Throwing Hand: Catcher Tips
Your bare hand (throwing hand) is vulnerable to foul balls, therefore it should always be protected from being hit by a foul tip, and there’s various methods in which to do this.
(1.) Hold your bare hand directly behind the catcher mitt.
(2.) Hold your hand behind your butt.
(3.) Place your hand behind your right shoe, left shoe if a lefty.
*** A little trick to assure your hand is protected, is to tuck your thumb inside the back of your shoe.***
Bare Throwing Hand Behind Butt
Instead of compromising your ability to block wild pitches, make sure your pitcher pays attention to the runner keeping him close to the base
Ready Stance - Throwing Hand Position:
The Receiving Arm position is identical whether in the relaxed or the ready stance. However, the throwing arm, bare hand positioning is totally different because you want to catch and throw the ball in as short a time as possible.
The throwing hand should be positioned Directly behind the mitt and held in a fist, close but not touching the mitt, as this will protect the bare hand from injury from a foul ball.
By holding the throwing hand in this position it allows a quicker transition of the ball from the mitt to your throwing hand ready to release. It also allows for quicker retrieval of the baseball with the proper 4 seam grip and allows for the catcher to drop to the proper blocking position quickly.
Presenting The Target:
Steady Target - Thumb tucked inside shoe
A pitcher is taught to key, focus and throw to the catcher’s mitt, therefore obviously, presenting a good target for your pitcher is absolutely imperative.
For a normal target Your mitt should be positioned just above your knee or at the knees of the batter, staying with the strategy of keeping the ball low in the strike zone, but be careful to never block your own vision by crouching too low.
A pitcher will normally look at the catcher for signs, go into his pitching motion losing sight of the catcher, then pick the catcher and target back up before releasing, which all occurs in seconds.
Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to set your target after giving the signals and as the pitcher begins his windup. Should the pitcher be in the stretch delivery, show your target immediately, or even while you are giving the signs. If the pitcher is slower or faster in his delivery than normal, adjust accordingly.
As the pitcher delivers the pitch, you should hold your mitt with your wrist relaxed, not limp, relaxed. This is more comfortable for the catcher, and it will allow for quicker movement of the wrist, imperative for framing a pitch. As the ball reaches the mitt, tense your wrist preventing it from being pushed backwards as the ball hits the mitt.