In every sport, there are some fundamental techniques and stages. In the sports named baseball, which is incredibly popular in the USA and Canada, there are certain fundamentals which one needs to know about.
The fundamentals include batting, pitching, fielding, and catching. Now, two of these are common to all the players in a team.
Everyone has to bat and field, which includes catching. Therefore, catching a ball is one of the most important things you should be learning. In this article, you’ll learn about various tips and techniques to help you to do the same.
Catching a ball is not hard. It is all about speed, finesse, fast reaction time and being spontaneous. Practice makes one perfect. The more you practice this skill, the better you shall become. As said above, it is very easy. All you need to do is move your gloved hand towards the incoming ball and closing the hand once the ball is tucked in safely.
Now, without any further ado, here are the tips and techniques for catching like a pro.
Get a suitable glove
Most other people shall advise you to get a good quality base glove. Yes, it is important too, but there is something still more essential. The one you buy needs to be suitable for you. Since the glove is but an extension of your hand, it makes no sense to wear an overprotective but heavy glove.
It needs to be comfortable, especially if the game is to continue for hours. One thing you need to know while buying the product is that mitt needs to be of a perfect size, depending on the size of your hands. Catching is made harder if the mitt is either large or small.
How to know which sized baseball gloves to buy?
This, of course, depends on the size of your hands. The gloves are always measured by the unit Inch. An Inch is measured from the glove’s fingertip to the heel. Now, the player’s age player plays an important role. For players aged within 12 years, look for gloves under 11 inches. For older players, look for gloves between 12-14 inches.
Breaking the glove
One of the most important things you need to ensure is that the gloves are broken in sufficiently. New gloves are not broken in, and therefore it is hard to play with them in the beginning. Playing with a completely new glove is hard as you may not be able to close your fist, something which may allow a caught ball to slip out of your grasp. A better option is to use an already broken glove. It does not matter if it is slightly older.
Positioning your body for the catch
This is important. Unless you have positioned your body, you may not be able to grab the ball. For instance, if the incoming ball is too close to the ground, you will not be able to catch it if you are standing straight.
You posture, for catching, needs to be loose and athletic. Stand facing the batsman or the one about to throw the ball. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at your knees.
Your hands should be in front of you. You need to balance your body on the balls of your feet so that you can quickly go forward or backward fast.
Positioning the glove
Your gloves need to be held out, with the palm pointing towards the ball. If someone is about to throw, point your gloves towards him or her.
From this position, you may need to adjust how to make the catch. For instance, if the ball is coming towards your upper torso or face, you need to raise your hand. If it is coming towards your knees, you need to squat down and catch it.
Shuffling your feet
Since you need to have the finesse and flexibility to catch, practice shuffling your feet. This ensures that you can more quickly in the direction the ball is coming.
Watch the ball
You cannot catch, even if you are a pro if you’re not watching the incoming ball. In fact, even if are not skilled, concentrating on the incoming ball is a surefire way to make a successful catch.
Catching with two hands
There shall be times when, during the course of the match, you will have to catch with one hand. However, there are more chances of missing. Whenever possible, and you should be doing it more often, try to catch with both hands.
This not only ensures that you actually catch the ball, but also ensures that the ball does not slip away. Another advantage is that you can immediately throw the ball back. Remember to cup your hands.
Now that you have learned how to catch the ball with two hands, all you need to do is practice, and you’ll be a pro in no time!