Baseball Catcher Blocking - Field Drills
Baseball Blocking Drills
This drill is built for catchers, so the player will be required to wear their full equipment and squat down while taking throws from a teammate or coach.
When squated, the coach or teammate will throw line drives in the dirt, turf, or other playing surface that closely mimics in-game bounces. The catcher will then be required to block each ball wherever it is thrown, for however many times the ball is thrown.
This drill can be beneficial in a large group of catchers. Have each catcher take about 10 repetitions and then move onto the next catcher. Go through the rotation about 4-5 times. You can even make this competitive by scoring each round of cleanly blocked balls out of 10, and then adding the scores at the end of the drill.
Blocking balls may seem like a forgotten, insignificant part of baseball and softball -- especially considering pitchers get more accurate as they climb through the ranks, but this drill is invaluable for catchers looking to take their skills the next level. Also, a cleanly blocked ball compared to a passed ball can be the difference in a stolen base or even the final score of a game.
Catchers must utilize lateral movement and quickly be able to drop down and judge the bounce of the ball to be successful in this drill. Keeping the ball in front of you at all times is the priority. This is made easier by “swallowing” the ball with your body, and not being afraid to let it bounce off your chest gear instead of trying to catch the ball every time. By doing so, you risk the ball going between your legs and towards the backstop.
After the ball is knocked down, catchers should also look to locate it quickly, pick it up, and prepare a throwing motion in case a runner is stealing. By simulating these in-game settings during practice, you better prepare yourself for the real deal.
Written by: Devin Pickell