Discover the Arizona softball philosophy, and drills, to train your catchers to dominate behind the plate!
- Discover how to incorporate catchers into infield and outfield drills to maximize practice time
- Develop a throwing progression that promotes proper mechanics and improves arm strength to control the other team's running game
- Learn techniques to better the blocking and receiving skills of your catchers so more pitches are called strikes and fewer pitches get away
with Stacy Iveson,
University of Arizona Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach;
former Head Coach at Pima Community College and Yavapai College - winning four NJCAA National titles (two at each school);
2004 NJCAA Coach of the Year;
coached some of Arizona's most decorated pitchers and catchers, including: Becky Lemke, Jennie Finch, Nancy Evans, Carrie Dolan, Leah Braatz and Lindsey Collins
Your catcher is the most important person on the field. Avoiding a passed ball, catching a runner stealing a base, or framing a good pitch for a strike are all skills that require drilling catcher technique. Stacy Iveson explains the University of Arizona's philosophy to catching and then takes you inside a UA practice to demonstrate more than 15 drills focusing on leg strength, throwing, framing, and blocking used throughout the season.
There are three major phases of this video. The early part of the video focuses on ways to get warmed up and to improve foot speed and leg strength. The bulk of the video centers on the multitude of drills that can be used to help catchers become more natural and athletic within the game of softball. These 19 drills are sure to improve the strength, speed and consistency of all catchers. Finally, Iveson breaks down many of the situational activities that all catchers need to understand, including retrieving wild pitches or passed balls, tag plays at the plate, and more.
Attributes of a Great Catcher
In addition to the physical tools necessary to be a successful catcher, they must be a leader on the field and demonstrate great mental toughness. Iveson explains the mental and physical skills that all great catchers share. Not only must catchers frame pitches, but they may be called on to block pitches in the dirt, receive throws at the plate, field bunts, retrieve balls at the backstop, and throw out potential base stealers.
Learn many of the drills and skill development techniques used by the Arizona coaches to make catchers perform at a world-class level. Catchers are often overlooked in practices because of the specialized activities of the position. At Arizona, position-specific activities from other positions are incorporated into the catcher development plan:
- Daily throwing with the outfielders to develop arm strength in a gradual way
- Taking ground balls like infielders would to improve their ability to receive throws from the outfield.
Iveson offers 22 drills, plus a 5-step throwing progression, to help build the physical skills required to be a top-notch catcher. You'll see drills for:
- Building leg strength and quickness needed to execute defensive throws and block errant pitches.
- Working on arm speed, release time and arm strength - all critical to improving defense and giving the catcher a better chance to throw out runners.
- Reinforcing position body and hands to properly "frame" a pitch to get more called strikes.
- Improving throwing from one knee after a passed ball to make a good throw to home plate to get runner out and keep the pitcher in a safe position.
- Blocking technique and practical training sets for passed balls that can be used on a daily basis.
- Fielding short hops with both the backhand and forehand to practice receiving a less-than-perfect throw at the plate, which reduces passed balls and improves defense on plays at home plate.
- And much more!
In the Mirror Drill, catchers must mimic each other's movements while blocking, working on reaction and quickness. Conditioning has never been as fun as when two catchers try to out-do the other while working their legs and core muscles. In less than 2 minutes, your catchers will have finished a grueling blocking series and have had fun competing with their partner.
Coach Iveson explains what it takes to be a great catcher, and gives you the drills to tak