The catcher of the softball team is often called the general of the field as they see everything that happens in the game. Catchers not only help the pitcher know what pitch to throw, but they can also help direct the game. Developing and improving catching skills can help a team win a game.
Learn How to Help the Pitcher
A catcher can help the pitcher by carefully observing each batter’s strengths and weaknesses. They can then send the appropriate signal to the pitcher to communicate what pitch would be best. A good catcher can also save a run by catching a pitch that would have hit the dirt.
Take on a Leadership Role
Many people compare the catcher in baseball to the quarterback in football. The catcher must make split-second decisions that can help lead the team to victory. As they are the only players to see the entire field, they can make calls that help everyone succeed.
Help Control the Base Runners
It is the responsibility of the pitcher to stop players from stealing bases. The focus of the catcher must be continually divided between the players on base and the batters. They must understand the situations in which a base may be stolen. For example, in a close came when a speedster is on base, this may be the ideal situation for a stolen base to be attempted. By paying attention and alerting the pitcher, a stolen base may be avoided.
Practice Drills Regularly
To improve their skills, a catcher should regularly practice catching. These drills can help a pitcher learn to catch with ease:
Catchers must pop up and squat down to throw the ball back to the pitcher and be ready to catch the ball once more. Set up a throwing area on the field and practice throwing repeatedly. Practice moving feet quickly and spinning to improve get up time and footwork.
Tennis Ball Drill
Catchers must have proper form and soft hands when catching a ball. The tennis ball drill may help. In this drill, the catcher removes their glove and catches a variety of tennis balls thrown from a machine at different angles. Without the glove, the catcher learns how to properly catch the ball with ease and grace.
Improving catching skills can help a team improve their softball game. Encouraging a catcher to practice drills, help the pitcher and lead a team can lead to a great softball season.