Friday, January 13, 2012

Techniques for One Hand Catch in Baseball

Catching is widely acknowledged to be the most physically demanding position on the baseball field. The catcher must wear a catcher's mask, chest protector and shin guards while crouching down behind home plate, giving signals to the pitcher and catching pitches and fielding his position. Most catchers use the one-handed method to receive the ball because it allows them to protect their throwing hand from serious injuries. Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench is credited with developing this style of catching when he played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1967 to 1983.
Step 1
Crouch behind the plate and hold up your catcher's mitt as a target for the pitcher. Use your bare hand to give signs to the pitcher. Based on the number of fingers you put down, the pitcher will know what pitch he is supposed to throw.
Step 2
Place your bare hand behind your back after you have given the pitcher his sign. This allows you to protect that hand and keep it from getting damaged by foul balls and foul tips. When catchers use the two-handed method to receive the ball, the bare hand is on the outside of the mitt to help secure the ball. That leaves the bare hand in a vulnerable position, and foul tips often result in broken fingers, split thumbs and other painful problems.
Step 3
Remove the ball with your bare hand immediately and fire a hard throw to second base on a steal attempt. You have to get your hand quickly in position to throw when you use the one-handed method. The one-handed method should not adversely impact your ability to receive and then release the ball. You'll require practice to get used to it.
Step 4
Shift your weight and your body when the pitcher throws an off-target pitch. By moving your body, you can block this pitch, keep it in front of you and prevent the runner from advancing. Never reach for the ball with your bare hand. One-handed catchers are much less likely to get hurt by wild pitches than two-handed catchers, who often have the tendency to reach for the ball with their bare hand.

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