In our last Catching Essentials post we talked about how The Clock is King. You have to be accurate, of course, but nothing else matters if you cannot get the ball down to second base quickly enough to throw runners out. When you want to improve your throwing, you have to start with the mindset that The Clock is King.
Next, you need to catch the ball deep. This fundamental key is pretty straight forward so this blog post isn’t very long, but this is something that we see catchers struggle with all the time. Catchers know that they need to get the ball down to second base as quickly as possible, and from that sense of urgency comes the impulse to reach out for the ball to catch it quicker. The reality is, though, that reaching for the ball actually slows you down.
The baseball is traveling faster than your body can move, so letting the ball travel and catching the ball deep is going to improve your pop time. Catchers should catch the ball as close to their body as possible when they are throwing runners out.
Catching the ball deep also helps your transfer quickness because the closer your glove is to your body, the shorter the distance to your transfer point up by your shoulder. The shorter your transfer process, the faster your pop time.
Don’t let the simplicity of this fundamental key fool you. It can be surprisingly challenging. Catching the ball deep seems easy enough, however many catchers struggle to let the ball get all way to them. It is very easy to get anxious and reach for the ball in an effort to speed up your transfer.
Next time you are working on your throwing, pay attention to where you are catching the ball and be intentional about catching the ball as close to your body as possible.
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