Question for you: how many times do you have to warmup up your throwing arm before you practice or play baseball? Every time, of course! 

Another question for you: are you being intentional with your warmup routine so that you are developing your skills while you are also warming up? If you’re not, you are missing out. 

There are literally thousands of hidden practice reps throughout the course of a baseball season if you are intentional with your warmup routine. You have to throw to warmup no matter what – why not use those reps to your advantage? 

 

THE EDGE YOU NEED?

The longer you play the game of baseball the more competitive it becomes. The skill level of players only gets better every year, and the skill gap between the best and the rest grows smaller every year. Sometimes, the margin between you playing and sitting the bench is extremely thin. 

Personally, I (Matt) was far from the most physically talented or gifted player in the ACC, let alone at Duke where I played college baseball. I was never the biggest, fastest, strongest, or most explosive. I wasn’t the most skilled in any particular area. And yet, I was able to earn the starting position as a freshman, go on to catch over 215 games in my college career, and be named as one of 13 semi-finalists for the Johnny Bench Award (given to the top NCAA D1 catcher) my senior year. 

How?

I knew that I wasn’t the most talented or skilled so I tried to take advantage of every single rep possible. I knew that throwing runners out was a key skill that I needed in order to keep my starting job and excel behind the plate, so I used every warmup progression as an opportunity to practice. Throwing every day with an intentional mindset was an absolute key to my growth and success as a player. I can guarantee you that without all those extra practice reps I would not have become the catcher I was able to become.

And here’s the exciting thing – you have the same opportunity that I did to take advantage of the countless hidden reps to be found with an intentional warmup throwing progression. 

 

CATCHER UNIVERSITY THROWING PROGRESSION

What follows is the current throwing progression that we have been using at Catcher University. Before going any further, though, PLEASE don’t get bogged down in the details. This is an example of what we use, but what matters most is that you’re being intentional with your throwing warmup progression. You can copy/paste this routine or use it as a springboard for your own idea of a throwing progression… just remember THE most important thing is that you are being intentional with your warmup routine.

1) Wrist Flips (One-Knee)

  • Focus on 4-seam grip on the ball
  • Goal is to get as much backspin on the ball as possible

2) 2-Hand Figure 8’s (One-Knee)

  • Smooth rhythm with the Catcher Arm Action

3) 1-Hand Figure 8’s (Power Position)

  • Goal is to have a smooth rhythm with the Catcher Arm Action

4) 90 Degree Throws (Power Position)

  • Start with the arm in the Catcher Arm Slot and then drive forward into the throw with no extra, wasted motion in the arm action.
  • Use a little weight shift onto the back leg as needed to help generate power.

5) Power Position Transfers

  • Start with the ball in the glove close to the body, then transfer and release the ball as quickly and accurately as possible.
  • Use a little weight shift onto the back leg as needed to help generate power.

6) Transfer+Throw (1/4 Squat)

  • Focus on the footwork and transfer technique on every rep while making strong, accurate throws.

7) Transfer+Throw (Secondary Stance) 

  • Focus on the footwork and transfer technique on every rep while making strong, accurate throws.

8) Right, Left, Shuffle, Throw + Follow

  • This should be used for long toss throws that extend beyond 127 feet.
  • Focus on using the legs throughout the entire throwing motion to power/drive the long toss throw. There should be enough momentum that the “follow” steps after the ball is released is natural and almost unavoidable. 

WHAT MATTERS MOST

Once again, while this is the standard progression that we use, and it includes some of the key throwing fundamentals we teach, don’t get too caught up in the particulars. In fact, we are updating our throwing progression with some new drills for the launch of Catcher University Online 2.0 coming June 1st (click here to learn more and be the first to know when it launches!). The most important thing is that you are intentional with your throwing routine. There are hundreds of hidden reps available to the catcher who is willing to be focused and intentional every time they line up to throw and warmup their arms.

Use this routine, and if you like it, stick with it. It’s certainly a good one, but also feel free to add, subtract, and edit so that the throwing routine fits your needs. Remember – the most important thing is not the particular routine you’re using but that you are being intentional with your warmup throws and developing your skills rather than simply going through the motions.

FREE Daily Drill Series Practice Plan

We want to give you a FREE copy/paste practice plan called the Daily Drill Series. This drill series is made up of our best, foundation-building drills that are guaranteed to help any catcher get better.

The best part? It is compiled into a routine that can be done in as little as 15 minutes.

Each drill includes a full explanation for the purpose, setup, execution and includes a full demo video.

Simply enter your email below and we will email you immediate access!

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