The Most Wasted 20 Minutes in a Catcher’s Life
By Dave Weaver, New England Catching Camp
that many players and coaches recognize how little time is allocated during
practices for catchers to work on their catching skills: Blocking, Exchange
drills, Pickoff throws, Proper handling of pass balls with throw to pitcher
covering plate, just to name a few.
Often times it has been said to me that their just isn't enough time to fit it
in a practice. I would like to challenge that idea by pointing out the
wasted 20 minutes in a catcher’s life.
The time is called "Infield Practice". I've lost count
of how many
practices I have observed where a coach is hitting infield practice with the
starting catcher standing beside him taking the throw from the
fielders and then handing the ball back to the coach. WHAT A WASTE!!!
Now I know that some of the items covered during infield practice do require
the catcher's involvement in a true game situation
play. However, I have seen at least 20 minutes go by when all they do is catch
the ball and hand it to the coach.
I suggest that at the beginning of infield practice another player fill that
role, and even maybe rotate with other infielders. During that time the
catchers (all of the catchers if possible) are off to the side working on
blocking, throwing etc.
When it is time to do the plays that involve the catcher, you can call them
back over and run them all at one time.
I saw this next quote on a web site (www.baseballcatchers.com)
about how much we depend on catchers to get it right, but how little time we
provide for them to practice the skills they will need to get it right in a
"It will take a dozen outstanding
plays by the catcher to make teammates forget a single disastrous E-2 that
could have been prevented by practicing catcher skills."
I know that scheduling a meaningful practice is always a challenge. But here is
an easy fix that will provide at least 20 minutes every practice for your
catchers to work on their skills.
Dave Weaver, [ firstname.lastname@example.org ]