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Catchers are the quarterback for your defense. They have a lot that they need to know, and a lot of skills to master. Having some fun and effective fastpitch softball catcher drills is essential for their development.

Unfortunately, it's very easy to neglect working with our catchers during practice. It takes time and intential practice planning to ensure they progress!

Keep reading for a variety of drills to get started!

Drill #1: Partner Bunt Drill for Fastpitch Softball Catchers

Bunt defense is critical to your success. 

While catchers will not likely be fielding the bulk of the bunts, there will be times when the opponent puts down a soft bunt in front of the plate.

In these situations, it’s crucial that the catcher knows how to hop out of their stance as quickly as possible and field the ball with good footwork.

This is a great softball drill for working on bunt defense with your catchers.  We call this the “partner bunt drill,” but in all honesty, it’s probably not a great name for the drill.

No matter what you call it this is a simple but effective softball catcher drill for getting a bunch of bunt defense reps in a short amount of time!

 

This drill works best with at least 2 catchers to keep it moving quickly, although it is possible to make it work with just one catcher. She will simply get lots of conditioning!

Here are a couple of key points to look for when you are working on bunt defense with your catchers:

  1. In the video, notice how the catcher comes “around” the ball so that her front shoulder is pointed at her target (typically 1st base).
  2. If the ball is still moving, push it into your glove while picking it up.
  3. If the ball is “dead,” the catcher can barehand it. To do so, grab the top of the ball and push it down into the ground to get a firm grip.

This drill will allow your catchers to work on their bunt defense technique multiple times in a very short span of time.

They will get a lot done in just 5 quick minutes!

Softball Catcher Drill #2: Championship Productions Drills 

Below is a "circuit drill" from Championship Productions. As you will see in the video, these drills will allow your catchers to work on pitchouts, pop-ups, blocking, and throw-downs.

Click below for some great ideas. 

As you can see from the video above, the drills covered provide some great drills to work on fundamentals AND conditioning all at the same time! 

Keep reading for one more simple drill to work on framing.  

Drill #3: Partner Framing Drill

Catcher framing is an often overlooked and under-coached part of softball.

But it's incredibly important.

Below we have a quick and easy catcher drill for fastpitch softball framing basics. And underneath the video we added some additional information about framing fundamentals. 

While the purpose of this post is not to cover all of framing fundamentals, here are a few things players need to know!

  1. Framing can sometimes lead to balls being called strikes. However, the main purpose is simply to get the strikes called strikes.
  2. Many catchers make the mistake of letting the ball travel too close to the body. Instead, catch the ball away from the body to give the umpire a better look at the pitch.
  3. Essentially, when a catcher frames the pitch she is putting more of her glove into the strike zone. The umpire can then make the call based on where the ball is thrown. In contrast, the umpire can be “fooled” if the glove is hanging outside of the strike zone!
  4. If the pitch is WAY outside of the strike zone, the catcher should not try and frame the pitch. This can be insulting to the umpire and can hurt the cause of helping your pitcher.
  5. If runners are on base and it is a steal situation, the baserunner becomes the primary concern and framing becomes secondary. In this scenario, the catcher doesn't worry about framing if the runner might be trying to steal.

So there you have it!  Multiple fastpitch softball catching drills to get your softball players moving the right direction. From pop-ups to framing, we have provided a variety of catcher drills for your fastpitch softball team!

While this list is not exhaustive, it will certainly help you cover a lot of the important fundamentals for your catchers this season!

(By Tim Covey, Founder of Covey Sports)

Have questions or comments? Leave them in the comments section below!


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