When it comes to throwing out baserunners, the #1 thing to remember is that The Clock is King. Nothing else matters if you cannot get the ball to second base fast enough to throw out runners. With that essential in mind, we talked about how to Catch the Ball Deep in our last post to help our transfer be as quick as possible.
Transfer Through Your Right Shoulder
The next essential fundamental is to Transfer Through Your Right Shoulder with the Thumb Up. After you Catch the Ball Deep, you want to connect your hands and transfer the ball up by your right shoulder. This position is best because it reduces the time it takes your throwing arm to get into throwing position. Similar to catching the ball deep, the goal is to have the shortest possible distance that your hands have to travel before releasing the ball.
One important but often overlooked aspect of the transfer is to make sure the glove is in the Thumb Up position when transferring. The reason we teach catchers to transfer the ball with the Thumb Up is because that orients the glove into a position that allows the throwing hand to get the ball out of the glove quickly and easily. A catcher will never throw a runner out if he/she bobbles the transfer, so we want our catchers positioning their glove in a way that is as conducive as possible to quick, consistent transfers.
Next time you are working on your throws, pay attention to your transfer point and the position of your glove. Your transfer should always be working through your right shoulder, and your glove position should be with your thumb up as much as possible.
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