Teaching Kids How to Catch a Baseball in 2023

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HomeBlogsJack Perconte's blogTeaching Kids How to Catch a Baseball in 2023
Teaching Kids How to Catch a Baseball in 2023
Jack Perconte

How to Catch A Baseball

Teaching new players how to catch a baseball is an essential skill that can set the foundation for future success in the game. It requires a structured approach that is consistent and easy to follow. Youth baseball players should be introduced to the basics of catching, such as getting into a proper athletic position with knees slightly bent and stand and hand placement, before moving onto more complex skills like catching a fly ball. By taking the time to teach these baseball fundamental skills, coaches can help their players become more confident and proficient using their baseball gloves on the field.

One of the most critical components of teaching players how to catch is emphasizing the importance of using two hands and having the correct glove size and keep your glove chest high. This principle ensures that young players have a more balanced and secure grip on the ball, reducing the likelihood of errors or injuries. Players should be taught to use both hands when catching a ball straight inside their feet and shoulders. This technique allows them to line up the ball properly and maintain good body control, which is essential for making accurate throws.

Another key principle of catching a baseball is using the glove hand only when players need to reach outside their body for the ball. This method is faster and more efficient than using both hands, especially when players need to move quickly for batted balls. It is important to emphasize this technique to players to avoid confusion and ensure they are using the correct technique in baseball game situations.

Once players have mastered the two-handed and glove-hand techniques, they can begin to learn more advanced catching skills. These may include catching fly balls, line drives, and pop-ups. Coaches should take a step-by-step approach to teaching kids these skills, breaking them down into smaller components and gradually building on each one. By doing so, coaches can help their players become more confident and competent catchers, setting them up for success on the field.

two hand catch two hand catch

The use of repetition is a fundamental aspect of teaching any skill, and it is especially true when teaching young baseball players to catch. By repeating the same drills and exercises over and over again, players can develop the muscle memory necessary to perform the task accurately and consistently. The coaching method demonstrated in the video allows for a great number of repetitions in a short period, which is critical for younger players who are still developing their skills.

One of the primary benefits of the coaching method demonstrated in the video is that it helps players develop quick hands. As players become more proficient at catching the ball, they will be able to take the ball out of the glove more quickly, which is essential for making quick throws and turning double plays. By practicing with the ball coming towards them at a high velocity, players will be better equipped to handle fast-moving game situations.

Another critical aspect of teaching young kids to catch is ensuring that they are paying attention and not in danger of being struck by the ball when they play catch. When playing catch, beginning and inexperienced players may be at risk of injury if the ball comes at them too quickly or in an awkward way. The coaching method demonstrated in the video addresses this issue by having the coach sit on the knee and flipping balls up towards the player. This allows for a controlled and safe environment for novice players to develop their skills.

It is also essential to note that players who turn the glove the incorrect way, with the fingers pointing down, are at risk of being struck by the ball. By emphasizing the correct hand positioning and grip, coaches can help younger players avoid injury and develop good habits that will benefit them throughout their baseball careers. Additionally, it is essential to emphasize the importance of proper body positioning and footwork when catching the ball, as this can significantly impact a player's ability to make accurate throws and fielding ground balls easily.

How to Catch a Ball Routinely

When coaching young baseball players on how to catch a ball, it is essential to use a softer ball to reduce the risk of injury. However, it is also crucial to introduce the principles of catching a baseball with the fingers up and the elbow out to the side from the beginning. The drill shown in the video is an excellent tool for this purpose, as it allows players to practice catching the ball repeatedly and consistently with two hands, while emphasizing proper technique.

In the drill, balls are tossed in a way that encourages players to catch them with their fingers up, rather than turning the glove with the fingers down. By catching a baseball with the fingers up, players can learn to absorb the impact of the ball without hurting their hands. Additionally, by keeping the elbow out to the side, players can maintain good balance and positioning while catching the ball.

Once players have developed a basic understanding of catching the ball with the fingers up and the elbow out, they can progress to more advanced drills. For example, players can practice catching balls that are thrown to the side, which requires them to move quickly and catch the ball while on the move. This type of drill helps players develop quick feet and improve their overall athleticism, which is crucial for success on the field.

Another way to make the drills more challenging is to toss the ball without telling the player where it is going. This adds an element of unpredictability to the drill, forcing players to react quickly and develop their instincts for catching the ball. As players become more confident and proficient, they can continue to challenge themselves by practicing with different types of balls and in more complex situations.

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About Jack Perconte

After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.

All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.

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