To become a good baseball player you have to pay a lot of attention from the very beginning of your career. So the beginners need to learn everything very carefully and when it’s a matter about catching then it’s really important for the beginners. The combination of practice and concentration can make you a skilled catcher. But there are also some ways you need to tame first. I will discuss how a beginner can catch a ball well.
The first thing you need to do is learning properly. At first get the appropriate glove for your hand. Then turn your body into a good position. Take care of knee, feet, and shoulder. Then carefully notice the ball and go to the ball. When you feel you are in good position then position your glove and catch it. As soon as the ball gets into the pocket close the glove. A better option is to use your free hand to cover up the ball.
After learning properly next thing is that you need to improve your skill. You can improve your skill by learning to catch the ground balls. It is not so easy but by practicing the proper steps you can cope with ground catching. Also, you need to learn how to dive for the ball. Besides the ability to recover a botched catch can improve your skill.
So let’s discuss broadly the facts you need to learn and improve.
The primary level of learning to catch
Choose the perfect glove
The first thing is you need to choose the perfect glove for your hand. Many people aren’t even comfortable to catch with free hand where wearing a glove it is more critical and harder. So the first thing is to find out the comfortable one with the hand. According to the general rule of thumb, the players under the age of 12 use the glove of 10-11 inch. And the players over 12 use the glove of 11-13 inch.
- It’s essential to break in your glove before playing regularly.
- You can use an old glove that is more flexible and you will feel more comfortable.
Get into an athletic position
It is very important to maintain your position while you are going to catch a ball. Your catching largely depends on your position. Here I am giving you suggestions about how to turn into appropriate position for catching
- At first, it’s about your knee position. Bend your knee first. Don’t bend too much, bend slightly. You can lung for the ball more easily then. You will be also able to contrate better in that position.
- Position your shoulder according to the ball. In this position, you can easily notice the ball. So you can react also good when the ball comes toward you.
- Don’t stand flat footed rather you can stand on your feet on the ball. There you may feel flexible to catch.
Watch the ball carefully
The most important thing is that noticing the ball at the time of hitting. You will never catch a ball if you mess up to notice the ball. Very carefully watch the ball and you will have an idea where that can be landed. Get there and place the glove at the place of landing. Catch it successfully.
- When you are watching the ball just keep watching. No need to watch if your shoulder or knee is well positioned. Remember the key things is to notice the ball appropriately.
Reach to the ball
When the ball is in the air, keep noticing and try to reach the probable place where the ball can be landed. It’s very important to reach and calculate the probable place. If you miss that place you may not get the ball into your glove.
- If the ball is behind you run backward and if the ball is in front of you the run forward.
- Don’t try to catch any ball out of your zone.
Position your glove
Positioning the glove isn’t so easy as the direction of the ball. According to throwing learn the appropriate position of your glove
- There are two positions generally. If the ball is thrown under the belly button then you need your fingers to be pointed down. So you have to rotate your gloves.
- If the ball is thrown up to your belly then stand a little bending your knee and position the glove according to the ball.
Catch and close the glove
You can say this the last step of catching. As soon as the ball touch the palm properly or the glove quickly close the glove. Keep practicing of closing the glove as soon as possible. There is another way that you can use your free hand. Using your free hand you can secure the catch. Besides, you will be able to throw quickly when you learn to use the free hand.
- I am suggesting you not to use the free hand for the first time. When you feel yourself a skilled one then start catching like that.
Ensure a clear vision
A very big problem people face that is their glove unknowingly come in front their eyes and they lost the ball. But it’s mandatory to keep the ball watching till the last second of catching. Everyone knows if your vision got detached from the ball you will mess up the catch. I am giving some techniques you can use to avoid this problem
- If you get the ball toward your head then you need to position the globe to the ball at the last second. It isn’t so hard as you think. A little practice will help you to cope with this technique.
- You can change the position if you want to avoid your face crossing the ball’s landing zone.
- For avoiding a black eye on the match day, the best thing that you can do is practice throwing with your friend.
How to promote your catching skill?
You have learned the primary steps of catching a ball. But all the ball aren’t the same. So need to improve your skill to get will all kinds of catching. When the ball hit the ground and you need to catch instantly that is catching the ground balls. When the ball is out of the reach you need to dive for the ball that is diving catching and sometimes you mess with the ball while watching and you need to recover your mistake.
Let’s discuss how you can be a pro catcher improving the new catching skill.
Catching a ground ball
Catching a ground ball isn’t too tuff but you need to learn. If you miss a catch and you may miss an out. So you should emphasize about catching a ground ball. Here I am giving some easy steps there you can catch a ground ball easily.
- As you don’t know where the ball will go you should be ready for anything. For this bend your knee and get lower to the ground.
- Now distribute your weight equally on your feet as you can move in any direction as fast as possible.
- Now just notice the ball hitting the ground. As soon as it hit the ground, get your body in front of the path of the ball. Now get down and place your glove to catch the ball. It’s really important to keep your body in front of the ball.
- Always try to scoop the ball using your mitt. As the hit sometimes cause bad bounces then you can recover them.
Dive and catch the ball
A successful diving does not cause an injury besides to make a fascinating catch. There are some steps you can use for catching with a dive.
- The first thing is noticing the ball and start running toward the ball. Bend your need for lowering your body.
- During the last two steps extend your glove in the air as you can get the ball to be connected with the glove. Jump using the glove side’s legs and catch the ball
As catching a ball with dive isn’t so easy to try to avoid diving. Besides wrong diving causes injuries. If the ball is in your limit don’t dive for the ball. Regular practice makes it easier for you. So keep practicing to increase this skill.
Recover the botched catches
It is very common that people mess up with catching while fielding. The beginners do it more than the professionals. As they can’t give a good concentration with nervousness. And in front of a lot of audition maximum become scared of everything. So they messed up with catching the balls. There are a few instructions for them that how they can recover those catches.
- The first thing is that they need to locate the ball after missing. Locate it as hast as possible but don’t become impatient to locate then you can even lose the ball when it is in front of your eyes.
- When you will see the ball them bend the knee to the ground for picking up and growing as so fast
- Whenever you pick up the ball throw it to the proper fielder.
It is really common to miss a catch, for that don’t be too upset and ruin the full match. Rather with a cool mind recover it and try to be quick with a brain.
Give importance to the footwork
Increasing you footwork skill is really important to catch a ball more purely.
Footwork means the way to reach the ball. There are many kinds of footwork you can practice to increase the skill of your footwork. I am giving some footwork techniques that you can practice to improve your footwork skill
- You can practice square up position. Sprinting to the ball and catching the ball straight is the square up position
- Charging position means a fast run toward the ball. You can also use this position and improve the footwork
- Side shuffling is the way that when you are facing forward you have to move sideways noticing the ball. This is also a good technique you can practice to increase the footwork ability.
Some progression advice
You have learned the ways and skills that help the beginners to catch a ball. But I have some advice that can be even more helpful for a beginner. Here get them
Make your hand prepare for glove: It is very important for a beginner to become comfortable with his glove. First, you need the adjustment between the hand and glove to catch properly. A glove is like an extension in your hand. No one wants to carry an extension let alone while catching. But wearing it after days and days you will feel better.
I am giving a tip that of the young players didn’t hear about this tip. You can put your pinky finger and ring finger together in the last finger hole. A regular problem the beginners face is to close the glove quickly and comfortably. You can try this technique. I hope it will be easier for you to close the glove positioning your fingers in this ways.
Choose the glove according to your problem: It is obvious to choose the appropriate glove for your hand and which won’t be annoying to you. There are some different fact you need to take care.
If you have the problem of sweating and getting warm so fast then you can select the glove having the dry-lex technology. It will decrease sweating and keep your hand dry.
It is very important to check out if the glove is too stiff to close. Besides if you feel flexible or not wearing the glove. As you are the beginners select the glove with deep padding. You may get hurt while catching and pop out. Some glove contains a pocket for the players who still don’t know how to break in. If your glove does not have that kind of pocket then start learning to break in. So note those points and explain to your seniors then go to the shop and select the right one for you. I hope you will cope with the hand in glove quickly now.
Practice and challenge: it’s a very good habit to challenge your friends. First, you need to practice a lot. When you feel good enough for catching. You can have fun and improvement of your catching by challenging your friend.
Get a bucket of baseballs and call your friends. Get 10 feet away and you can challenge that you won’t miss over a particular number. Or you can challenge each other and count out the misses. At first start with general catching. The go with higher, lower and even diving catches. Playing like this way you will get the regular mistakes of catching. So the next day you can recover the problems you faced the last day.
Practicing in the home: Everyone knows nothing is worth practicing. Even it is when you a learning to catch a baseball. You know you can even keep practicing at home with your parents and siblings. Yes, it really improves your ability to catch. Not only you can learn about catching but also you can have some family fun. Even it may create some memories that will last for the lifetime.
Be flexible and active: An important thing that you need to learn to become more flexible. When the ball comes you don’t know the exact place where you have to reach. So you need to acquire and the ability to be quick and flexible. When the question come about a dive for the ball then it’s obvious to have a flexible body. You can do various kinds of excise to make your body more flexible
Being active is a big condition to become a sportsman. When you notice a catch you can’t stay still or wait for the ball to come. Be active and reach the ball. Whether you get it or not always make a try. Now its time to increase your sprint. When the ball is in the long distance then you need to run faster. Sometimes blocking becomes as important as catching. You may miss with sprint but it’s not a fact if you can block an unreachable ball with your sprint. So keep exercising various kinds of skills needed for improving the catch.
The appropriate way of catching and getting used to with catching has been discussed here. The main suggestion I can give you that you need to practice a lot. A time will come you will be a master of catching. A ball will hardly pop out from your glove then. Maintain the rules and keep working according to the rules.
I have another suggestion for you that you can watch at different videos and read books about catching. And your coach and seniors will always practically help you. Hopefully, you will get benefitted from this article.