1) Shadow Blocking (No ball)--
Coach stands behind the catcher. Catcher assumes their stance. The coach
tells the catcher what pitch is thrown and where. The coach will give the
catcher a few seconds to get ready. When the coach claps their hands, the
catcher will assume the blocking position and hold. The coach or other
players will check their form to make sure the catcher is in a good
position. The drill can be varied by giving the catcher less time between
pitch and location and the clap, or the catcher will go on verbal
2) Sit and Get Hit--
Coach gets on one knee from a short distance. The catcher assumes the
blocking position. The coach will throw the ball in the dirt and off the
chest of the catcher. The catcher gets the feeling of balls coming off
3) Medium Toss--
Coach stands half-way between the mound and home plate. The catcher
assumes their stance. Coach will throw balls in the dirt and the catcher
will block, retrieve, and get their body in a position to throw.
4) Standard Toss--
Coach stands on the mound. The catcher assumes their stance. Coach will
throw balls in the dirt and the catcher will block, retrieve, and get
their body in a position to throw.
Lay out five balls five feet apart. The catcher will shuffle to each
ball, assume the blocked position, get up and shuffle to the next ball.
The object is to work on quickness down to the ball and up from the ball.
Make sure the catcher's hands are moving in the correct position on the
way up. The drill can be varied by having the catcher not only go down
all five, but moving to the other side and returning to where they
6) Hands Drill--
The catcher should start in the down position with a ball placed in front
of them. When the coach says go, the catcher fires their hands out to the
side and away from the ball, gets to their feet quickly, rakes in the
ball and gets their body in a position to throw the baseball.
7) Zone Blocking--
Acceptable activity for when practice is getting monotonous and the
catchers need a change of pace. Assign three zones and points for each
(5, 3, -5). The first zone should be 3 feet by 3 feet starting at the
catchers feet the second zone should be 5 feet by 5 feet starting at the
catchers feet, the third zone is anything outside zone two. Catcher
assumes stance while the coach stands on the mound. The coach will throw
balls in the dirt. The catcher should block, retrieve the balls in a zone
and then get their body in a position to throw. Each catcher gets an
established number of trials. Add up points and assign a winner.
8) Batting Practice--
There is no substitute for blocking live during an established period of
time during batting practice. This prevents the catcher from sitting back
and creating bad habits during batting practice.
The bull pen should be utilized not only by pitchers preparing to enter
the game, but also by catchers as well.
The catcher should report to the bullpen in full gear and have their game
face on. No balls should ever get by
a catcher in the bullpen. Take pride in your abilities.
Catcher starts out in their stance. Coach holds a ball in front of the
catcher and moves it around the strike zone. The catcher follows the path
of the baseball and frames the area. The catcher should work on body
movement and catching the ball in halves.
2) One Knee Underhand Toss--
Coach gets on one knee five to ten feet from the catcher. The coach will
underhand toss a ball to the catcher.
The catcher will work on body movement and catching the ball in halves.
The benefit of this approach is that
the coach is close enough that they can be more accurate with their toss
and work all areas.
3) Medium Toss--
Coach stands up and throws pitches to a catcher from 40-50 feet. This
allows the catcher to track the ball from a longer distance. The catcher
will still work on body movement and catching the ball in halves.
4) Catching Batting Practice and Bullpens--
This is as close to a live game situation as a catcher can experience. It
is very important that a catcher not go through the motions when catching
batting practice or a bullpen. This must be a highly intense environment
and must be taken seriously.
1) Catcher with ball--
The catcher starts out with the ball in their glove. Coach will be in
front of the catcher. The coach will instruct the catcher to use either
load and throw or jump pivot. The catcher will execute the footwork and
throw to a partner. Make sure to work both methods of throwing footwork.
2) One knee partner/coach toss--
Catcher at home plate. Partner or coach a few feet in front on one knee.
Partner or coach will toss ball to catcher who is already in their
stance. The catcher will catch the ball and execute proper throwing
footwork and throw to another partner. Being on one knee and tossing the
ball will allow the partner or coach to put the ball exactly where they
want to work. Also, this will assist the catcher in working on both types
of throwing footwork.