catcher-drills-you-can-do-alone

Baseball is an interactive sport that often requires other people to practice or play with. But sometimes, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, we don't have the luxury of being able to play with others. Fortunately, there are many catcher drills that you can do solo at home. Here are some of our favorite at-home catcher drills.

1. Stance Drill

There are three stances that catchers may assume at various points throughout a game. Practicing naturally moving into each of these stances daily can help you improve your in-game reaction time:

  • Primary Stance- you should be in a relaxed, squatted position with your legs spread slightly wider than your shoulders. Your glove should be held at knee level, directly in the center of your body, slightly away from your chest.

  • Secondary Stance- similar to the primary stance, you should squat with your legs wider than your shoulders, but for this position, you should squat deeper and angle your chest towards the plate, with your throwing arm held behind your back, prepared and ready to block balls pitched in the dirt and when runners try to steal or take the next base.

  • Sign-Giving Stance- you should be in a relaxed position, resting on your toes, with your knees held tight and close together to prevent the pitcher from seeing the signs you are giving.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: Daily

 

2. Blocking Drills

Catchers need to be able to move quickly and block a ball pitched in the dirt at all times. To improve your reaction time and increase your blocking ability, the following two drills can help:

  1. For this drill, you should set up 8 baseballs in a rectangle. Then, assume your secondary stance, approximately 8" from the rectangle, and field the balls, from left to right, as though another player was bunting them towards you. 

  2. Similar to the first drill, set up 6 balls in a rectangle and take your secondary stance. However, for this drill, you should drop into a blocking position, then get up and move to the next ball, from left to right. Repeat.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: 5x Per Day, 3 – 4 Times A Week

 

3. Throwing Accuracy Drill

Set up a target (a net is recommended to catch errant throws) approximately 90 feet away to simulate throwing the ball from 1st or 3rd base.

Then, get into your squatting position and practice fielding the ball from the dirt or out of your glove, gripping it, and throwing it at the target. 

If possible, perform this drill while wearing your chest protector and leg guards to simulate how it will feel to perform this move in-game.

If you don't have a large, open space to set up a target, no worries! Another throwing accuracy drill involves simply taking your ball out of your mitt, gripping it tightly, and throwing it in under a second. Then, practice taking the ball from your glove, holding it up to your ear, and gripping it in a throwing position. These drills can help improve your focus as well as coordination.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Champro MVP Portable Training Net with TZ3 Zone / Wilson Adult C1K NOCSAE Catcher's Set

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: Every Other Day

 

4. Grip Drill

at-home-grip-drill

One of the most important skills you need as a catcher is knowing how to quickly and firmly grip a baseball and throw it from base to base to prevent runners from stealing or advancing to the next base.

If you want to improve your grip at home, try setting up a few baseballs in front of you and to each side of you. Then, get on your knees and practice quickly picking up each baseball along the seams with a nice firm grip. Doing this drill every day will help you improve your grip and response time and help you throw faster and more accurately.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: Every Other Day

 

5. Throwing Motion Drill

Want to work on your throwing mechanics and build accuracy when throwing the ball? This drill can help! For this drill, rest on one knee and practice taking the ball out of your glove and throwing it (but don't actually throw the ball). When practicing this drill, make note of your body movements, such as the natural motion of your arm or how you grip the ball. Practice throwing softer and harder, testing your wrist flex at release. Studying your body movements can help you understand how your body works and slowly adjust your natural throwing motion to better your mechanics.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Rawlings Official League Baseball / All-Star Pro-Elite Exclusive Catcher’s Mitt

DURATION: 5 Minutes

REPETITION: Daily

 

6. Position Throwing Drill

For this drill, you'll need a large, flat wall (preferably outside, but this drill can also be performed indoors), a tennis ball, and your catcher's mitt. Get in a squatting position and throw the ball low against the wall so it bounces on the ground on its way back to you. Try and catch it, then keep throwing the ball, slowly increasing your speed and force to practice catching the ball and throwing it at different speeds. This drill not only improves your hand-eye coordination and reflexes but makes it easier to field ground balls during a game.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: Easton Incrediball Softstitch Baseball / Catcher's Mask

DURATION: 5 – 10 Minutes

REPETITION: Daily

 

7. Throw at Wall Drill

Unlike the position throwing drill, you won't use a glove. All you'll need is a blank wall and a tennis ball. With the tennis ball in hand, practice throwing the ball underhanded at the wall and catching it with your throwing arm. This drill can help you improve your hand-eye coordination, allowing you to keep your eyes peeled and ready for fast incoming pitches.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: Daily

 

8. Agility Drills

at-home-catcher-agility-drills

Catchers need to be able to quickly move from one position to the next. This requires flexibility and impeccable reflexes, both of which can be improved with the following agility drills!

  • Scissors: criss-cross your legs, alternating one leg in front of the other to improve strength and flexibility.

  • Hop: stand with your feet front to back and hop forward in a straight line, similar to a bunny hop.

  • Squat Turns: in a squatting position, hop and turn every hop (90 degrees) until you have turned in a full circle. Do 10 turns of 3 turns each (360 degrees).

  • Jump Rope: jump rope, alternating between using both feet for a minute, then switching to jumping rope with only your left foot and only your right foot touching the ground for a minute. Jumping rope can help you improve your rhythm, coordination, and flexibility.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: 5x Per Day, 3 – 4 Times A Week

 

9. Line Footwork Drill

Catchers need to have fast reflexes and be able to quickly shift positions. This drill can help improve your footwork and work on being more agile and limber so you can better shift positions and quickly catch or throw the ball when a runner tries to steal or advance to the next base. 

For this drill, get into your secondary stance and turn your feet as though you are going to throw the ball (but don't actually throw it!) Then, have both of your feet land on the center line.

DURATION: 5 Minutes

REPETITION: Every Other Day

 

10. Flat-Footed Drill

Improving your balance can help you reduce stress and fatigue in-game. For this drill, turn on the TV and move into a squatting position, making sure that your foot is completely flat. Start a timer and see how long you can remain flat-footed. Slowly increase the amount of time that you can stay flat-footed.

DURATION: 5-10 Minutes

REPETITION: Every Other Day

 

11. Back Press Drill

Similar to the flat-footed drill, this drill helps you build up your strength and endurance. Get into your primary stance, set a timer for one minute, and press your back against a wall, maintaining a seated position. Try holding the position for the full minute, gradually increasing the amount of time to 5 minutes until the squat feels more natural.

DURATION: 5-10 Minutes

REPETITION: Every Other Day

 

12. Ladder Block Drill


This drill helps improve your response time and blocking technique and build up your reflexes to quickly move from one position to the next.

Set up an agility ladder on a flat surface and assume your blocking position. Then, quickly do side-steps across the ladder, making sure to get both feet inside each box of the ladder before moving on to the next. Once you reach the end of the ladder, assume your blocking position again and pop up and side-step across the agility ladder in the opposite direction. Wear your full catcher’s gear to prepare for what it will feel like during a live game.

DURATION: 10 Minutes

REPETITION: 5x Per Day, 3 – 4 Times A Week

Contact Baseball Express

It can be challenging to remain in shape as a catcher without other players to practice with, but with a positive mindset and a consistent at-home routine, you can make sure that you are game-ready when the time comes.

Need a new catcher’s mitt, tennis balls, or protective gear? Baseball Express has you covered. We have an extensive inventory of catcher’s gear, such as chest protectors, leg guards, and masks, and carry catcher’s mitts from reliable baseball brands such as Easton, All-Star, Mizuno, and Rawlings.

For questions about other baseball gear we carry, or for inquiries about an existing order, contact Baseball Express today.