Need to start with a few premises on stance so the analysis makes sense down
1.Secondary receiving position (runners on base) has feet slightly wider then
primary (no runners on).
2.Heals are on the ground, toes pointed up the lines
3.Throwing hand is behind glove.
a. Proper position for throwing hand is as follows. Player extends hand as if
to offer handshake. Drop thumb to palm, wrap fingers around to protect thumb.
Then the hand is placed behind glove with the middle finger knuckles touching
4.Catcher has come up in crouch so thighs are parallel to ground. This is
approx. Goal is to get out of deep crouch and “unlock hips’ to allow for a
quick explosive move towards second. Staying in deep crouch requires first move
to be “up” and that will waste time.
Now for the throwing mechanics. For discussion purposes we will assume the batter is
The purpose of this footwork is to accomplish 2 things.
1.Get us clear of the batter so we have an unobstructed throw to 3rd.
2.Set us up so our momentum will be directed towards 3rd base when we throw not
towards the 3rd base dugout
I teach a technique that has the catcher moving behind the batter to get a
clear lane to throw to third. The biggest problem is that young catchers have too much momentum going to their left created as they clear the
batter that they are never able to get their momentum turned and powerfully
drive towards 3rd. This is caused by a toe-to-heel slide step to the left with
their right foot. The player slides their right foot to the left and just
behind their left heel to slide behind the batter. When they then try to
redirect their momentum towards third they have generated too much lateral
motion and cannot get their left hip turned back towards third to begin the
throwing motion. This will usually result in throws that are on the foul
territory side of third.
The correction for this is a simple change in the angle the right foot takes to
clear behind the runner. The players should take a deeper drop step
back-and-towards third. The angle of this drop step is very close to the angle
of the back side of the plate. You follow the same line created by the back
right edge of the plate (The edge that comes to the point in the back). The right foot is dropped back and stays in the same alignment that it was when
catcher was in his receiving position. To clear most batters this foot must be
slid behind and past the left heel.
At this point the hips turn and the left foot steps and drives towards third.
Now the upper half of the body.
Once the ball makes contact with the glove the first move the player makes is
to turn the glove so the pocket is now facing them. They grasp the ball and the
throwing hand immediately begins its path back through the throwing slot. The
glove stays out in front of the player. It does not travel back toward the
throwing shoulder any after the ball is removed. The glove stays out front. The
glove elbow stays bent and is drawn back toward the left side in the same angle
as the right foot. They travel parallel paths. This will put the left elbow and
the glove right over the left hip ready to pull down when the right side turns
and begins the throw.
At this point the left elbow is up at point where the elbow is bent at a
90-degree.The upper arm should be shoulder height. Level to the ground. Glove
hand is allowed to bend down at wrist in relaxed position.
When the ball was removed it begins its path back the throwing slot. The grip
we are working for here is a 4-seam. With practice a player can come out of the
glove with a 4-seam grip nearly ever time. The biggest issue from this point is
this. The entire throwing arm, shoulder, elbow, hand and ball NEVER go any
lower then when they remove the ball from the glove. As soon as the arm starts
back it should begin to track in an upward direction, the elbow slightly ahead
of the ball. Our “target” is end up with our right elbow shoulder high with the
upper arm parallel to the ground. Yes, just like the glove side arm. The elbow
should be at a 90-degree angle up. The ball should face away from the catcher,
hand slightly on top of the ball. If the ball is not all the way facing away
the impending rotation of the hips and arm will almost always create a wrist
roll that will result in a throw that will act like a curve ball and tail away
to the left.
At this point the actual throw begins with a simultaneous rotation of the right
side and the stepping and driving towards 3rd with the left foot and leg. I
tell the young catchers that the pinky on their right hand starts the throw. As it
rotates the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and right foot all rotate towards 3rd.
At the same time the left elbow begins to drive the left arm down and back
towards the left hip. This driving helps “pull” the right side through the
throw and moves the release point out in front of the body.
Gary Carter Executing a Throw to Third.
It is important to
keep the head up and looking at target all the way through. Too often the head
follows the left shoulder and drops the left side down. This will almost always
result in a high to the left throw. After the release the right foot and leg
are allowed to release from the ground to release the remaining energy that is
stored on the right side.
I know that above instructions are a bit complicated, but the throwing to third mechanics
are the hardest and most difficult to master. Once learned and repeatedly practiced the results will be
highly rewarding. Young catchers, without the proper techniques, generally only throw out about 10% of the
runners attempting to steal third. With the mastered techniques described above, the caught stealing at third rate
will soar to around 75%.