The target you give to the pitcher is one of the most crucial aspects to receiving the pitch. To receive the ball well and be able to frame the pitch we want to start by giving a nice open-glove target to the pitcher right down the middle of our body. We want to get her locked into the target. But when she starts her motion, we want to relax our hand and wrist so that we can adjust to the pitch. This relaxing of the hand and wrist should cause the glove to slightly drop or turn and the we turn up slightly up to receive the ball. This allows us not only to receive with nice soft hands but be able to react quickly to changes in location.
Below are some drills to work on receiving correctly:
Tennis Ball Toss:
The Tennis Ball Under-hand toss is great drill for many reasons. It promotes soft hands because the ball is light and takes some coordination to catch. It also promotes a good stance, if done correctly. There are some good lessons to be learned by doing these drills 100% correct.
Hold the pitch:
This drill is fairly simple. The coach (or a partner) throws the ball to different locations and the catcher basically catches the ball and holds it, as if she were presenting it to the umpire. Your goal is to be the best receiver on the team and in the area. That was always my goal. It’s the only way to become the best!
Mix it Up: Mix in curve balls and change-ups so you can work on receiving these pitches the right way too. Gradually, make it harder on your partner – make her work!