The Softball Catcher
The catcher is sometimes referred to as the general on the field. You have a view of the entire playing area so can see the runners and where the ball is. It is a good idea for you to practice calling where to throw the ball if someone fields it and has to throw to make a play.
Learn the game and learn the strategies. For example knowing that it is a good idea for the outfielders to throw 2 bases ahead of the runner is a good thing to stop them at advancing only 1 base instead of 2.
Learn how to read batters. On some teams the coaches will call the pitches during the game and if you are fortunate especially in your early years you will call the pitches for your pitcher based on what you know of the batters and their tendencies. Study them and even make notes after games so that you can review for the next game.
- position square to the pitcher
- always try to receive the pitch in the centre of the body
- move the body if you have to
- hold your arms out just in front of your body with a big glove target
- watch the ball all the way into the glove
- then let the arms cushion the ball
- drop down on both knees, keeping your upper body upright
- stay over the ball to keep it close to your body
- keep your eye on the ball the whole time until it is in your hand
- when pitches are in the dirt to your side, shuffle quickly to that side keeping your body in front of the ball
Throwing the ball
- focus first on getting the ball from the pitcher
- when you get the ball, shift your weight to your throwing side and bring the ball up to throw
- step towards the target as you would to throw
- throw quickly and hard with the snap of the wrist
Tagging a Runner
- stand just in the front have of home plate facing 3rd base
- wait for the ball to get to you
- if the ball is going away from you to the side, leave the home plate and get the ball first
- when you catch the ball, move the ball (inside the glove with your hand holding it) toward the runner
- if you do not tag her, keep your head up because you have the ball and can stop any other runners from going to the next base
Backing up 1st base
- when there are no runners on base, if the ball is hit to the infield, run up and back up 1st base behind her
Most of all have fun and learn to help your pitcher to have fun as it can be a stressful position and she/he needs your support and confidence in her.