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Catching Drills

Throwing For Power & Accuracy

 

There are two training drills that can help you to improve your arm strength, while not losing your throwing accuracy.

  • Throwing For Accuracy & Power Drill
    Find an area outdoors that you can get to every day that has plenty of room (big back yard or ball field or playground). Ideally it would be a ball field with a back stop. Get yourself a plastic crate/bin that is about 2 feet by three feet wide. Place the crate/bin on its side with the opening towards the pitching mound and the back against the back stop screen (3 feet high and 2 feet wide target). Stand in front of the pitcher's mound half way to home plate and throw the ball INTO THE CRATE/BIN. Repeat this drill time-after-time, maintaining your accuracy while building up your arm /throwing power. Remember to stay in a half-way crouch (not standing up) with your weight on your back leg and your shoulders square to the target when you start your throw. If your shoulder alignment is off (not square to the target) or you are already standing up the power that you have will be lost. Throw the ball like a pitcher pitches rising up during the throw and shifting the weight to your front foot. This will maximize your power. When you have mastered this drill (throwing accuracy and power), move back to just in front of the pitcher's mound and repeat this drill over-and-over (say, after a couple of weeks). When you are good (accurate with power) from this distance, move back half way between the pitcher's mound and second base. Repeat until you're good from there. Finally, move to second base and do the drill from there. Remember, the crate/bin is up against the back stop which is quite a ways from home plate. If you are good at this distance (further than home plate to second base) then you'll be great at throwing to the bases from home.

  • Building Up Arm Strength
    Throwing arm weight training, which you can do in your living room at home. While watching TV or just sitting around, take an unopened soup can (regular size new full can) and hold it firmly in your hand around its middle. Your elbow will be at your side and your lower arm will be at a 90 degree angle aimed away from your body. With your palm up, "curl" your lower arm towards your shoulder until the can (or thumb) touches your shoulder and then lower your arm down to the starting 90 degree angle. Don't let your arm go all the way back down in a straight arm position. This is called a "curl with weight". Do this for an hour every day. Do it slowly and don't increase the weight. If you feel that your arm is "too tired", stop the exercise and shake your arm around loosely (without the can). Then pick up the can again and continue until the hour is up. Day after day you will notice that this drill becomes easier and your arm will feel less tired. You'll also notice that when you do your "daily throwing drill" (paragraph 1 above) your throwing power will have increased and your accuracy will not have been decreased.

These two drills have proved very successful for many years and almost all professional catchers have done these drills from when they were little and continue to do them even in the majors (in one form or another).

I suggest that the daily throwing drill (paragraph 1 above) be done with around six baseballs so that you don't have to make the trip to the target after every toss. Or better yet, have a friend who will stand by the target and pick up the thrown ball and throw it back to you.



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