Wednesdays Web Gems Tips – Do not Accept Mediocrity when coaching how to catch a baseball
One of my favorite sayings, from an unknown author goes like this, “Doing something right and doing something almost right, is the difference between success and failure.” Nowhere is that more true than catching balls with two hands. The correct two hand catch technique leads to an out on close plays, and a safe call, when done incorrectly. Unfortunately, most youth coaches allow “almost right” too often with two handed catch.
Ideally, any ball that a player can get in front is a two-hand catch play and especially when players have an immediate throw, after catching. Two hands means the bare hand is touching, or almost touching, the glove as the ball enters the glove.
Most youth players have the bare hand nearby, leaving it behind the glove or off to the side, but not exactly the correct two hand catch method.
Correct Two Hand Catch Technique
The bare hand sits directly under the glove when catching a line drive or fly ball, and directly on top of the glove when fielding a ground ball. It is quicker for the glove hand and wrist to drop the ball into the bare hand than it is to turn the glove sideways to the bare hand. Along the same lines, it is quicker to take a ground ball out from the bare hand immediately on-top position.
A good way to practice this is with a number of balls flipped to a player from a short distance, where they can get a great number of repetitions. Use of a softer ball for young players is best so they do not hurt a finger, when first learning the correct two-hand catch technique. It is important to note that the bare hand often sits a little to the throwing side and next to the glove when waiting for a ball, as with turning a double play, until the ball is to arrive.