Teaching softball catcher framing is an often overlooked, and under-coached, part of the game. Framing properly can play a major role in getting the strikes called strikes…and hopefully even get a few pitches that are just slightly out of the zone called strikes.
To learn some of the basics, watch the video and then read the written description below for additional information!
To recap, here are the key elements for teaching softball catcher framing:
One technique for framing the outside pitch (shown in this video) is for the catcher to “come around” the ball. When she does this she is basically catching the outside of the ball and her glove will be pointed out at the pitcher after the catch.
The catcher should try to get her arm extended, as shown in the video, so that she is catching the ball away from her body. This gives the umpire a better look at the ball and increases the likelihood for getting the strike called.
Many catchers make the mistake of letting the ball travel too close to the body…when this happens you will see that the elbow is still bent!
Here are a couple of additional points regarding softball catcher framing, not covered in this weeks video:
While framing can sometimes lead to balls being called strikes, the main purpose is simply to get the strikes called strikes.
A second method for framing the outside pitch is to point the glove down and to bring the elbow up. This works most effectively on pitches that are outside and low.
Essentially, when a catcher frames the pitch she is putting more of her glove into the strike zone. This helps the umpire make the call based on where the ball is thrown, rather than being “fooled” by the glove hanging outside of the strike zone!
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.
If runners are on base and it is a steal situation, the frame should be VERY quick. In this situation, the baserunner becomes the primary concern and framing becomes secondary.
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