Softball Catcher Tips to Help Improve Your Game
It is difficult to be a softball catcher. If you want to learn about some of our best softball catcher tips, you should click here.
Whether you are the catcher or the coach for a softball team, you must always work to improve your game or your players' games. There is always room for improvement, even for the best softball catchers. Practicing each day is a great way to stay on top of your game, but there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as well.
Being or coaching a softball catcher isn't always easy. There's a lot more involved with this position than simply catching a ball as the name would imply. If you want to keep up with the best in the game, you need to do a bit of research.
If you want to dominate the game and help your team succeed, check out this list of some of our best softball catcher tips!
1. Help the Pitcher
A good catcher helps the pitcher during a game. A great fast-pitch catcher will know how to catch a ball with a form that makes even an average pitch look like a perfect strike! But catching balls with style isn't the only responsibility that the catcher has.
The catcher also needs to know how to save runs from happening by blocking pitches that are thrown in the dirt. A great catcher should block the corners off as well to prevent runners from stealing a base. Softball catchers need to know how to call a pitch and know how to observe the batters.
Observing the batters helps the catcher know each batter's tendencies and weaknesses. The catcher will then use this knowledge against the batters.
2. Play the Leadership Role
Sure, the pitcher on the team might be in the spotlight more than the catcher, but this is not to take any glory away from the catcher. The catcher in softball is equivalent to the quarterback in football. Catchers are always facing towards the action of the game.
Catchers are the ones in control of where the ball goes. They are the ones who make that call. Because of this, the catcher has a strong leadership role in the game.
A great catcher shouldn't be afraid to yell out where the play should be and any other directions concerning the play.
3. Control Base Runners
The catcher also has control over the base runners. Keep in mind that in the catcher position, it's your job to stop the base runners from stealing bases. You'll need to be aware of yourself, the game, and a good strategy.
It's essential to keep in mind that you have to divide your focus into both the runners and the batters. This is one of the main reasons why the catcher position is such a hard one to play. In many cases, the catcher will need to keep the focus on the batter rather than the runner.
This is something that a good catcher will know how to determine. It's all about understanding the game, where the team stands in the game such as runs and runners on bases, and more. If a speedster is on first and there's one out in a close game, there's a good chance the runner will attempt to steal. The catcher will need to keep an eye on this player and call for a pitchout to cut the runner off if they think they're going to run.
4. Practice Throwing Drills
As a softball player, no matter what position you're playing, you can never get enough practice. As a catcher, you'll want to practice throwing drills when possible. The catcher's footwork needs to be quick and strong to pop up fast and hit the target directly.
The way you throw the ball is your throwing position, and it's something that you want to have down pat. Performing a throwing drill practice regularly is going to help with muscle memory. Once you build this muscle memory, you'll be able to quickly stand up and throw with strength.
5. Get Your Body Behind It
Don't always rely on your glove to catch the ball for you. You should work on getting your body behind the ball and your catches. Set yourself up behind the plate to catch the ball with your entire body, not only your glove.
Use your body to block the ball and stop it from getting behind you. To practice this skill, a coach can use tennis balls and throw them at the catcher. Each throw should become wider and wider.
This forces the catcher to move around and block the ball with their body. If you do this drill enough, blocking will become second nature to you.
6. Know Your Pitcher
If the catcher and pitcher work together during every game and practice, the catcher becomes familiar with the pitcher's tendencies and will know when there's a problem. A good catcher will notice any issues and walk out to the pitcher to communicate these issues to him or her.
The pitcher will then be able to correct the problem. The catcher has a front-row seat for each pitch, which makes them a real-time review tape. As a catcher, you should know the pitcher better than any other teammate. The pitcher should be the one that the catcher communicates with the most.
Every Softball Catcher Needs a Trading Pin!
Knowing these six softball catcher tips is the best way to ensure that you play every game to the best of your abilities. Do you want to improve the teamwork on your team? To raise your spirits more, you and your entire team need softball trading pins!
Trading pins are a fabulous way to show team spirit and keep everyone on the field motivated.
Do you need to purchase trading pins for your softball team? Click here for a free quote!
4 Softball Drills for Beginners: Youth Softball Drill Guide
Looking for some drills to hit the ground running this season? Use these 4 softball drills for beginners to learn the fundamentals of softball.
If you knew that baseball was America's favorite past time, you might not know that softball is almost as popular. Recent studies estimate that about 40 million Americans play a softball game each year!
Whether you are a new team coach or a proud parent, there are great softball drills that will help build all the necessary skills.
We have gathered a few of our favorite drills to help you get started. Keep reading to learn which drills can help your team get out of the dugout and into the game!
1. Home to First Base Drill
Many players have the tendency to lurch forward or to stop dead on first base instead of running past it. The good news is that this mistake is easy to correct.
To complete this drill, have the "batter" stand in the box and pretend to hit a ball on the coach's signal. As soon as they swing, they run full speed towards first base, run past it a few steps (making sure to touch the bag with their foot) circle around towards the first base dugout and come to a stop on the first base bag.
Line up the whole team to make this a relay drill!
2. Parachute Hitting Drill
Tie a plastic bag, a bat parachute, or even a bat weight to the end of the bat and swing away! Do not try to hit a ball like this, but practice swinging as if you were trying to hit a ball.
This drill teaches players to swing through the ball instead of stopping at the point of impact. Once mastered, this drill is excellent for developing a more powerful swing.
3. Grounding Drill
This drill's purpose is to help players pick up and throw a ball that hits the ground and rolls towards them.
The player should have a wide stance with bent knees with the bare hand placed on top of the glove forming a "V" with the wrists touching.
Hit a ball towards the ground in front of the player. Their goal will be to place the glove in front of themselves in the trajectory of the ball and, once the ball rolls into the glove, the bare hand snaps closed like a rat trap over the ball.
After that, the bare (throwing) hand pulls the ball out of the glove and proceeds to throw the ball to the baseman.
4. Best Softball Drills for Pitchers
One of the first things you should do is figure out what every player's strengths are and put the "aces in their places". Not everyone can play every position well and making sure your team has the right player in the right places can help the team dynamic function better.
After you identify your pitcher, have them run through a windmill pitching drill.
For this drill, start with the pitching motion without the ball. Once you have your form down, then add a ball.
The three main aspects to focus on during this style of pitching are your balance, the wrist snap, and the hip close.
Let's Play Ball!
Once you get your team together and you run a few of these softball drills, you will be ready to hit the field and start practicing!
Make sure you help build team rapport by doing something fun to bring everyone together. Have a team building party or make a unique pin for the team so everyone can represent their team when they are out of uniform too!
If you have questions about this article or if you would like a quote on your own custom team trading pins, contact us today!