop-up. You don’t want to throw your mask down immediately and then trip over it as you track the ball. As the ball goes in the air, take your mask off and hold it in your bare hand. Identify where the ball is going to land and then toss your mask in the opposite direction. If the ball is going to your left, you want to toss the mask to your right and vice versa.
When there is a runner on base, it is important to always attempt to catch the ball with two hands so that you can immediately transfer the ball to your bare hand and look up to make the next play.
In order to win against a pop-up, you must first master the proper technique. Practicing this sequence can help you prepare so that you’re ready to handle every scenario behind home plate.