Catchers work hard to keep their opponent’s running game short and success in this position can come down to proper throwing technique.
As a catcher, it would be helpful to have six eyes. You have to track your pitch, watch for base stealers, know where your fielders are, offer a proper target, call pitches and direct team defense.
Balancing all those tasks allows you tight control over the opposing team’s running game using your defensive weapon: throwing.
It’s extremely important to be able to throw well and eliminate as much of the opponent’s running game as possible on the base paths. When receiving the pitch, catch the ball low so that you can swiftly throw out runners. Starting low allows you to stand while simultaneously squaring your body to the target, shifting your hips and feet toward the base you’re throwing to.
When you transition the ball from your mitt to your throwing hand, be quick but precise and also transition into your throwing position. To increase the speed of your throwing motion, use a shorter arm action to release the ball, extending to your target with a good four-seam grip.
It’s important that this movement becomes second nature, and the best way to do so is through drill work and repetition.
Have your coach or teammate toss baseballs to you, simulating a pitch. They should be about 10-20 feet in front of you. Start in your secondary stance and get ready to receive the ball. Once you catch the ball, gain ground toward your target and transition into a good launch position with your weight evenly distributed. The focus of this drill is on the mechanics of receiving the ball and moving into position to throw, so don’t worry about actually throwing the ball.
If you’re ready for a more advanced form, follow the same steps as above but this time actually throw the ball to your target.
Regularly practice transitioning from the secondary stance into proper throwing position and working on delivering a strong and accurate throw. This drill sequence could help you develop proper mechanics and create success in stopping the running game.