DRILL GLOSSARY FOR SUMMER CAMP EVALUATIONS
1. Tennis ball drill:
alternating locations. Set up down the middle and have throwing partner underhand toss to each side, alternating the location from inside to outside. Body must remain square, stance must stay in tact, and proper glove/hand position should be used to receive the pitch.
2. Rhythm Building Drill W/Tennis Ball or Real Ball:
Set up in nobody-on, with hand set to proper position (thumb at 3 o’clock, fingers to the sky). Pull thumb to chest with fingertips facing pitcher as the drill partner tosses the ball, and extend to receive the pitch after the ball is released.
3. Glove position drill:
Straight receiving drill, but focus on catching the pitch with the correct glove position over all else.
4. Five Ball Drill:
Catcher should receive 5 consecutive balls in the correct glove position. The moment that the stance breaks down, stop the drill. Speed up pitches and decrease time between when they are throw to increase difficulty.
5. Tiny Ball:
Catcher sets up in front of a SKLZ ball machine (or drill partner who tosses small balls to catcher) and receives tiny ball pitches to work on hand-eye coordination and reaction time. Focus on receiving in the proper glove positions.
1. NO-Flinch Drill:
With mask on, catcher should be on both knees with hands to side or behind them. Have drill partner throw real balls at the front of the mask at a low to moderate speed. The goal is to simply not flinch.
2. Sit and Hit:
Get into a finished blocking position and have drill partner throw balls into the ground directly in front of the catcher. The goal of which is to have the balls hit the ground and then the chest protector without the catcher flinching. Can take the drill further by giving the catcher a target to redirect the balls back towards with their chest protector. There should also be a focus on keeping the chin tucked during this drill.
3. Hands Only Drill:
Start in a runner’s on stance with both hands on there ground to a predetermined blocking location (middle, left, right). The throwing hand behind the glove (thumb tucked) and have just the tip of the glove touching the ground. Once the ball is released from the drill partner or machine, the catcher may finish the block in that direction, making sure that the hands don't leave the ground or separate. Progress into live blocks after this drill. Should hands continue to not fire first, repeat this drill.
4. Hand to helmet drill:
Start in runner’s on stance. Have drill partner hold hand 1/2 inch above the helmet. Catcher should be able to fire the block without feeling their helmet hit the hand. Focus on the hips staying level and not dropping down before launching the body upwards. Goal is to limit any upward movement on a block.
5. New 3-Ball Dry Block Drill:
Catcher sets up three balls in front of them (middle, left, right). Catcher selects a side to work on blocking. After selecting a side, catcher starts in a proper finished block to that side, then stands up to get into runners-on stance down the middle, and finally execute a block to the side he started the drill on. Fix the block after each rep.
6. Bucket Distance Blocking:
Catcher sets up in runners-on stance, a partner bounces a ball to any side or down the middle. Start with the partner telling where it is going and eventually get to where the partner is not telling, to work on watching the ball and reacting.
7. Rope Assisted Block:
Set up a rope on a straight line and curve the ends up the baselines. should end up looking like half of a hexagon. Catchers then set up in runners on with toes touching the straight part of the rope. Catchers will move through a dry block focusing on keeping knees behind the rope. When they start to come forward the rope with give the body a physical response, showing that this is not the direction to go
8. Pitch Recognition:
Catcher should set up in runners on and a partner will pitch the ball to either receive or block the ball. All of this is done without the knowledge of the catcher behind the plate. The catcher should then read the ball and decide to either throw a block or recieve the pitch in the proper glove position. make sure to fix it at the end of each rep.
1. Hop-Turn Drill:
Start in runner’s on, with the ball inside of the throwing hand, the throwing hand inside of the glove, comfortably in front of the middle of the chest. Catcher should focus on hopping upright onto just their back foot, while getting the front side pointed towards the target in front of them. Balance with the front foot off the ground or just barely touching for a moment and the release drill. If having trouble, slow the process up out of the crouch until catcher has control of their body while turning in place.
2. Four Step Drill:
Start in runner’s on stance with the ball inside of the glove, throwing hand behind glove. STEP ONE:Tuck the front knee in just slightly (but don't let it cave to the ground or twist in), and bring the throwing hand and glove together in the middle of the body. Do NOT let the hips shift to the side. STEP TWO: Turn the front shoulder towards 2B while standing upright. Hands should still be together in the middle of the chest and the feet should NOT have moved. STEP THREE: Hop-turn and bring the back foot underneath the catcher’s center of gravity, balancing on the back foot. The front foot shouldn't have moved much and should either be in the air or the toes barely touching the ground. The hands should still be together in front of the chest. STEP FOUR: Once the catcher is under control, they can finish the drill and throw to their target or drill partner. Speed up the progression of this drill until full speed. When a piece of the skill breaks down, slow it back down and work on that one piece.
3. Standing Separation Drill:
Standing with front side pointed at target. Catcher should have the ball inside of the throwing hand, inside of the glove, in the middle of the chest. Throwing hand should be “on top” of the ball inside the glove to help ensure that the arm can immediately move behind the body as the hips rotate forward during the throw without moving up or sweeping the ball low. Once set, catcher, can make a throw to their drill partner or target. Attempting to hold the hands together until the last possible moment. This allows the arms to work behind without giving them time to do anything else.